Kant and German Idealism

The American College of Greece

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Kant and German Idealism

  • Host University

    The American College of Greece

  • Location

    Athens, Greece

  • Area of Study

    European Studies, Philosophy

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • US Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The later part of modern Western philosophy (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) studied through the works of Rousseau, Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, and others. Their work extends between Enlightenment and Romanticism and its study is indispensable for understanding the ideas behind the emergence of contemporary science, culture, and society.

    This course is one of historical sequence, following the rise of German philosophical Idealism. It starts with the Enlightenment tradition and Kant's three major Critiques and finishes with the culmination of German Idealism in the writings of Hegel on World Spirit. It provides essential background for other courses in philosophy and related disciplines. It is of special interest for students concentrating in nineteenth-century literature and in the history of ideas.

    As a result of taking the course, the student should be able to:
    1. Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of Kant's critical reading of the preceding rationalist-empiricist debate, his involvement with the project of the Enlightenment, and his significance for the consequent German idealist tradition.
    2. Assess in detail and critically evaluate Kant's contributions to epistemology, metaphysics, moral theory and aesthetic theory.
    3. Determine Fichte's and Schelling's position within German Idealism and summarize their principal contributions to and influences on Hegel and nineteenth century philosophy.
    4. Critically assess Hegel's overall philosophical project, concentrating on his critique of Kant, but also on his views on self, history and the idea of World Spirit.
    5. Identify and formulate with minimum guidance ppropriate research topics and produce a research paper combining discussion and critical appreciation of sources.
    6. Discuss and critically evaluate the significance of the whole tradition of German Idealism for philosophy and culture; use the insights of this tradition in her research paper. 

    In congruence with the learning and teaching strategy of the college, the following tools are used:
    - Class lectures, interactive learning (class discussions of philosophical texts, contemporary philosophical positions and interpretations).
    - Research paper requiring selection of topic and critical examination of arguments.
    - Office hours: students are encouraged to make full use of the office hours of their instructor, where they can ask questions, discuss their research paper, and/or go over lecture material.
    - Use of a blackboard site, where instructors post lecture notes, assignment instructions, timely announcements, as well as additional resources.
    - Use of library facilities: Students are encouraged to make use of library facilities for assignments, their research paper, further reading of recommended texts and preparation for the final exam.


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