To provide an introduction to the moral, legal, and political philosophy of German idealists such as Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel.
To consider the relevance of that philosophy for debates in contemporary moral, legal, and political philosophy.
To provide a research-led approach to understanding and participating in debates relating to German idealism and its contemporary relevance.
Academic and Graduate Skills
To develop students' abilities to apply philosophical tools and techniques, in order to advance understanding of intellectual problems, and to provide a grounding for further independent research
Module learning outcomes
Students should be able to display an in depth and systematic understanding of some key issues in German idealism, with a focus on moral, legal, and political philosophy, with a grasp of the forefront of current research in the area, providing a solid grounding for further independent research on related topics.
More specifically, students will be able to
understand and evaluate the moral, legal, and political philosophy of German idealists such as Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel.
understand and explain key concepts such as "recognition", "the pure I", "striving", "ethical life", etc.
relate the moral, legal, and political philosophy of the German idealists to debates within contemporary moral, legal, and political philosophy.
display (through their independent work on a topic of their choosing) mastery of a specific debate relating to German idealism, evaluating contributions to this debate and developing and defending their own position on the topic.
Academic and graduate skills
Students will be able to analyse complex areas of knowledge, displaying critical awareness; synthesise information and ideas from a variety of sources at the forefront of the discipline; evaluate research critically; and show originality in the discussion and application of ideas from the philosophical literature in developing their own arguments.
Students should show the ability to work autonomously and self critically on an extended essay that goes beyond the core framework that is provided in lectures and seminars.
% of module mark
Special assessment rules
% of module mark
Students will receive written or verbal feedback on the essay proposal and reading list two weeks after they submit it.
Students will receive a tutorial on the essay plan by week 10 of Autumn term.
Students will receive feedback on the 4000-word summative assessment and re-assessment four weeks after they submit it.
Fichte, J. G. Foundations of Natural Right (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.)
Fichte, J. G. The System of Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.)
Hegel, G. W. F. Elements of the Philosophy of Right (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.)
Honneth, A. The Struggle for Recognition. The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts. (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996).