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FU-BEST 9: Tragedy and New Beginnings. 19th and 20th Century German Philosophy and its Legacies (Spring only)

InstructorDr. Detlef von Daniels
Credit Points6 ECTS

Spring semester only


In this course we will discuss how German philosophy developed after the great systems of German Idealism. We begin by recognizing that after Hegel, philosophy was no longer pursued as a unified whole, but as a reflection on specific sets of problems. We will focus on four influential schools of thought or philosophers and their legacies: Positivism, Nietzscheanism, Marxism, and Existentialism. Most of them proclaimed the end of philosophy as it once was. However, like all the arts and sciences in Germany, philosophy helped pave the way for totalitarian ideologies. Therefore, we must also consider its role in the "immoral end" of history. We will conclude the course with a more optimistic outlook. Like a phoenix from the ashes, philosophy has risen again in unexpected ways. We will also consider how postcolonial, feminist, and indigenous thought have reshaped philosophy and set it on a new course.