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German Idealism from Kant to Hegel


Admission requirements

Admission to one of the following programmes is required:

  • MA Philosophy 60 EC: specialization History and Philospophy of the Sciences, or Philosophical Anthropology and Philosophy of Culture

  • MA Philosophy 120 EC: specialization Philosophy of Humanities, Philosophy of Natural Sciences, or Philosophy of Psychology.


In this course we will focus on the emergence of German Idealism in the immediate reaction to Kant’s transcendental philosophy. We will concentrate on Kant and three of the most notable figures to use his philosophy as a basis for their own systematic development: Fichte, Schelling and Hegel.These philosophers advocated a rethinking of the human being as the point of departure for a new orientation of philosophy: as the foundation of all other scientific undertakings.German Idealism is remarkable in that here is developed a systematic treatment of logic, metaphysics, epistemology, moral and political philosophy and aesthetics. During this module, we will read the classical texts of this period in order to understand, discuss and critically analyse themes such as the notion of the absolute, the relationship between the subject and an objective world, human freedom, the role of history and art.

Course objectives

This course aims to investigate the ideas as developed by German Idealism by drawing upon the texts of its key thinkers. Students will be expected to be able to compare, contrast and critically discuss the main arguments both written and orally.

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • the key ideas as developed by German Idealists and what these ideas are a response to;

  • German Idealism in the place of the history of philosophy.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • give a critical discussion of the ideas as developed by German Idealists;

  • formulate a reasoned argumentation of their position in the topics covered in this course;

  • use close readings to critically interpret the assigned texts and to place these texts in a broader philosophical context, going beyond the assigned readings where necessary.

  • present their ideas both orally and in writing.


The timetable is available on the MA Philosophy website
MA Philosophy 60 EC, or MA Philosophy 120 EC

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Class attendance is required.

Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Attending seminars (13 weeks x 3 hrs): 39 hours

  • Studying of compulsory literature: 56 hours

  • Completing assignments: 20 hours

  • Writing papers (including reading and research): 165 hours

Assessment method

  • Presentation (15%)

  • Final research paper (85%)


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of several subtests (midterm, final test). A subtest can be graded as unsatisfactory.

Class preparation and attendance are required and are conditions for submission of the paper.


The resit will consists of one examination, a research paper. The mark will replace all previously earned marks for subtests. No separate resits will be offered for mid-term tests.
Class preparation and attendance are required and are conditions for submission of the paper for the resit. Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination(s) cannot take the resit.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • posting of texts and course information.

Reading list

An additional reader will be made available through Readeronline (see instruction in Dutch or English

There is no requirement to study literature before the start of the course.


Enrolment for courses and exams through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for and exams in the column under the heading “uSis-Actnbr”.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. R. Uljée


Not applicable.