Kant and German Idealism | Grupo de investigación sobre el Idealismo alemán (HUM 0172)

Kant and German Idealism

University of Málaga (Spain), April 23-25, 2025

The VIII International Congress of the Spanish Society for Hegel Studies aims to explore the scope and limits of Immanuel Kant’s figure and philosophy in German Idealism, both in a theoretical and practical level. Following Kant’s death, a constellation of debates and problems led to the rise of German Idealism and, according to Dieter Henrich, also sparked the philosophy of immediacy, Romantic doctrines on human unity, post-Kantian scepticism and post-Kantian one-dimensional systems.

In 2024, philosophers all over the world will celebrate the 300th anniversary of Kant's birth. The Spanish Society for Hegel Studies, recalling the famous slogan of the Philosophy of Right, intends to hold its conference on Kant and German Idealism once the Kantian commemorations have ended pursuing the deep insights that come with maturity and reflection: “when philosophy paints its grey on grey, a figure of [philosophical] life has grown old, and with grey on grey one cannot rejuvenate, but only know; Minerva's owl only takes flight when it begins to get dark”.

Philosophy is inscribed or situated in a history. That is, in a sphere compatible with the freedom and historicity of self-consciousness. The logic that governs the history of philosophy is therefore not the logic of the analytic, the logic of the necessary and universal. It is the logic of the interpersonal and of situations: the topical. These interpersonal encounters correspond to the situations in which an idealist, a romantic, a sceptic, etc. find in Kant's philosophy inspiration, motives for criticism, or the pursuit of their own philosophising. In fact, Kant is perhaps the only case in the history of philosophy in which it can be said that all philosophy after Kant can fairly be described as post-Kantian. Positivist, dialectical and phenomenological schools of thought have their roots in critical philosophy.

Richard Kroner entitled his most famous contribution to the history of philosophy: From Kant to Hegel. In this title we can see that Kroner inherits the way of historicising Hegel's philosophy in the Differenzschrift, by considering the transition from the hypercriticism to Fichte and from Fichte to Schelling, and his own conciliatory position. Another attempt to historicise German Idealism is that of Dieter Henrich. The title he gave to some of his lectures at Harvard University is very significant: Between Kant and Hegel, in which he explores a rich fabric of problems and debates that constitute the intellectual situation out of which post-Kantian philosophising emerged, and to which the genius of each of the participants in such constellations of contested questions responds.