Part of the CRASSH Fellows Work-in-Progress seminar series. All welcome, no registration necessary. Sandwich lunch and refreshments provided.
Dr David James (University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg):
Early in the 19th-century, the idealist philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte proposed a German national education as the only means of truly uniting the German nation and allowing it to regain its independence in the face of French hegemony. Over a century later in 1933, the philosopher Martin Heidegger offered further proposals concerning university’s relation to its role in German cultural life.
About David James
David James is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He received a DPhil in Philosophy from the University of Sussex, and went on to hold research fellowships at the University of Ottawa, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Johannesburg. He has published extensively on various aspects of German idealism, especially German idealist political thought. His most recent publication is Fichte’s Social and Political Philosophy: Property and Virtue (Cambridge University Press, 2011). While a visiting fellow at CRASSH, David will be working on the topic of JG Fichte’s proposals concerning the planned establishment in the early eighteenth-century of a new university in Berlin. He will seek to place these proposals within the context of Fichte’s claim that the moral regeneration of the German nation requires the establishment of a new German national education. Special emphasis will be placed on the question of the role of Fichte’s own foundational philosophical science, the Wissenschaftslehre, both in the life of the university and in a German national education more generally.
For administrative enquiries and a link to the readings please contact Michelle Maciejewska.