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Last updated: August 2016

© Journal of the History of Philosophy, Inc.
Masters Classes in the History of Philosophy
Sponsored by The Journal of the History of Philosophy

Mindful of the challenges facing young scholars working in the history of philosophy, the Board of Directors of the Journal of the History of Philosophy has established a program of Master Classes in the History of Philosophy. The central idea of the program is that a senior scholar who works primarily in some area of the history of philosophy would undertake to direct an intensive week of master classes for the benefit of a small group of recent Ph.D.’s whose main research and teaching are in the relevant area. Normally, the classes will focus on one or more texts that are typically not part of material that the participants would have studied as graduate students. The goal of the program is the enhancement of the expertise and understanding of the young scholars in their area of specialization.

The JHP will select up to six individuals from among those who apply to participate in five days of intense classes on the announced subject. All travel and housing and food for the duration of the classes will be paid by JHP up to $1750. 

2017 Classes

Dates: July 31–August 4, 2017

Topic: Mendelssohn and Kant: Religion and Freedom 

Instructor: Paul Guyer (Brown University) 

Course Description:

Although they only met once, Moses Mendelssohn and Immanuel Kant interacted intellectually throughout their careers, beginning with their competing entries to the Berlin Academy essay competition on the method of metaphysics of 1762. Many of Kant's positions and arguments in theoretical philosophy, practical philosophy, and aesthetics were explicit or tacit responses to Mendelssohn, and Mendelsson's final major work, the Morning Hours of 1785, was his attempt to defend the core of Leibnizo-Wolffian rationalism from the "all-destroying Kant." But this course will focus on two masterpieces, namely Mendelssohn's Jerusalem of 1783 and Kant's Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason of 1793 (supplemented by Kant's own final major work, the briefer Conflict of the Faculties of 1798). We will explore the deep similarities in their views of the rational core of religion and the proper relation between church and state but also the important differences between them on the issue of religious pluralism versus universalism. An important part of the background to both thinkers is Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise of a century earlier, and participants may wish to read or reread this before the course.

Application: Applicants should send a letter of interest along with a CV to Prof. Lloyd P. Gerson (lloyd.gerson@utoronto.ca).

Qualifications: Ph.D. in philosophy received no earlier than January 1, 2011 and no later than November 1, 2016. AOS: Kant or 19th Century German Idealism.

Deadline for submission: Applications must be received no later than November 15, 2016.  Applicants will be notified by January 1, 2017 of those selected to participate.