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Critiques of Enlightenment in Post-Kantian German Philosophy (PH9F6)

This module features an in-depth examination of, and critical engagement with, various critiques of Enlightenment found in the German Post-Kantian philosophical tradition. It begins with Kant's own views on Enlightenment together with his attempt to explain the course of history in accordance with them, and it culminates in the critique of Enlightenment offered by Horkheimer and Adorno. Texts by philosophers such as Herder and Hegel will also be discussed. Particular attention will be paid to how different views of Enlightenment are nevertheless interrelated and the issue of whether these views entail abandonment of the project of Enlightenment or revision of it.

Other issues to be discussed include the forms of rationality and morality associated with Enlightenment, the relationship between Enlightenment and human progress, and the question of whether a bureaucratic and capitalist society is an inevitable outcome of Enlightenment thinking.


Module Director:

David James