Materialism in German Philosophy – From Boehme to Sloterdijk and Beyond


London German Philosophy Seminar

In this seminar series we will discuss the history of materialism in German philosophy against the background of the contemporary revival of materialism in continental thought. Materialism will be conceptualised as a destabilising, transgressive and opposing motif in philosophy, a form of critical and enlightened thought that is directed against the ideological structure of all idealisms, including the attempt to silence materialism in much of 20th-century German philosophy by its reduction to a metaphysical doctrine. We will think about materialism’s far-reaching implications for the self-understanding of philosophy, for the theory of subjectivity, of agency, morality, embodiment, freedom, truth, space and time, nature and life, meaning and history.
The opposition between materialism and idealism is far from obsolete, and can also be used today to understand the renewed task of philosophy as the theory and practice of liberation. The seminar will also devote attention to the historical split between university philosophy…

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