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Kant and Enthusiasm
The conflation of the German terms "Schwärmerei" and "Enthusiasmus" -- through French and English translations of both as "enthusiasm" -- points to an important connection between the two terms as they are deployed in the philosophical work of Immanuel Kant. Kant is at pains to distinguish the "Schwärmerei" -- those who believe that they have some immediate revelation of God, one that grounds religious, philosophical, and political projects -- from his own claim that the moral law lies within and that the pursuit of philosophy, which renders clear this moral voice, is generated by "Enthusiasmus." Yet in "On a Newly Arisen Apocalyptic Tone in Philosophy," Jacques Derrida asks how this distinction can be made and maintained. On what basis, he asks, do we distinguish between the two voices? The course will explore Derrida's question and its force through a careful reading of the Kantian texts in which "enthusiasm" -- and with it the grounding of philosophical, religious, and political claims -- is at issue.
Enrollment Limited: Limited to 15 students. Instructor's permission required.
Open to BTI Students: Yes
Jointly offered as Religion 2530
Expected to be offered Spring 2014
Course location to be announced.
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