Hösle, Hegel, and Heidelberg

Author: Anthony Monta


Nanovic fellow Vittorio Hösle, the Paul Kimball Professor of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame, taught a summer seminar at the University of Heidelberg, where he was visiting professor from April to July 2015. 

Thanks to a grant of the College of Arts and Letters, generously supplemented by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, two graduate students from Notre Dame (one from Philosophy, one from Political Science), one ND undergraduate, and one ND alumnus (now a graduate student of philosophy at Purdue) could take part. Two Chinese students (one graduate and one postgraduate), a German, and a Spaniard participated in the course, too, on Notre Dame scholarships. Observing the seminar were around twenty other participants, mainly from the University of Heidelberg, but also from other German universities and from Switzerland and the Netherlands.

The topic of the seminar was Hegel's "Phenomenology of Spirit," which was read and discussed chapter by chapter. It was exciting for the American students to study Hegel in the city in which Hegel had taught as a professor and to forge bonds with European and Asian students who were equally interested in fathoming the paths of consciousness Hegel investigated in his first large-scale work.

The seminar, which lasted from June 26 to July 12, was listed in the course offerings of both universities.