Advanced Studies in Metaphysics B

lfilo2251  2018-2019  Louvain-la-Neuve

Advanced Studies in Metaphysics B
5 credits
30.0 h

This biannual learning unit is being organized in 2018-2019
Depré Olivier (compensates Maesschalck Marc); Maesschalck Marc;
Basic instruction in the history of modern philosophy ;
Reading knowledge of German sufficient at least to allow the identification of the key concepts in the original texts. Advanced reading knowledge of German, while helpful, is not a strict requirement.

Main themes
The course will be devoted to a major theme in German idealism, and refer to a text or set of texts judged particularly good illustrations of that theme. Beyond the exegetical approach required by this type of text and its contextualisation within the systematic development of a given major work, the course will attempt to illuminate the role played by the particular theme studied in the works of various German idealist philosophers insofar as it leads to differences between their positions.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


Upon completion the student will be able to :
- Define major concepts employed by German idealist philosophers;
- Explain various philosophical methods that differentiate one philosopher from another ;
- Interpret in general terms some famously difficult passages with the help of reading hints furnished in the course.


The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
Idealism as pathology of the self
Whereas the 18th century defended and anthropology of balanced tendencies of the sympathy of organs in a body submitted to the rational administration of its forces, the 19th century explored the drifting mind floating above a reservoir of pulsional energies reacting randomly. The schema of psychic causality was broken. The body-mind interaction was thus seen to cause troubles that might either enhance or destroy human life. An etiology of the subject's troubles was beginning to emerge from the dissociation of the Cause and the Real. From Fichte's first reflections on Platner's 'unconscious representations' up to the schema of evil that figured in Schelling's writings in Stuttgart, passing by the Hegelian phenomenology of lack, we will analyze this budding theory of subjective troubles, with the particular support of the recent book The Fractured Self.
Teaching methods
Evaluation methods
Students will be asked to write a 10 page paper to be based off of a reading of one of the proposed texts. After emailing the paper, the student will receive a question on the paper to be prepared for the oral exam.
The student will have approximately 15 minutes to present this answer during the oral exam.
The paper may be written in French, English, Spanish, or German, with the professor's agreement.
Other information
M. C. Altman & C. D. Coe, The Fractured Self in Freud and German Philosophy, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2013.
A. BEGUIN, L'âme romantique et le rêve, Essai sur le romantisme allemand et la poésie française, Librairie José Corti, Paris, 1939.
M. Gabriel & S. Zizek, Mythology, Madness and Laughter, Subjectivity in German Idealism, Continuum, London/New York, 2009.
G. GUSDORF,            L'homme romantique, Payot, Paris, 1984.
M. Maesschalck, « Eshétique et psycho-analyse. La réponse du jeune Fichte à Schiller concernant l'éducation », in Revue roumaine de philosophie, 56 (2012), n. 1, pp. 5-22.
M. Maesschalck, « L'engendrement du commencement selon Schelling : signification et enjeux d'une protologie de la conscience », in M. Vetö (dir.), Philosophie, théologie, littérature. Hommage à Xavier Tilliette, Peeters, Louvain/Paris, 2011, pp. 293-318.
K. Regenspurger et T. van Zantwijk (dir.), Wissenschaftliche Anthropologie um 1800? Franz Steiner Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2005.
R. J. Richards , « Kant and Blumenbach on the Bildungstrieb: A Historical Misunderstanding », in Stud. Hist. Phil. Biol. & Biomed. Sci., Vol. 31, 2000, n. 1, pp. 11-32.
V. Safatle, La passion du négatif, Lacan et la dialectique, Olms, Hildesheim, 2010.
H.G. SandKühler (ed.), Handbuch Deutscher Idealismus, Metzler, Stuttgart/Weimar, 2005 (trad. Fr. Kervegan, Cerf, 2015: Manuel de l'idéalisme allemand)
J.-M. Vaysse, L'inconscient des Modernes, Gallimard, Paris, 1999.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [60] in Philosophy

Master [120] in Philosophy