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The Philosophy of the Young Schiller (1773-1789). Education, Sources, and Issues


The proposed project is an interdisciplinary research on the philosophical development of Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805), one of the most prominent European intellectual figures between late Enlightenment and Idealism. The research considers the period from Schiller’s first attendance of philosophy classes in 1773 to his very first adoption of Kantian ideas in 1789, and will provide the first multi-faceted and comprehensive monograph on the young Schiller’s thought, as well as papers and presentations in Europe and the US. The main aim is to demolish the enduring myth of Schiller’s philosophical dilettantism and re-evaluate his philosophical stature independently of Kant.
The method will be multi- and interdisciplinary, thus avoiding misinterpretations common to one-sided approaches, connecting the histories of philosophy, literature, ideas and universities. In particular, the research will focus on three aspects of the young Schiller’s commitment to philosophy: a) the curricula, dissertations, theses, speeches and lecture catalogues at the Stuttgart Karlsschule, where Schiller studied from 1773 until 1780; b) the impact of British moral/common sense theory, French Enlightenment and German philosophy on the making of Schiller’s thought; c) key issues in Schiller’s early philosophy such as, for instance, God, knowledge, virtue, beauty, and love.
An important shortfall in current scholarship that requires urgent attention and has been repeatedly highlighted in recent times, will thus be addressed.
Lastly, the proposal fits closely with the Work Programme and its training objectives in terms of strengthened individual maturity, deepened interdisciplinary consciousness, new (transferable) skill acquisition, and wide dissemination. As a result, the appeal of the European Research Area for scholars in this field will be significantly enhanced.

Call for proposal

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Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 299 558,40
Administrative Contact
Gill Wells (Ms.)