The course explores the origins and objectives of philosophy in the Prussian Berlin of the 19th century, and also provides a critical perspective on its subsequent history in the 20th century until today. Humboldt University Berlin was founded in 1809/10 under the name “Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität” as a result of revolutionist treatises on university reforms by philosophers in Berlin such as Fichte, Hegel, von Humboldt, and Schleiermacher. In particular, Wilhelm von Humboldt had the idea to create a new kind of university, in which teaching and research form a unity, in which science is independent of political and economic interests, and in which students receive an universal education. Consequently, Humboldt University Berlin became the worldwide paradigm of a new era of university and science. In reading texts written by Berlin-based philosophers before, during, and after the establishment of the Humboldt University, we will trace how ideas relating to the structure and purpose of the university and academic teaching and scientific research changed and were implemented in the course of the last two centuries.
This seminar carries 5 ECTS.
Language requirements: English B2, Deutsch B1
You can register for this course online (no registration via Agnes!):
(registration period: 2 September – 13 October 2019)
You will find the detailed syllabus for this course on the Berlin Perspectives Website:
Berlin Perspectives is an international and interdisciplinary module for incoming international students to complement their regular studies at Humboldt-Universität. It is also open to regular HU students who may enroll as part of their elective course requirements (üWP). Courses are taught in English, German, or in bilingual formats.