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German Idealism and the Question of Colonialism

  • 24 Feb 2023
  • 25 Feb 2023
  • Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven, Belgium (hybrid)

In line with the increased attention to the cultural and political legacy of colonialism, questions about the implication of German Idealism in the colonial project are timely. Such implications can range from the dismissal of non-European peoples to explicit justifications of European imperialism. At the same time, thinkers from the Global South such as Franz Fanon and Leopoldo Zea explicitly draw on the work of German Idealists to articulate anti-colonialist theories. Thus, German Idealism is both entangled with colonialism and viewed as a resource to support post-colonial theories. In this conference, we aim to explore this paradoxical legacy of German Idealism. We investigate not only how the question of colonialism was addressed by classical German philosophers but also whether their concepts and methods could be relevant to approaching this issue today.


Organizers: Luis Fellipe Garcia and Pavel Reichl (KU Leuven)



Elvira Basevich, University of California, Davis

Stefan Bird-Pollan, University of Kentucky

Luis Fellipe Garcia, KU Leuven

Franz Knappik, University of Bergen

Pavel Reichl, KU Leuven

Jimena Solé, University of Buenos Aires

Victoria A. Spencer, University of Otago

Manuel Tangorra, University of Louvain

Gesa Wellmann, University of Wuppertal

Fernando Wirtz, Kyoto University

Rocio Zambrana, Emory University

Gunter Zöller, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich


Contact: Further information about the conference will be posted soon.

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