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Freedom and the Transformation of Modern Europe (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Jakob Dirksen, Steffi Hobuß, Ian McManus

wöchentlich | Dienstag | 16:00 - 18:00 | 18.10.2021 - 04.02.2022 | C 9.102 | C 9.102

Inhalt: Freedom is arguably the most important orientation of contemporary societies and a decisive driving force in modern history. At the same time, ‘freedom’ has been severely contested: with regard to its status relative to other ends such as justice, equality or security as well as with regard to the question of what exactly its realisation in personal and social life would mean. In this seminar, we want to shed light on the question of freedom under the condition of modernity, by drawing on a variety of scholarly fields, including history, historical sociology, intellectual history, social and political theory, but also intercultural philosophy and philosophy of art. We will do so by studying two aspects: the vast transformations, in particular in Europe, over the last 300 to 400 years which will be treated in ‘analytical texts’; and to the reasoning and justifications for freedom, as expressed in key ‘classical’ texts. We will pay special attention to the relationship between these two. Instead of studying this modern period as one monolith, three distinct spheres will be distinguished - the economic, the political, and the cultural. The seminar aims to explore from which perspective and in which sense these transformations can be seen as movements of liberation. We will be drawing particular attention their intended and especially unintended effects, as well as to the actors who brought them about and the institutions in which they were given some stability.