The Centre for the History of European Discourses was incorporated in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in August 2015.

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Abstract

We are still a long way from undoing the damaging view of early modern German philosophy as the ante-chamber in which reason had to wait while history prepared for its enthronement in Kantian philosophy. In this paper I sketch the broad outlines of a different view, focusing not on what philosophy had to become, but on a series of disputes about what it might be. The story that emerges is not that of Western reason calmly clarifying its epistemological and ethical premises, but one of a complex archipelago of struggles in which diverse configurations of philosophy were hammered-out in relation to theology, jurisprudence, political science, and natural law. It is impossible to understand the resulting philosophical profiles without investigating the milieux in which these struggles took place - in particular the confessionalised universities and urban gymnasia in their relation to ruling courts and councils - and the crucial role played by the cultivation of specific philosophical personae.

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