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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

German Idealism is best understood as the philosophical manifestation of the modern demand for rationality and freedom

"Understanding German Idealism" by Will Dudley
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., October 11, 2007 -- Will Dudley, associate professor of philosophy, is the author of a new book titled "Understanding German Idealism." Dudley specializes in 19th and 20th century European philosophy and is an expert on Kant and Hegel. "Understanding German Idealism" is an accessible introduction to the German philosophical movement that spanned the careers of Kant and Hegel from 1781 to 1831.
Dudley devotes his book to conveying the substance and significance of a complex period in modern philosophy as clearly as possible. Dudley tackles such philosophical themes as modernity, rationality, and freedom. He argues that, "German Idealism is best understood as the philosophical manifestation of the modern demand for rationality and freedom." The book is concluded with Dudley's concise examination of important early criticisms of Kant and Hegel and the philosophical alternatives which were the forerunners to what would emerge as romanticism, Marxism, and existentialism in later years.
Curtis Bowman, co-translator of Kant's "Notes and Fragments," praised Dudley's work as "an excellent introduction to the history of German philosophy from Kant to Hegel. Students of German Idealism will discover a vivid account that is both intellectually compelling and clearly written." Dudley is also the author of "Hegel, Nietzsche, and Philosophy: Thinking Freedom" (2002) and articles published in The Owl of Minerva, International Studies in Philosophy, and the Canadian Philosophical Review, among others.
At Williams, Dudley has taught a variety of courses related to German Idealism including "Hegel: Art, Religion, and Philosophy," "The Concept of Freedom in Hegel and Nietzsche," and "Kant." He received his B.A. from Williams in 1989 and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1998 after completing a dissertation titled "Freedom Beyond the Will: A Critical Study of Hegel and Nietzsche." As an undergraduate, he was awarded a Herchel Smith Scholarship to Cambridge University where he studied philosophy in 1989-90. Williams.edu/admin/news/releases Contact Jo Procter, college news director; phone: (413) 597-4279; e-mail Jo.Procter@williams.edu

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