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Institutional Autonomy And Political Vocation Of The University. Which Model Of The ‘Republic Of Scholars’? (Kant, Humboldt, Fichte)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter brings some elements of an answer to the question regarding in which sense the internal organization of the University, as well as its relations with social authorities, constitute an important issue for the political philosophy of German Idealism, or in other words, how far has a real political significance and function to be attributed to the concept of Republic of scholars? The philosophical successors of Kant attempted to develop this concept of Republic of scholars, by concentrating on the close link between politics and education. The contrastive positions of Humboldt, more liberal, and of Fichte, more dirigiste, represent well the two poles of this tension. The chapter presents the confrontation between both models of organization of the University to question the relevance of the authoritarian reading of the Fichtean orientation by referring it to the speculative and epistemological issues of his applied philosophy.

Keywords: education; Fichte; Humboldt; Kant; political philosophy; Republic of Scholars



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