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Continental Philosophy Research Group Talk (G. Anthony Bruno, Royal Holloway)

Friday December 1, 2023, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The Continental Philosophy Research Group is pleased to welcome as guest speaker G. Anthony Bruno, an assistant professor of Philosophy at Royal Holloway University of London. Dr. Bruno research focuses on metaphysics and epistemology in early modern, Kantian, and post-Kantian philosophy. His first book, Facticity and the Fate of Reason After Kant, is now under contract with Oxford University Press, and he has begun work on his second book, which will provide a history of the origin, transformation, and continuing relevance of the concept of nihilism.

Talk Title

Neither a Witness Nor a Wave: Jacobi, Fichte, and Husserl on Nihilism

Talk Abstract

In 1917, Husserl declares his affinity with the German idealists, saying that what he regards as “great and eternally important in German idealism” is that it shares with his own phenomenological system both a “common adversary”, namely, “naturalism”, and a common advantage, namely, the “same gods” that each system “serve[s]” in its “own way”. What is the naturalism of the “era” to which Husserl thinks German idealism and phenomenology belong? In their “battle” against this foe, which gods do they jointly serve? And what makes serving these gods “indispensable for the advancement of philosophy”? I will answer these questions by defending three claims. First, the naturalistic adversary that German idealism and phenomenology face is in fact nihilism. Second, the gods that they serve in their battle against nihilism are human freedom and purposiveness—the very things that nihilism threatens. Third, they serve freedom and purposiveness as the conditions of doing, and hence of advancing, philosophy.

About the Continental Philosophy Group

One of six departmental research interest groups, the Continental Philosophy Group works in the traditions of textual interpretation of human consciousness, phenomenology, and post-structuralist critical theory, among other related traditions of thought.



Friday December 1, 2023
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Continental Philosophy Research Interest Group
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Jackman Humanities Building, Room 100 (Main Floor Lecture Hall)
170 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5R 2M8 Canada
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