German Idealism


“Nature is visible Spirit; Spirit is invisible Nature”

- Friedrich Schelling

The philosophical movement referred to as German Idealism is arguably one of the most important periods in modern philosophy.

The study of this period as a whole is pivotal for anyone wishing to understand Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Schelling, and Hölderlin. But it is also crucial for anyone wishing to achieve a more grounded understanding of accelerationism, Marxism, and 20th century phenomenology. 

German Idealism roughly spans from the 1780s to the 1840s.

German Idealism begins with Kant’s critique of reason and his new conception of transcendental idealism and finds its completion in Hegel’s Absolute Idea. 

German Idealism is not grey theory. It depicts rather an epoch in which the dimension of the human stands revealed most fully in all its spiritual glory. 

Thus, to study German Idealism means to delve into the cosmic-spiritual dimension of the human being and his Spirit.

A reawakening of Spirit brought about by Kant’s critical philosophy, which was nothing short of an earthquake - the presupposed unity of being and thought that had moved and sustained Western thinking since Parmenides and Plato was all of a sudden put under scrutiny.

Kant critiqued reason and favoured the understanding. Yet, it did not take long until three youngsters took the stage to articulate the Absolute Idea.

Through the popularisation of figures like Reinhold and Fichte, these three young thinkers came upon the quest to articulate the Absolute Idea again in a post-Kantian world.

Their attempt was to be able again to articulate what seemed unattainable for Kant: the cosmic-spiritual dimension of the human being and nature.

Those three young thinkers were Hölderlin, Schelling, and Hegel who, by an act of fate, happened to be students and roommates in Tübingen together in the late 18th century.

In this course you will learn the trajectory from Kant to Hegel across Fichte, Schelling, and Hölderlin. Central to our investigations via the primary texts will be the possibility of human freedom.

“Human reason has the peculiar fate in one species of its cognitions that it is burdened with questions which it cannot dismiss, since they are given to it as problems by the nature of reason itself, but which it also cannot answer, since they transcend every capacity of human reason.”

- Immanuel Kant

friedrich schelling

Friedrich Schelling

"All rules for study are summed up in this one: learn only in order to create."

Schelling wrote this in his lecture course on University Studies - and this spirited insight shall also be the leitmotif for us in this course.

hegel lecturing
6 Lectures

There will be 6 lectures, totalling 6 hours of recorded video lectures plus audio and the complete lecture texts. The most important topics of German Idealism will be covered in depth: Human Freedom, Nature, Spirit, the Absolute Idea, the Noumenal, and Transcendental Idealism.

We willl also consider the future of philosophy and the human being which emerges from these texts for our epoch.

Thinkers Covered

The course covers the main figures Immanuel Kant, J.G. Fichte, Friedrich Schelling, Friedrich Hölderlin, and G.W.F. Hegel. In addition philosophers such as Leibniz, Hume, Maimon, Reinholdt will also be introduced.

Course Library

Most primary texts will be made available on the course forum. In the original German and in English translation.


"You must study philosophy, even when you have no more money than to buy a lamp and oil, and even when you have no other time than from midnight to the crack of dawn."

Student Testimonials

"Aside from your thorough internalization and embodiment of your material, material you clearly live, you seem to teach like breathing. Your erudition and honesty, warmth, sharing creates the most special learning environment I have ever been in."

- Giovanna S.

“I want to get across what the impact of studying these great thinkers via your courses has been. It's beyond instrumentalism and certainly beyond self-help. It's more a change in mental outlook which then changes the way one lives. For example, my outlook towards work has changed a lot. I am now much more about seeing work as right livelihood and trying to reserve my energy for the enjoyable creative projects I'm engaged with.” – James Simpkin

"Your teaching has brought about a profound change in my belief about the ultimate nature of things. Previously, I was a thoroughgoing materialist and empiricist. No longer. Put simply, there is something else going on which is beyond us, though we are part of it." 

- David Ashton, MD, PhD

Enrol here

Seminars will start mid March 2021.


All Lectures for Self-Study

Access to 6hrs of Lecture Content

  • 6 Lectures, totalling 6+ Hours (video, audio, text)
  • Course Library of most texts
  • Lifetime Course Access
  • Access to Teachable Course Forum

Introductory Video



“Spirit is the “nature” of individuals, their immediate substance, and its movement and necessity; it is as much the personal consciousness in their existence as it is their pure consciousness, their life, their actuality.”

Your Lecturer

Johannes Achill Niederhauser, Ph.D.

I hold a PhD in philosophy from the University of Warwick and will soon publish my first Academic book on Heidegger.

I have been teaching internationally at Birkbeck, Warwick, and the University of Bukarest. I am now building my own Philosophy Academy.

Your Teaching Assistant

Filip Niklas

Philosopher & Poet

Filip's research examines freedom and logic. He also enjoys weaving new word systems in poetic form. Filip is a PhD student at Warwick University working on Hegel on freedom under Stephen Houlgate. Filip is also a visiting research fellow at the University of Heidelberg funded by the DAAD.