Sylvia Naish Visiting Research Fellow (BLOCH)
Gregor Schäfer is a Lecturer (Lehrbeauftragter) in Philosophy at the University of Basle, where he wrote his dissertation on Hegel’s speculative logic in its intrinsic interaction with practical philosophy. His international experience includes researching at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, and at the University of Padua. In his research, publications and teaching, he focuses mostly on post-Kantian German Idealism (Fichte, Hegel, Schelling), the history and actual relevance of metaphysics and speculative thinking, philosophy of religion, political thinking, and aesthetics. His postdoctoral project deals with the practical and performative dimension of idealism in Fichte, Hegel, and Schelling: understood as an inherent systematic tension between immanence and transcendence, and – in another articulation of the same structure – between crisis and utopia. As an integral part of this overall project, the research he is conducting as a Sylvia Naish Visiting Fellow at the Institute’s Ernst Bloch Centre for German Thought is concerned with the systematic place and critical role of the concept of utopia in German Idealism and its aftermath, with particular reference to Bloch’s philosophy. Situating Bloch’s ontological understanding of utopia in this constellation helps clarify its often neglected theoretical-metaphysical foundations and implications. It is a crucial thesis of the project that the – indeed – very practical and political relevance of utopia, accordingly, can be articulated within a systematic problematic inscribed in the very core of German Idealism: the problem of idealist system’s closure as the precondition for its opening towards something new – the encounter with a transformed reality, the beginning of a new world.