The 4th Immanuel Kant International Summer School

Kant on the Normativity of Laws: Logic, Natural Science, Ethics

Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University

Academia Kantiana & Kantian Rationality Lab

Svetlogorsk, Kaliningrad region, Russia

24-30 August 2020

(Arrival: August 23, Depature: August 31)

Target audience: advanced bachelor students, master students, PhD students, recent postdocs (with PhD received not before 2017).

Scientific SupervisorProf. Dr. Konstantin Pollok (University of Mainz, Germany)

Scientific AssistantsProf. Dr. Vadim A. Chaly (Academia Kantiana, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad) and Dr. Rudolf Meer (University of Graz, Austria)

Call for applications:

The Academia Kantiana of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University invites applications for participation in the Forth Immanuel Kant International Summer School.

In his critical philosophy Kant argues that the central principles guiding our mind have a peculiar status. They are neither analytic nor a posteriori but rather synthetic a priori. But how can we distinguish between valid and invalid principles that share that status? Moreover, according to Kant, some of these synthetic a priori principles are the normative basis for the validity of our judgments about the world, on one hand, and our volitions, on the other. How does Kant justify his controversial claims about synthetic principles a priori–from the principles of the understanding, to the categorical imperative, to civil rights in a state? The task of the 2020 summer school will be to explore and evaluate Kant’s account of the normativity of those laws and principles. The guiding thread of our lectures and seminars will be marked by the following related questions: (1) how does Kant argue for (deduce) their binding force, or validity, and (2) is there a middle ground between realism and constructivism with respect to Kant’s idea of our reason’s self-legislation?

The summer school will focus on the analysis of central passages from Kant’s works (and a few others), including but not limited to the Critique of Pure Reason, the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, the Critique of Practical Reason, and his essay on Perpetual Peace.

The summer school consists of lectures, seminars, and readings. Within the framework of the summer school there will also be a scientific conference, in which participants will give their own presentations on a research topic related to Kant’s philosophy, and discuss it with colleagues from different universities of Russia and the world.

At the end of the summer school the participants will be given a certificate of their participation.

Working languages: English, Russian.

Preliminary Program of the School

Program includes:

  • lectures, seminars, readings (lectures and seminars – in English, readings – in English and Russian)

  • the conference of the participants of the school with discussion

  • Sightseeing tours to Kaliningrad and Curonian Spit

Thematic program of lectures and seminars:

Lecture 1: Kant’s revolutionary account of Normativity

Seminar 1: Kant on Synthetic Judgments A Priori

Lecture 2: Kant’s Transcendental Hylomorphism

Seminar 2: Kant on Logical Normativity

Lecture 3: Self-Legislation and the Laws of Nature

Seminar 3: Kant on the Lawfulness of Natural Laws

Lecture 4: Self-Legislation and the Moral Law

Seminar 4: The Homo Phenomenon-Noumenon Distinction and the Lawfulness of Practical Laws

Lecture 5: Kant and the Natural Right Tradition

Seminar 5: Natural Right and Kant’s Perpetual Peace

This School is supported by the Forum “Petersburger Dialog”, the Russian Academic Excellence Project, and the Kantian Rationality Lab.


School participants are selected on a competitive basis, no more than 20 people. Participation in the summer school is free of charge.

Accommodation in Svetlogorsk and daily meal will be paid by our sponsor – the Forum “Petersburger Dialog”.

ATTENTION for candidates from Germany and Russia: By successful evaluation of your application, your travel expenses to the venue of the school will be paid also by our sponsor – the Forum “Petersburger Dialog”.

The organizers kindly ask all students and young scholars from other countries to apply for travel-grants at their home universities.

DEADLINE for submission: 05 APRIL 2020

Results of acceptance: 13 April 2020

Requirements for applications (PDF file):

  • English, at least upper intermediate;
  • Questionnaire (see attachment);
  • Abstract on the topic of your presentation related to the
    theme of the summer school
    (in English, 1200-1400 words of main text, plus references, see: Harvard System of Referencing (6th edition))
  • Motivation Letter outlining how the candidate’s attendance of the summer school would contribute to the progress of her/his research (in English, 350-400 words)

Location: Svetlogorsk, Kaliningrad region, Baltic sea.

E-mail: (Thread: Kant Summer School 2020)

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Nina A. Dmitrieva