George Di Giovanni

Academic title(s): 


Contact Information

855 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2T7

Email address: 
george.di_giovanni [at]
Leacock 930
Office hours: 

By appointment

Research areas: 
​German Idealism

George di Giovanni did his classical studies in Rome, at the Ginnasio Torquato Tasso ( ), and his university studies in Toronto and occasionally in Germany. He received his PhD from the University of Toronto with a thesis on Hegel’s concept of contingency, under the direction of Emil Fackenheim. His areas of interest include the history of nineteenth-century philosophy and the philosophy of religion; however, his research has concentrated on the late German Enlightenment and the early German Romantic period. Kant’s critical philosophy, and especially its aftermath in Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, have been the focus of his attention, but he has also done extensive work on such until recently neglected figures as Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, Solomon Maimon, and Karl Leonhard Reinhold, contributing to the dissemination of their works with English translations. His 2005 book, subtitled The Vocation of Humankind(Cambridge UP), traces the development of the theme of “the vocation of humankind” from the theologian J. J. Spalding’s 1748 essay of that title to Fichte’s 1800 tract of the same name. He is now working on a book that traces this theme up to 1832, with special attention to the early Romantics and Hegel. His most recent publication (2010) is a translation into English of Hegel’s “Greater Logic,” with an introductory study and critical notes.

Selected publications: 


Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: The Science of Logic, translated with notes and introductory study by George di Giovanni (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010) lxxiv-790.

Reinhold and the Enlightenment, ed. George di Giovanni, Studies in German Idealism (Springer Verlag, 2009) xiii-337.

Freedom and Religion in Kant and His Immediate Successors: The Vocation of Humankind, 1774–1800(Cambridge: University Press, 2005) xvi–376. Paperback ed. 2007.

Between Kant and Hegel: Texts in the Development of Post-Kantian Idealism, translated with critical notes and introductory studies by George di Giovanni and H.S. Harris (originally published, 1985); revised edition, ed. George di Giovanni (Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett, 2000), pp. xvi-404.

Immanuel Kant, Religion and Rational Theology, vol. VI of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant, translated and edited by Allen W. Wood and George di Giovanni. Includes George di Giovanni’s translation with Introductory Study of Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der bloßen Vernunft and ‘Über das Mißlingen aller philosophischen Versuche in der Theodicee’. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. xxiv-518. Paperback ed. 2001.

Invited guest editor of Revue internationale de philosophie, XL.1 (1995), an issue dedicated to the first ten years of post-Kantian idealism.

Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi: The Main Philosophical Writings and the Novel ‘Allwill’, translated with an Introductory Study, Notes, and Bibliography by George di Giovanni (Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queen's Press, 1994) 683 pp.; includes, G. di Giovanni, The Unfinished Philosophy of Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, pp. 1-167. Paperback ed. with new Preface, 2009.

Essays on Hegel's Logic, editor (Albany, SUNY press, 1990) pp. 218.

Hegel's Jena Logic and Metaphysics (1804-05), translation edited by George di Giovanni and J. Burbidge, with an Introduction by H.S. Harris (Montréal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1986) pp. 200.

Selected Recent Papers and Critical Studies

“The New Spinozism,” The Edinburgh Critical History of Philosophy: The Nineteenth Century, ed. Alison Stone (Edinburgh: University Press: 2011) 13-28.

“How Intimate an ‘Intimate of Lessing’ Was Hegel?” International Yearbook of German Philosophy, eds Jürgen Stolzenberg, Karl Ameriks, Fred Rush (Berlin/NewYork: de Gruyter, 2010) 178-197.

“Karl Leonhard Reinhold and the Enlightenment,” Reinhold and the Enlightenment, ed. George di Giovanni, Studies in German Idealism (Springer Verlag, 2009) 1-12.

“Religion, History, and Spirit in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit,” The Blackwell Guide to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, ed. Kenneth R. Westphal (Malden, MA: Wiley-Black, 2009) 226-245.

“Jewish and Post-Christian Interpretations of Hegel: Emil Fackenheim and Henry S. Harris,” The Owl of Minerva, 40:2(Spring/Summer, 2009) 223-239.

“Sacramentalizing the World: On Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre of 1810,” Grund- und Methodenfragen in Fichtes Spätwerk, Fichte-Studien 31, eds Günter Zöller, Hans Georg von Mainz (Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2007) 219-233.

“Das Logische of Hegel’s Logic in the Context of Reinhold’s and Fichte’s Late Theories of Knowledge,” in Von der Logik zur Sprache, eds Rüdiger Bubner and Gunnar Hindrichs (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 2007) 71-87.

“Hegel’s Anti-Spinozism: The Transition to Subjective Logic and the End of Classical Metaphysics,” Hegel’s Theory of the Subject, ed. David Gray Carlson (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) 30– 43.

“Hen kai pan. Spinozafigurationen im Frühidealismus,” Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi – Ein Wendepunkt der geistigen Bildung der Zeit, eds W. Jaeschke and B. Sandkaulen (Hamburg: Meiner, 2004) 88-106.

“Die Verhandlungen über die Grundbegriffe und Grundsätze der Moralität von 1798, oder Reinhold als Philosoph des gemeinen und gesunden Verstandes,” Philosophie ohne Beinamen. System, Freiheit und Geschichte im Denken C.L. Reinholds, eds M. Bondeli and A. Lazzari (Basel: Schwabe-Verlag, 2004) 375-396.

“1799: The Year of Reinhold’s Conversion to Jacobi,” Die Philosophie Karl Leonhard Reinholds, eds. Martin Bondeli and Wolfang Schrader. Fichte-Studien, Supplementa (Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2003) 259-282.

“Faith without Religion, and Religion without Faith: Kant and Hegel on Religion,” Journal of the History of Philosophy, vol. 41, no.3 (2003) 365-83.

“Rehberg, Reinhold und C.C.E. Schmid über Kant und moralische Freiheit,” Vernunftkritik und Aufklärung: Studien zur Philosophie Kants und seines Jahrhunderts, ed. Michael Oberhausen (Stuttgart-Bad Canstatt: fromann-holzboog, 2001) 93-113.

“Factual Necessity: On H.S. Harris and Weltgeist,” The Owl of Minerva, XXXI.2(Spring 2000) 131-153.

Selected talks and presentations: 
  • September 16, 2010. “The ‘End’ or ‘Beginning’ of History: On Alexandre Kojève’s and Francis Fukujama’s Reading of Hegel,” Sarajevo-Hegel-Kongress.
  • September 11, 2010. “Karl Leonhard Reinhold and the Intellectual background of Jakob Friedrich Fries,” Siegen-Reinhold-Tagung.
  • May 24, 2010. “On Kantianism as a New Form of Cultural Clericalism,” 2010 Pisa Kant-Kongress.
  • December 14, 2009. “Transcendental vs Absolute Idealism: Issues of Method in Post-Kantian Idealism.” The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • December 8, 2009. “The Year 1789 and Die Bestimmung des Menschen, or Popularphilosophie in Crisis.” Colloquium on Jewish Philosophy: Moses Mendelssohn’s Metaphysics and Aesthetics. Free University of Amsterdam.
  • October 5, 2008. “The Anti-Romanticism of Hegel’s Logic.” II Istanbul International Hegel Congress.
  • October 4, 2006. “Emil Lask on German Idealism: The Irrationalism of Fichte.” Internationaler Fichte-Kongress, Halle (Germany).
  • December 16, 2005. “Das Logische der Logik Hegels im Kontext der Wissenstheorien im Spätwerk von Reinhold und Fichte.” Internationales Kolloquium: Der deutsche Idealismus im Kontext, Philosophie-Fakultät der Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität zu München.
  • November 29, 2005. “Das Logische della Logica di Hegel nel contesto delle tardi teorie della conoscienza di Reinhold e Fichte.” Invited lecture at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Università degli studi di Padova.