Triangle Intellectual History Seminar Series

‘Yet Another Brutality that We do not Need’: Kant and the Debate on Small-Pox Inoculation

Speaker(s): Jonas Gerling (University of Chicago)

Jonas Gerlings is an intellectual historian whose research focuses on global Enlightenments in the Baltic Sea Region. Gerlings completed his PhD in Intellectual History on the German philosopher Immanuel Kant at the European University Institute in Florence, 2017, and has and has held postdoctoral and visiting research positions at the University of Copenhagen, the University of Edinburgh, Uppsala University, and Göttingen Institute for Advanced Studies. He is currently a Marie Curie Global Fellow at the University of Göttingen and a Visiting Senior Research Associate at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago. Here he will be working on a project reassessing Kant’s Cosmopolitanism. The project explores the growing globalization of Kant’s hometown Königsberg, its changing political situation on the coast of the Baltic Sea, along with the local political debates this sparked. Paired with an examination of the multitude of sources that informed Kant’s lectures on geography and his global outlook the project critically analyses Kant’s cosmopolitanism in order to understand the historicity of Kant’s political thought. The aim of the study is to publish a monograph with the current working title, Kant, a Cosmopolitan in Königsberg.


James Chappel