The Philosophy Department at Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz seeks in its internal structure to accommodate the aspirations and goals of Philosophy. The department is divided into seven specializations: three historical, three systematical and one technical specialization. However, within the departments’ historical specializations, systematic approaches are nonetheless considered, as are historical concerns within the systematic specializations.
The three historical-oriented specializations cover the entire history of philosophy, following the established divisions within the specialization: Ancient Philosophy; Medieval Philosophy; Modern. The work of each sub-specialization includes both a consideration of the main systematical topics of the period and a perspective of the historical influence of the period.
The emphases can be divided up as follows: Ancient Philosophy and its reception in Modernity and in the past; Medieval Philosophy and its historical impact; Philosophy of Consciousness and Subjectivity in Modern Philosophy. In this way, Mainz’s Philosophy Department is able to teach the History of Philosophy and more fully represent and treat philosophy within its systematic constraints.
A noteworthy feature of Mainz’s Philosophy Department, as is the case with some other German universities, is the status of the professorship of Medieval Philosophy. (This concordat professorship originates from its own separate institute.) One responsibility of this professorship is the philosophical training for the largest number of graduates as well as seminarians studying at Mainz’s Catholic theological seminary.
The three systematic sub-specializations are Theoretical Philosophy, Practical Philosophy and Philosophy of Science. These three sub-specializations adhere to the customary division of theoretical and practical philosophy. In addition, these specializations emphasize the connection to Ethics and Anthropology. Such emphasis is due in large part to the anthropological tradition at the University of Mainz. The establishment of a professorship in Philosophy of Science is grounded in the growing significance of the natural sciences in the modern world as well as the increasing specialization of technical devices in the formal reconstruction of scientific experiences.
The sub-specialization Didactics of Philosophy bears the task of training aspiring secondary-level school teachers seeking certification in Ethics and Philosophy. Teaching and research within this sub-specialization focus on technical didactics, as well as theories that pertain to the philosophy of education, which are relevant to educational practices within departments of Philosophy and Ethics in schools.