The professor of Practical philosophy together with his team deals with human action and its relationship to language and communication. Themes are investigated from a classical standpoint of phenomenology, hermeneutics, dialectics and dialectical thought. Action is examined primarily with regard to the following situations: life, pain, guilt, struggle and death as well as the presentation of daily life and surroundings. Consequently, four main areas have been determined:
Religions and Worldviews
Speech and Action
Literature and Art
In Ethics, special emphasis is placed on ecology and sustainable living. To that end, the initially-sponsored project, “The Albert Schweizer Project for Sustainable Thought and Action,” (“Albert-Schweitzer-Projekt für nachhaltiges Denken und Handeln”) has been established in order to examine and support possibilities for the implementation of philosophical concepts relating to ecology and sustainability with regard to teaching at universities and schools as well as in consumer education.
In our department, Anthropology departs from the classic works of philosophy of anthropology and primarily seeks out a critical examination of contemporary naturalism.
In the applied ethics subspecialty, particular attention is given to examining and investigating the philosophical competencies in the medical-therapeutic professions. In this way, the fundamentals of philosophical practices are also researched. Another particular emphasis is placed on the examination of conflicts within Literature and Art. Since human life is played out in the form of stories and conveyed through stories, storytelling in historical and fictional form is the starting point for practical philosophy and for the questions it poses, such as how life can be worth living. This specialty also deals with challenges of interdisciplinary problems.
Two research groups belong to this specialty: The International Maurice Blondel-Research Group for Philosophy of Religion (Die Internationale Maurice Blondel-Forschungsstelle für Religionsphilosophie) and the International Eugen Fink Research Group for Phenomenological Anthropology and Social Philosophy (die Internationale Eugen Fink-Forschungsstelle für phänomenologische Anthropologie und Sozialphilosophie). The latter administers the editorial duties of the Eugen Fink Collected Works. Furthermore, this specialty edits several periodicals and publication series, such as: dia-logik, psycho-logik and die Neue Philosophische Reihe.
This specialty and its research groups are supported by the NoMaNi Foundation in Cologne and by the Paul Meyer and Gerti Meyer-Salomon Foundation in Mainz.
This specialty and its research groups cooperate with numerous institutions abroad and within Germany.