Department of Philosophy at the Faculty of Cultural & Social Sciences

The Profile of the Department

The analytic and formal approach distinguishes the Department of Philosophy at the Faculty of Cultural and Social Sciences. While the methods have to be as strict as possible, there are no thematic boundaries. The Department represents philosophy in its entirety.

Research and teaching concentrate on the philosophical core disciplines (metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science, logic, ethics). The specialist disciplines (such as philosophy of language, aesthetics, philosophy of technology, social philosophy, anthropology) are also considered, but they are not taught as regularly as the core disciplines.

Every discipline should use the best available methods. For instance, it would be unacceptable if physics did not use mathematical methods and history did not use the methods of its auxiliary disciplines. The best available methods in philosophy can be found in modern logic and philosophy of science. For this reason a special emphasis of thedepartment lies in logic and philosophy of science, where the application of formal methods to philosophical problems, thephilosophical analysis of formal methods and interdisciplinarity are regarded as fundamental.

The combination of thematic broadness (problems of the core disciplines) with methodological strictness (emphasis on logic and philosophy of science) has become the hallmark of the Department of Philosophy. This is regularly confirmed by evaluations and assessments of the Department.

 

A short history of the Department

The Department of Philosophy at the Faculty of Cultural and Social Sciences was founded in 1964. It was led by Balduin Schwarz, who was first honorary professor and later appointed to full professor in 1966. Soon a second full professorship in philosophy with an emphasis in philosophy of science was established. When Paul Weingartner was appointed to this professorship in 1971, this led to an internationally recognized emphasis on methodological research. Edgar Morscher was appointed as Professor Schwarz’s successor in 1979, and Reinhard Kleinknecht was appointed as Professor Weingartner’ssuccessor in 2002.Peter Simons (Department of Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin) worked at the Department from 1980 to 1995, Gerhard Schurz (Department of Philosophy, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf) worked here from 1981 to 2000, and Hannes Leitgeb (Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, LMU Munich) worked here from 2002 to 2005.Internationally successful graduates of the Department of Philosophy include: Simon Huttegger (Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of California, Irvine), Hannes Leitgeb (Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, LMU Munich) and Charlotte Werndl (Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, London School of Economics; she will be full professor in logic and philosophy of science at the Department from September 2014 onwards).

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