History of philosophy

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Dissertations in progress

Short vita:

  • since 10/2016
    PhD
  • 10/2005 - 01/2015
    Master studies in philosophy and art science at the University of Kassel
  • 1998 - today
    freelance & publicly appointed translator
  • 1998 - today
    psychotherapist in own practice

 

Publications:

 "Belonging to oneself" - Or: Of seeing God in: Blickspiele: Annäherungen an Kloster Bursfelde: Approaches to Bursfelde Monastery, Martina Sitt and Barbara Uppenkamp (editors), ConferencePoint  2014

Summary of the PhD project
"Autonomy-Oriented Education in the Current Competency Model. The Impact of Optimization Culture on the Concept of Autonomy."

This dissertation project focuses on the concept of autonomy and its meaning (change and/or loss of meaning) within the current educational landscape. It will explore how the increasing relevance of empirical educational research and the emergence of the competency model have affected the goals of the educational process and the understanding and role of autonomy to date. The reasons and accompanying circumstances of this change will also be analyzed.

The thesis is: Since the Enlightenment, which shaped the concept of education with its implied maturity, social reality has changed so much that the educational system, whose mission was to prepare people for said reality, demanded reforms. This also affected the concept of education itself. However, since this was strongly influenced by its meaning, another model, the competency model, was found to be more appropriate. The primacy of the competency model brought about a decisive change, namely the phenomenon of evaluation culture, with which the acquired competencies can be measured, reproduced and compared.

The humanistic postulates of education, but ostensibly that of maturity, seem unsuitable for the new model because they defy quantification. The terms of classical educational theory have been replaced by a set of competencies that only appear to do justice to the meanings of autonomy.  These illusory meanings, which the competency model owes to its sometimes overly abstract set of terms and concepts, will be analyzed and reappraised.

 

Silvia Noall Conrad: Summary of the PhD project "Autonomously-oriented education in the current competency model. The impact of optimization culture on the concept of autonomy."

The focus of this dissertation project lies on the concept of autonomy and its meaning (change and/or even loss thereof) within the current educational landscape. It will explore how the increasing role of empirical educational research and the emergence of the competency model have affected the goals of the educational process, as well as the understanding and role of autonomy to date. The reasons and circumstances surrounding this change will also be analyzed. The working hypothesis is as follows:

Since the Enlightenment, which shaped the concept of education with the implied maturity, social reality has changed so much that the educational system, whose mission it was to prepare people for said reality, required reforms. This also affected the concept of education itself but since its terms and theories were heavily occupied with their traditional meanings, another model, the competency model, was found to be more appropriate. The primacy of the competency model brought about a decisive change, the phenomenon of the evaluation culture in order to be able to measure, reproduce and compare the acquired competencies.

The humanistic educational postulates, but superficially that of maturity, apparently unsuitable for the new model because of the impossibility of quantifying it, were replaced by a series of competencies, that only attempt to give the appearance of autonomy. These sham meanings, which the competency model owes to its sometimes excessively abstract designation and terminology, are to be analyzed and processed.

Contact: noall.conrad[at]t-online[dot]de

Short vita:

  • 08|2020 - today
    Lecturer in Philosophy, Leuphana University Lüneburg
  • 06|2020 - today
    PhD scholarship holder, University of Kassel
  • 10|2019 - 01|2021
    Project coordinator of the project "stütz2learn" of AGiL gemeinnützige Arbeitsförderungsgesellschaft im Landkreis Kassel mbH
  • 10|2019 - 07|2020
    Project coordinator of the project "15+5" of AGiL gemeinnützige Arbeitsförderungsgesellschaft im Landkreis Kassel mbH
  • 02|2019 - today
    Lecturer for Sociology and Techniques of Scientific Work, Kassel University of Applied Sciences for Police and Administration
  • 10|2018 - today
    Lecturer for Philosophy, University of Kassel
  • 09|2018 - 09|2019
    Project coordinator and administrator, Wissen am Stern gGmbH, Kassel
  • 2014 - 2018
    Master studies "Philosophy of Forms of Knowledge", University of Kassel
  • 2010 - 2014
    Bachelor studies "Philosophy-Arts-Media", University of Hildesheim

 

Publications:

 

Summary of the dissertation project "Teaching as Event."

In the dissertation, teaching-learning situations - especially in the university context - shall be examined more closely and teaching-learning situations shall be thought of as events.

One focus will be on the special position of the 'real'/'personal' encounter of two (or more) persons within a teaching-learning event. In this context, the development of digitalization will provide a framework for discussion, since it enables teachers and learners to teach and learn together in a spatially separated and temporally displaced manner, and a 'real' encounter is no longer necessarily required. This spatio-temporal shift, however, poses some complications for the establishment of an interpersonal relationship between teacher and learner - as seems absolutely necessary in this work for bringing about teaching-learning events.

In order to investigate the change of interpersonal relationships in the context of a teaching event in the game of advancing digitization, the dissertation project first elaborates definitions of teaching and teaching as an event, as well as highlights the interpersonal dimensions of teaching.

The central thesis behind the overall investigation is that good (university) teaching can significantly occur when teachers and learners meet in a personal encounter. This goes hand in hand with the thesis that digitization tendencies, in addition to the many advantages such as availability, low-threshold access, opening up of target groups, etc., entail the danger of thinking of teaching and learning as functional systems in which the space for interpersonal teaching events will be vanishingly small. Digitalization may make teaching and learning more individual in certain areas, but not more personal. However, it is precisely this personal dimension that, according to the thesis, constitutes good university teaching.
 

Verena Häseler: Summary of the PhD project "Teaching as an event/an occurrence".

In the dissertation, teaching-learning situations - especially in a university context - are to be examined more closely and teaching-learning situations are thought of as events/occurences.

One focus will be the significance of a 'real' / 'personal' meeting of two (or more) people within a teaching-learning event. Above all, the developments in digitization will provide a framework for the discussion, as they enable teachers and learners to teach and learn separately from one another and at different times. A 'real' face-to-face-encounter is no longer absolutely necessary. However, this spatio-temporal shift harbors some complications for the establishment of an interpersonal relationship between teacher and student - as it appears to be absolutely necessary in this work for the creation of teaching-learning events, that teachers and learners meet each other face-to-face.

In order to explore and analyze the change in interpersonal relationships within the framework of teaching as an event / occurrence and in the context of advancing digitization, this doctoral thesis project first develops definitions of teaching (thought of in a classical way) and teaching as an event / occurrence and highlights the interpersonal dimensions of teaching.

The central thesis behind the analysis is, that good (university) teaching can only occur/happen when teachers and learners meet in a personal encounter. This goes hand in hand with the thesis that digitalization trends, in addition to the many advantages such as availability, low-threshold access, opening up the target groups, etc., pose the threat of thinking that teaching and learning are functional systems. In thinking that teaching and learning is just a functional system, space for interpersonal teaching events will become negligibly small. Digitalization makes teaching and learning more individual in certain ways, but not more personal. However, it is precisely this personal dimension that, according to this thesis, constitutes good university teaching.

Contact: v.haeseler[at]uni-kassel[dot]de or: www.philosophike.de

Short vita:

  • since 2020
    Lecturer for Political Science at the University of Applied Sciences Kassel
  • since 2019
    PhD scholar of the Hans Böckler Foundation
  • since 2018
    Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Kassel
  • 08.2018 - 07.2019
    Project management "Blickwinkel Zukunft" at the Grone Education Center Kassel
  • 11.2017 - 05.2018
    Pedagogical assistant at the Bildungswerk der nordhessischen Wirtschaft (educational institute of the North Hessian economy)
  • 09.2015 - 02.2016
    Research stay at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai (India)
  • 2014 - 2017
    Master studies "Philosophy of Forms of Knowledge" at the University of Kassel (Germany)
  • 2010 - 2013
    Bachelor studies in Political Science & Philosophy at the University of Kassel
  • 2007 - 2010
    Freelance journalist, among others for Badische Zeitung, BILD Halle/Leipzig, Westfalen-Blatt

 

Publications:

 

 

PhD Project Summary: "Investigation into contemporary administrative technocracy and its influence on the anarchistic character of scientific knowledge."

In his dissertation, Simon Rettenmaier analyzes the epistemologically relevant influence of contemporary administrative technocracy on scientific research. Starting from the reflections of the philosophers of science Bertrand Russell, Albert Einstein, Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, Margherita von Brentano and Helmut Spinner, he shows the often unpredictable processes of scientific innovations of past centuries and highlights a functional logic, which he attests an anarchistic character in the sense of an unconditionally pluralistic one. If one now confronts this anarchistic character of scientific knowledge with what is nowadays assumed to be an entrepreneurial university, the assumption is obvious that university management, through university administrations, ministerial decisions and not least through predominant third-party funding with target and key figures, makes scientific knowledge impossible from the outset at many points. The aim of this dissertation is to refute this assumption through case analyses and expert interviews.
 

Simon rettenmaier: Summary of the PhD project "Analysis of the current administrative technology and its influence on the anarchistic character of scientific knowledge."

In his dissertation, Simon Rettenmaier analyzes the epistemologically relevant influences of the current administrative technocracy on scientific research. Based on the thoughts of Bertrand Russell, Albert Einstein, Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, Margherita von Brentano and Helmut Spinner, which are all knwon theorists in the field of philosophy of science, Simon Rettenmaier shows the often unpredictable processes of scientific innovations of past centuries. He highlights a functional logic, which he describes as having an anarchistic and unconditional pluralistic character.

Confronting the anarchistic character of scientific knowledge with, what is now considered an entrepreneurial university, it is reasonable to assume that university management through university management, ministerial decisions and last but not least through predominantly third-party funding with target and key figures will make scientific knowledge impossible from the start. The aim of Simon Rettenmaier's dissertation is to reinforce and / or invalidate these assumptions through case analysis and expert interviews.

Contact: simon.rettenmaier[at]uni-kassel[dot]de or: www.philosophike.de

Completed dissertations

Vita:

  • Since 2020
    Area Manager, Child and Youth Welfare - Caritas Diocese of Fulda
  • 05/2015 - 07/2017
    Social pedagogue in child and youth welfare, Caritas Diocese of Fulda
  • 08/2017 - 11/2020
    Pedagogical specialist service, child and youth welfare Caritas Diocese of Fulda
  • 09/2018 - 05/2019
    Management of the pilot project "Together" in the context of intercultural and interreligious dialogue (Caritas Diocese of Fulda)
  • 10/2018 - 04/2019
    Seminar leader BASIS - Psychosocial Basic Competencies for the Teaching Profession at the University of Kassel
  • since 2015
    Lecturer of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Kassel
  • since 2019
    Lecturer of the Institute of Social Work/Social Work
  • 10/2019 - 04/2020
    Lecturer at the International University of Cooperative Education (Iba) for Social Pedagogy and Social Management
  • 10/2002 - 01/2009
    Master's degree in philosophy and sociology

 

Publications:

Editorial

10/2020 Pedagogy, Society and Politics. Heinz-Joachim Heydorn's     General Pedagogy and its Relationship to Karl Marx and Marxism

09/2019 with Stederoth, Dirk and Thole, Werner: The Empowerment of Man for Man. Heinz-Joachim Heydorn's critical theory of education, Wiesbaden: Springer VS

2018 with Akel, Alexander: Karl Marx - Philosophy, Pedagogy, Social Theory and Politics. Actuality and Perspectives of Marx's Philosophy of Practice, Kassel 2018: Kassel University Press.

Essays in anthologies and journals

06/2021 i.E. with Dirk Stederoth: Philosophy and Social Work, In: Thole, Werner (ed.): Grundriss Soziale Arbeit. An introductory handbook, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag

01/2021 i.E. Review of: Fritz Reheis: The Resonance Strategy. Why we need to rethink sustainability. A plea for the rediscovery of time, Munich 2019, In: Widersprüche. Journal for Socialist Politics in Education, Health and Social Affairs.

01/2021 i.E. Social Work and Education - Social Work as a Stimulant of a Critical Education in Times of Authoritarian Educational Capitalism, In: Widersprüche. Journal for socialist politics in education, health and social work. (peer reviewed)

10/2020 Social Work as Practice of Emancipative Social Criticism - (Social) Pedagogical Food for Thought Following Theodor W. Adorno's Critical Marxism, In: In: Sünker, Heinz (Ed.): Theodor W. Adorno. Aktualität und Perspektiven seiner Kritischen Theorie, Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot.

10/2020 Taking a Stand - Wider die neoliberale Okkupation der Bildung, in: philosophike-blog/https://philosophike.de

07/2020 i.E. General Education as Real Humanism. Karl Marx's critical humanism as a challenge for school and education, In: Oberlechner, Manfred/Duval, Patrick/Rasheed, Shaireen (Eds.): Concepts for a new humanism and the school of the future, Frankfurt am Main: Wochenschau Verlag.

09/2019 "The concrete approach of a pedagogy of liberation ..." - Heinz-Joachim Heydorn's concept of a pedagogy of liberation and the contours of a practice-philosophical educational work. In: Stederoth, Dirk/Novkovic, Dominik/Thole, Werner (eds.): Die Befähigung des Menschen zum Menschen. Heinz-Joachim Heydorn's critical theory of education, Wiesbaden: Springer VS

2018 "...es kömmt darauf, sie zu verändern" - Karl Marx's philosophy of revolutionary praxis and the implications of a critical materialist theory of education. In: Novkovic, Dominik/Akel, Alexander (Eds.): Karl Marx - Philosophy, Pedagogy, Social Theory and Politics. Actuality and Perspectives of Marx's Philosophy of Practice, Kassel 2018: Kassel University Press, pp. 199-226.

2018 with Akel, Alexander: On the 200th birthday of Karl Marx. In: Novkovic, Dominik/Akel, Alexander (eds.): Karl Marx - Philosophy, Pedagogy, Social Theory and Politics. Actuality and Perspectives of Marx's Philosophy of Practice, Kassel 2018: Kassel University Press, pp. 9-20.

2018 with Akel, Alexander: The Humanism of Liberation of the Young Marx and the Question of a Critical Materialist Theory of Education. In: The Argument 329th Journal of Philosophy and the Social Sciences. Marx 200 and Sixty-Eight 50, issue 5/2018, pp. 706-717.

2018 "Full and Free Development of Each Individual. The significance of Marx's philosophy of human emancipation for Heinz-Joachim Heydorn's critical materialist theory of education. In: Bernhard, Armin/Eble, Lukas/Kunert, Simon (eds.): Unser Marx. Potentials and Perspectives of his Theory for Pedagogy, Weinheim/Basel 2018: Beltz Juventa, pp. 229-246.

2018 with Akel, Alexander: The real humanism of the young Marx and the question of educational theory with an emancipatory mission. In: Widerspruch. Munich Journal of Philosophy, 66, 2018, pp. 51-70.

2016 with Akel, Alexander: Karl Marx - a misunderstood educational theorist? Karl Marx and the question of the forgotten theory of education in his work. In: Contributions to the History of the Labor Movement, 58th volume, 2016, pp. 131-150.

Dissertation: "Pedagogy, Politics and Society - Heinz-Joachim Heydorn's General Political Pedagogy and its Relationship to Karl Marx and Marxism."

The dissertation focuses on Heinz-Joachim Heydorn's attempt to conceptualize a General Political Pedagogy or critical theory of education and its relationship to Karl Marx and the practice-philosophical Western European type of Marxism. The shift in perspective adopted in the present study enables a new view of the life and work of the educationalist H.-J. Heydorn, who is to be located in the intellectual environment of the Frankfurt Critical Theory. In view of the current neoliberal education reform offensive, anyone who intends to take a radically critical and politically reflective counter-position will not be able to avoid Heydorn, a lateral thinker who has been neglected in contemporary discourse on educational science, a political intellectual and convinced socialist anchored in the oppositional New Left in the horizon of the 1968 student protest movement.

Heinz-Joachim Heydorn's rebellion against the bourgeois conventions of the pedagogical scientific discipline and the melancholic self-questioning of the disastrous history of pedagogy's thought evoke a re-theorization of Marx's philosophy of praxis and the humanism and emancipation project grounded in it, which he intends to reconstruct with inimitable virtuosity as an implicit theory of social and individual education. This study provides a detailed overview of the most important stages and sources of inspiration of his thought, which reach their culmination in Marx's philosophical work. With systematic-theoretical reference to the Western European Marxist constellations of the 20th century accentuated by the philosophy of practice, the theory-constitutive significance of the materialist paradigm is elaborated with regard to Heydorn's implicit justification of an educational work inspired by the philosophy of practice under the conditions of capitalist domination. Against this background, the thrust of a political concept of pedagogy becomes transparent, which is oriented towards the needs of children and adolescents and thereby advocates a social perspective of emancipation.(Published by Beltz Juventa)
 

Doninik Novkovic: "Pedagogy, society and politics: Heinz-Joachim Heydorn's General Political Pedagogy and its relationship to Karl Marx and Marxism".

The central focus of this dissertation lies on Heinz-Joachim Heydorn's attempt to conceptualise a General Political Pedagogy, or rather critical educational theory, and its relationship to Karl Marx as well as the Marxism prevalent in philosophy of practice and western European thought. The shift in perspective adopted in this study allows for a fresh look at the life and work of H.-J. Heydorn, the educational scientist who was part of the intellectual environment surrounding the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. As a political intellectual and convinced socialist who was rooted in the oppositional New Left (Neue Linke) in the larger context of the 1968 student movement, this unconventional thinker is being neglected in the current discourse surrounding educational science. In view of the current neoliberal educational reform campaign, those who seek a counterposition that is both critical of radicalism and has been thoroughly considered from a political standpoint will not get around examining Heydorn.

Heinz-Joachim Heydorn's rebellion against the middle-class conventions of the academic discipline of pedagogy as well as the melancholic self-interrogation of the unsuccessful history of thought within pedagogy evoke a re-theoretisation of Marxist philosophy of practice and the humanism and emancipation project laid out therein. With inimitable virtuosity, it is Heydorn's intention to reconstruct this project as an implicit theory of societal and individual education. This study provides a detailed overview of the most important stages and sources of inspiration within his thinking which find their point of culmination in the philosophical works of Marx. With systematic and theoretical consideration of the western European Marxist constellations within the 20th century that were accentuated by Marxist philosophy of practice, this dissertation aims to present in detail the meaning, as constitutive to the theory, of the materialistic paradigm with regard to Heydorn's implicit justification of an approach to teaching and educating, as inspired by the philosophy of practice, under the conditions of a prevailing capitalist system. Against this background, the course of direction that a concept of political pedagogy would take becomes evident. Such course of direction would be oriented around the needs of children and adolescents and would advocate for a prospective concept of emancipation on a societal level.

Contact: dominik.novkovic[at]yahoo[dot]de