Thematic Areas


Philosophy of language, logic, epistemology and philosophy of mind

Research in this thematic area focuses on the relationship between thinking, knowledge and language (in natural and formal languages). It comprises the philosophy of language, epistemology, as well as logic, formal methods and models. Philosophy of mind/cognitive science is an interdisciplinary research area that studies questions of (individual, social and extended) cognition, perception and action, knowledge and the generation of knowledge.


Philosophy of science, philosophy of media and technology, and social ontology

This thematic area comprises the general philosophy of the natural and social sciences, as well as cultural studies, including methodological reflection on the history and sociology of science, as well as scientific policy; the philosophy of Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle, as well as its context and its reception and interpretation over time; philosophy of media and technology; social ontology and philosophy of social science, and its interrelation with action theory and philosophy of mind.


Political philosophy, ethics and applied ethics, and intercultural philosophy

This thematic area includes political philosophy and philosophy of law, in cooperation with the Faculty of Law, and particularly fundamental reflection on forms of political organisation and philosophical critique of the theory of institutions; ethics and applied ethics, systematic questions of new forms of ethics, especially in conjunction with themes of environmental ethics, animal and medical ethics; intercultural philosophy, philosophies from outside Europe, connections between ways of thinking, and social and cultural life-worlds with regard to global challenges.


Phenomenology, post-structuralism and gender theory

The research activities and projects in this thematic area focus on central questions of contemporary philosophy: phenomenology and its links with logic, epistemology, ethics, metaphysics and social philosophy; the diverse forms of post-structuralism, deconstruction and gender theories; and also dimensions of the critique of religion, psychoanalysis and ethical policy in the problematic areas of violence, embodiment and mediality.


Aesthetics, philosophy of education, European philosophy

The focus in this thematic area is on aesthetics, philosophy of art, arts-based philosophy; philosophy and the public; philosophy in the continental tradition; and ancient philosophy. The questions studied include the significance of philosophy and ethics for political, cultural and social discourse, as well asforms, methods and contents of the teaching of philosophy and ethics at upper secondary schools. The continental tradition provides the foundation for this discourse, using the theoretical approaches of metaphysics, ontology and epistemology.


Education and the constitutional problem

In this thematic area, fundamental questions of the discipline are discussed. A critically reflecting approach to educational questions becomes apparent especially in the discussion of the effects that social transformation has had on the self-conception of the discipline of education, the discussion of the relationship between educational research and educational theory, as well as the examination of empirical questions, against the background of a systematic view of the problem horizon, including latent and unconscious processes.


Education and institutions

The goal of this thematic area is to establish research on school and education as a discipline that is firmly grounded in educational theory and based on historical and comparative knowledge, and which places the focus on the consequences that the resulting transformation will have for actors, while being aware that this research is determined by such a transformation. This requires both basic research (for instance, on historical, social and media-related forms of change) and new empirical studies in which global, national and subnational processes are taken into account.


Education, learning and biography

The main question studied in this thematic area is how processes of education, socialisation and learning are conceived and analysed in the course of life, depending on social situation, their construction through culture and media, as well as subjective attitudes and approaches, and what relevance these different perspectives have for the discipline of education. Following international discourse, basic theoretical approaches are linked with empirical research,for instance with regard to problems of professional educational and counselling practices, biographical transitions and the relevance of social difference and social category.


Education and inclusion

In this thematic area, approaches to education and development are studied that focus on the rights of vulnerable and marginalised persons, in particular individuals with special needs. The practical aim of this research is to support them in countering social inclusion in all spheres of life and to bring about structural changes in regular institutions in order to take into account the diverse situations and needs of all the users of these institutions. This takes place with recourse to different theoretical traditions, for instance disability studies and psychoanalysis.


Education and profession

The thematic area of education and profession cooperates with the Centre for Teacher Education to study questions of schooling and teacher education, as well as the professionalisation of education, and it ensures the academic educational preparation of future teachers, particularly secondary school teachers. In addition, professionalisation research focuses on developments in further professional areas (adult education, social work, media education, elementary education, psychotherapy and counselling), and contributes to academic further education in the context of the continuing professionalisationof teachers.