Director of the Institute
To capture our time in thought - this is the challenge of philosophy. But what is determining our times?
The seemingly endless growth of social wealth is accompanied with a relative impoverishment of its very producers; the progressive mastery over nature allowed by sciences and technology seems to be linked to an endangering, if not the irreparable destruction of nature, which is our livelihood; the connection resulting from 'globalization' is coming along with a separation of humanity; violence and misery are spreading globally.
Given these problems, reflecting upon what threatens to tear our world apart, or perhaps might be able to keep it together, is more relevant today than ever - and has become essential for survival.
At university philosophy is the space where all these urges and harassing problems are rolled up, and basic terms are clarified in a fundamental way. Thereby, referring to its long tradition and an over 2000-year-old practice philosophy is committed to asking questions: What can we know? What should we do? What may we hope? What is man?
The master programme philosophy at the Carl von Ossietzky University explores these fundamental questions. Students understand the basic principles of philosophy and their rich history; they deepen central theories with the help of classical philosophers and increasingly by contemporary discussions; they acquire the ability for extensive textual analysis and criticism; and in the first place they acquire the ability to independently philosophizing and to transfer most philosophical subjects of the acquired skills to non-philosophical and non-academic areas.
The Institute of Philosophy offers very good conditions for this. Characterized by its strong inter- and trans-disciplinary orientation, it is capable to qualify students on the basis of broad historical and systematical knowledge to critically examine and evaluate scientific and societal issues and analytical arguments. Philosophers are the "specialists for the general" who are in a growing demand for an increasingly diversified and distinguished society.
The Master of Arts Philosophy is to draw connections to less pre-patterned careers, which enables students to find access to universities and other related professional practices with their disciplinary and trans-disciplinary skills. The close relatedness to the Master of Education (subject: Values and Norms) opens up a perspective in the field of continuing education in ethics and social counselling.
Aims of Qualification
The aim of philosophy is - in a nutshell - the education in independent thinking.
- Wants to understand, further develop and critically question existing concepts
- Draws its wealth from its long history
- In principle, is open, changes and expands its territories by virtue of its internal dynamics and due to the ever new fundamental questions, which are brought to its attention by other disciplines
- Can be traditionally divided into theoretical philosophy on the one hand, covering ontology and metaphysics, logic, epistemology and philosophy of science, philosophy of language, and practical philosophy on the other hand, including ethics, social and political philosophy and philosophy of rights; disciplines such as aesthetics, religion and philosophy, and finally the history of philosophy do not merge into the dichotomy
From the following qualification aims arise:
- To gain an overview of central areas of philosophy and its history, through research oriented studies of selected central theories of classical and contemporary philosophical authors
- The ability to a comprehensive text analysis and criticism, the reconstruction of arguments, the recognition of logical mistakes, the identification of implicit prerequisites, the questioning of accepted assumptions etc.
- The ability to independently philosophizing
- to be able to transfer the skills acquired on the philosophical subject to non-philosophical areas and non-academic areas
The aim of the Master degree is to realize the outlined philosophical and general knowledge goals on an advanced academic level. Here, it is particularly important to promote general skills (hermeneutics competence, refection and reasoning skills, philological and historical competence, linguistic competence, transformation competence), in order to improve the professional prospects of those who want to enter a professional career after the master's degree. Great emphasis is put on the opportunity to specialize in sub-areas of philosophy (in context of the deepening modules). This includes to enable "lateral entrants" who graduated and qualified in another subject, to deepen their basic knowledge in the field of philosophy.
Finally, the Master studies will lead to independent scientific work and thus reach a level that opens the option for the most talented and interested to continue with doctoral studies.