Prof. Dr. Heiner F. Klemme
GD (01.10.2016 - 30.09.2017)
Institut für Ethnologie und Philosophie
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Department for Anthropology and Philosophy
The collaboration between philosophy and social and cultural anthropology both at the institutional level as well as regarding their long and fruitful working relationship is unique in Germany. Approaching from different perspectives, both disciplines pursue questions concerning the presuppositions for knowledge and action.
Traditionally speaking, social and cultural anthropology is concerned with contemporary cultures and societies throughout the world and bringing a comparative perspective to bear upon them. This includes both questions pertaining to social, epistemic, normative, and material orders as well as questions regarding transformation and translation. Here, the emphasis involves the differences, connections, and inequalities in their historicity, process-oriented nature, and global interdependence. At the very heart of the matter is the critical reflection on different conceptions of rationality.
Philosophy, in accordance with its long tradition, primarily treats questions concerning the structure of the world and the location of perceiving and rational beings in it, the presuppositions of reference to the world by means of knowledge and language, right or proper actions as well as appropriate individual and social ways of living. The constantly renewed critical engagement with the answers already presented by the history of philosophy plays here a fundamental role. Characteristic here is a critical reflection of our conceptual assumptions and of possibly alternative conceptions of rationality.