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Poseidonius

(335 words)

Author(s): Gander, Hans-Helmuth
[German Version] (Poseidonius of Apameia; c. 135– 51 bce), the most important representative of Middle Stoicism (Stoics). As a student of Panaetius he lived in Athens, which he left after Panaetius’s death to form ¶ his own Stoic school on Rhodes. Poseidonius’s most famous student was Cicero. His work has survived only in fragments and quotations in the works of others. He appears to have been a polymath comparable only to Democritus and Aristotle. In the spirit of Stoicism, he had a universal vision of philosophy as a search for…

Philosophy of History

(1,605 words)

Author(s): Gander, Hans-Helmuth
[German Version] The term philosophy of history was coined by Voltaire, who published in 1765 his Philosophie de l’histoire (ET: The Philosophy of History, 1766). He was determined to present an objective, ¶ phenomenal study of history, based on natural human reason, instead of the hitherto dominant theology of history (History, Theology of), for which J.-B. Bossuet had created a monumental apotheosis in his Discours sur l’histoire universelle (1681; ET: Discourse on Universal History, 1976), conceived to reflect God’s guidance of history. Bossuet was the foil agains…

Humanities

(1,038 words)

Author(s): Gander, Hans-Helmuth
[German Version] The humanities, or the humane sciences (Ger. Geisteswissenschaften), represent, according to W. Dilthey, the “other half of the intellectual globe” (GS 1, 5), referring to everything that is not a natural science. But this criterion of demarcation by no means gains the intended clarity of classification. For humanities, like “social science (sociology), moral and historical study of culture, all these terms suffer from the same error of being too restricted in reference to the subject th…

Ontotheology

(271 words)

Author(s): Gander, Hans-Helmuth
[German Version] The concept of ontotheology stems from I. Kant and characterizes, along with cosmo­theology, the second branch of transcendental theology. The task of ontotheology is “to recognize its (i.e. the primal being’s) existence by concepts, without the assistance of the slightest degree of experience” ( Critique of Pure Reason, 1781, B 660). The current philosophical use of the concept of ontotheology in the sense of onto-theo-logic was coined by M. Heidegger, who used it to characterize Western metaphysics as a whole. For inasmuch a…

Phenomenon

(468 words)

Author(s): Gander, Hans-Helmuth
[German Version] In line with its Greek origin, phenomenon still primarily denotes what reveals itself to sensory vision, or is present as object to the senses. In antiquity phenomenon had a double meaning. On the one hand, phenomenon meant that which is given to the senses as it is, and hence was mostly synonymous with appearance or manifestation. On the other hand, phenomenon also denoted being in the sense of what is apparent. Thus for Plato, phenomenon indicates terminologically what is deceptively …

Panaetius

(207 words)

Author(s): Gander, Hans-Helmuth
[German Version] (c. 185 – c. 109 bce). Born on Rhodes to an influential family, Panaetius did not pursue the political career expected of him but devoted himself to philosophy as a student of Crates of Mallus, Diogenes of Seleucia, and Antipater. After 144 he lived temporarily in Rome, where he joined the circle associated with Scipio Aemilianus, whom he accompanied on a journey to Asia in 140/139. From 129 until his death, he succeeded Antipater as the leader of the Stoic school. As his surviving fra…

Intention/Intentionality

(1,594 words)

Author(s): Gander, Hans-Helmuth | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Ethics I. Philosophy In the context of action theory, intention/ intentionality (from Lat. intentio) usually denotes an aim or purpose. Intentionality is understood both in the sense of the will that initiates actions and in the sense of the motive or motivation that guides both volition and action. In other philosophical contexts, the prevailing understanding of intentionality goes back to the turn of the 20th century in the work of E. Husserl, who drew in turn on his teacher F. Brentano. In his major work Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt, vo…

Historicality

(1,158 words)

Author(s): Rosenau, Hartmut | Gander, Hans-Helmuth
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology – II. Philosophy I. Fundamental Theology Historicality as a specific determinant of human existence in contrast to everything that is simply there (Existence) must be distinguished from the historicity of an event or situation in the sense of its having been authenticated as an assured historical fact (see also Historicism, History/Concepts of History, Historiography) – unlike, for example, the stories of sagas and legends or the poetry of myth – even though it wo…

Life-World

(1,678 words)

Author(s): Gander, Hans-Helmuth | Moxter, Michael | Gräb, Wilhelm
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Ethics – IV. Practical Theology I. Philosophy Because the term life-world (Ger. Lebenswelt) usually refers to the concrete world of our everyday life experiences, it has sometimes been equated with everyday life. This interpretation overlooks the fact that it is a highly ambitious concept of theoretical philosophy, which has, however, taken on greatly different forms. Historically, the first hints of its conceptual development appear in the studies …

Phenomenology

(3,265 words)

Author(s): Gander, Hans-Helmuth | Adriaanse, Hendrik Johan | Stock, Konrad
[German Version] I. Philosophy Historically, the term phenomenology has been used in various different ways. It is first found in the Novum Organon (1764) of Johann Heinrich Lambert. Here phenomenology studies appearance, in order to clarify its influence on the correctness or falsehood of human cognition, and to overcome this influence in the interests of truth. The term phenomenology was passed on in this sense by J.G. Herder, I. Kant, and J.G. Fichte, among others. The term became widely known only through G.W.F. Hegel’s Phänomenologie des Geistes (1807; ET: Phenomenology of Mind).…

Life

(7,317 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Liess, Kathrin | Zumstein, Jean | Sparn, Walter | Gander, Hans-Helmuth | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Fundamental Theology and Dogmatics – IV. Philosophy – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Natural Sciences – VII. Ethics I. Religious Studies Religious ideas and rituals focus fundamentally on life in this world and the next (Here and now, and the hereafter), i.e., coping with life and death (I). Through an immense range of variations, certain returning elements are discernible. Because of its numinous origin (Creation), life is usually felt to be “owed,” but because …