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Natural Condition

(553 words)

Author(s): Zenkert, Georg | Lohmann, Friedrich
[German Version] I. Philosophy The natural condition is to be understood as a state of pre-political individual freedom (V). The concept has its roots in ancient philosophy, but only comes to play a prominent role in the context of modern political thought, in the interpretation of the normative foundations of society and the state. The category serves, particularly in connection with natural law, as a means of extrapolating from concrete social conditions and of obtaining a basis for the evaluation…


(2,031 words)

Author(s): Junginger, Horst | Lohmann, Friedrich | Micksch , Jürgen | Ludwig, Frieder
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Racism is a political ideology that traces cultural and social differences back to racial causes, thus making them seem natural and unchangeable. In racism’s hierarchical ordering, racists always occupy the highest rank. Everything they declare to be of lesser value is subjected to their rightful rule. Since racism has no scientific basis, it has recourse principally to conventional patterns of prejudice that yield its preconditions and its most important support…


(2,041 words)

Author(s): Bohlender, Matthias | Stoellger, Philipp | Lohmann, Friedrich
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Sociology of Knowledge I. Philosophy 1. The meaning of the word ideology cannot be separated from its historical use (a) as an epistemological term denoting a general theory of perceptions, ideas, and notions (ideo-logy), and (b) as a politico-philosophical term denoting a general critique of knowledge, an analysis intended to clear up false or distorted forms and objects of cognition (Ideological criticism). Although the origin of these two sides of ideology is usually traced to F. Bacon, Francis's discussion of “idols,” its theor…


(367 words)

Author(s): Lohmann, Friedrich
[German Version] Utilitarianism (from Lat. utilis, “useful”) is an ethical theory first formulated at the end of the 18th century by J. Bentham (with precursors in the tradition of empiricist ethics): the moral quality of human actions is determined solely by the extent to which they promote pleasure and lessen pain, thus serving the end of the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Countering suspicions of a crude hedonism, J.S. Mill emphasized the qualitative scale of feelings of pleasure, giv…


(949 words)

Author(s): Lohmann, Friedrich | Mette, Norbert
[German Version] I. Sociology and Social Ethics – II. Practical Theology I. Sociology and Social Ethics Multiculturalism denotes the coexistence of people of different cultural traditions within a single political unit. Although multiculturalism is a phenomenon with a long history, the term only became established in recent times. This has to do with the manner of dealing with the phenomenon of multiculturalism that prevailed for a long time: it was negated, and native or immigrant minorities were either marg…


(386 words)

Author(s): Lohmann, Friedrich
[German Version] History. Self-experimentation is a medical experiment that the researcher undertakes with himself as its subject. There have probably always been such experiments throughout the history of medicine. They have spurred medical progress, even in cases where the result was disastrous, ending in permanent damage or death. The most famous example of self-experimentation, successful in every respect, was the first catheterization of the human heart, a procedure carried out in 1929 by Wer…

Situation Ethics

(1,048 words)

Author(s): Lohmann, Friedrich
[German Version] I. History The term situation ethics was probably coined by T. Steinbüchel, a Roman Catholic moral theologian, who used the term Situationsethik in 1938 to criticize the ethics of E. Grisebach, focused solely on the “present,” and more generally any existential ethics following in the footsteps of S. Kierkegaard. The term was used in a positive sense a few years later by the philosopher of religion and psychotherapist Ernst Michel (1889–1964): “From the ethical perspective, acting out of love is indee…