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Self

(2,419 words)

Author(s): Wesche, Tilo | Huxel, Kirsten | Herms, Eilert | Ziemer, Jürgen
[German Version] I. Philosophy The term self (ἑαυτοῦ/ heautoú; αὑτοῦ/ hautoú) appears as a noun (“the self”) but more often in compounds such as self-consciousness, self-relation, self-assertion, self-actualization, self-determination, self-assurance, and self-realization. Its basic meaning has to do with autonomy: self is something that can be by itself and stand by virtue of itself alone. Greek philosophy already emphasized this meaning: what something is of itself (καϑ᾿ αὑτά/ kath’ hautá; Arist. Metaph. 1017a 27) is what is independent of accidentals. What is self-moving (α…

Ethics of Responsibility

(483 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] To the degree that any ethics reflects responsible action in the context of an ¶ ethos, it is an ethics of responsibility and can thus deal with various aspects of being responsible (Responsibility). First, its constitutive requirements. Here, it is a matter of whether responsibility is created through the experience of the other or is already presumed in it and …

Behaviorism

(1,343 words)

Author(s): Loder, James E. | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Practical Theology – III. Ethics I. Concept Behaviorism has tried, like its historical antecedents, to explain human nature on the model of the animal or the machine. In 1913, John-Broadus Watson (1878–1958) established behaviorism as a modern research trend in psychology. Following Darwinist evolution theory, behaviorism argues that we can understand and control a…

Doctrine

(4,252 words)

Author(s): Wiegers, Gerard A. | Herms, Eilert | Schoberth, Ingrid | Nipkow, Karl Ernst
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Systematic Theology I. Religious Studies Doctrine is an oral or written system of traditions regarding the content of faith (Dogma, Revelation, Truth) and the implementations of faith (Rite and ritual). A doctrine assumes a community that defines itself through the establishment of orthodox thinki…

Weltanschauung (Worldview)

(2,530 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Thiede, Werner
[German Version] I. History of the Concept With its very first appearance in the writings of I. Kant( Kritik der Urteilskraft, 1790; ET: Critique of Judgment, 1951, 1987), the term Weltanschauung came to mark the difference between the empirical-scientific knowledge of individual phenomena in this world (or of an assortment thereof) and an all-encompassing conception of the world that fundamentally transcends this knowledge. While the expression “worldview” (Ger. Weltbild) has more or less established itself as the standard designation of the former, the latter …

Brentano

(781 words)

Author(s): Ströker, Elisabeth | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] 1. Franz (Jan 16, 1838, Boppard – Mar 17, 1917, Zürich). Amid the multitude of controversies in the last third of the 19th century over the philosophical foundations of science, Brentano came forward with a program that made him the founder of descriptive psychology and an influential precursor of phenomenological philosophy. As a pupil of F.A. Trendelenburg, he devoted himself initially to the study of Aristotle. After ordination to the priesthood in 1864, he …

Infallibility

(2,805 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Baumann, Urs | Hünermann, Peter
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology – II. Dogmatics and History of Doctrine – III. Ethics – IV. Catholic Understanding I. Fundamental Theology Infallibility, understood as unswerving inerrancy or being held unshakably in the truth, is a theme of both Reformation and Roman Catholic theology. Both traditions of Western theology affirm the NT statement that the Holy Spirit will guide the faithful and the community of believers into all truth (John 14:16; 16:13) and that the church is therefore “the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). 1. Reformation theology sees he…

Doctrinal Discipline

(2,728 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | de Mortanges, René Pahud | Germann, Michael
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Church Law I. Church History Within the church's general duty to confront heresies, there has been, since the time of the Early Church, a particular responsibility to counteract heresies held by those that hold church offices. Until the late Middle Ages, this task was fulfilled by synodal or episcopal, and ultimately, papal decree – in the West, after a p…

Theory and Praxis

(4,249 words)

Author(s): Linde, Gesche | Figal, Günter | Westhelle, Vítor | Herms, Eilert | Meyer-Blanck, Michael
[German Version] I. Natural Sciences The distinction between theory as a consistent linguistic or symbolic system of ordered statements about a par-¶ ticular subject area or phenomenal domain and practice (praxis) as technical action to produce quantifiable phenomena in an experiment, or at least observation against the background of a theory, is fundamental to the modern natural sciences, although the precise definition of the relationship between the two is disputed and is addressed by the philosophy of science. Usually the relationship between theory and praxis is desc…

Technology

(5,115 words)

Author(s): Berg, Christian | Meisinger, Hubert | Krüger, Oliver | Schmidt, Jan C. | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Definitions 1. Technique In antiquity, τέϰνη/ technē originally meant special skill in handwork; it also denoted competence in reasonable action in other practical, artistic and philosophical areas. For Aristotle it is reasonable behavior directed to the production of praxis and poiesis ; technē imitates natural events, being distinct from them but embedded in them. In the modern period ¶ (Modernity), with criticism of Aristotelian metaphysics, the understanding of technique also changed. Technique became a key concept of modern culture…

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…

Activity and Passivity

(1,353 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Härle, Wilfried
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion and Fundamental Theology – II. Dogmatics I. Philosophy of Religion and Fundamental Theology From the perspective of fundamental theology, the relationship between activity and passivity thematizes the constitution of the christian certainty of Dasein. Its theoretical description in terms of consciousness or personhood must be examined for its ontological presuppositions and understood within their framework. Only …

Competition

(890 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Economics – II. Ethics I. Economics The term “competition” is linked with the idea of rivalry, but the Latin competere makes it clear that the notion ultimately has to do with several players seeking a prize together. As competitors they strive together in an activity that demands that they give their best. Everyone profits from their competition – in economics no less than in sports. Economic competition benefits society in general precisely when those involved do no…

Society

(6,607 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Kippenberg, Hans G. | Thiel, Winfried | Wehr, Lothar | Münch, Richard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The word society ( societas, société) has changed from a term denoting particular forms and modes of human coexistence to a term (in both sg. and pl.) denoting the totality of human coexistence; it has thus become the basic term of the theoretical sciences that deal with human coexistence. The German equivalent, Gesellschaft (from OHG sal, “room,” and selida, “dwelling place”), suggests ties that arise from sharing the same room (cf. Geselle, “apprentice,” etymologically “someone ¶ sharing accommodations” with a master) or belonging to the sa…

Teaching Office of the Church

(4,631 words)

Author(s): Pahud de Mortanges, Elke | Germann, Michael | Köhler, Wiebke | Herms, Eilert | Neuner, Peter
[German Version] I. Law 1. Catholicism. Within the total structure of the church, the teaching office is the court of final authority for preserving, transmitting and interpreting the faith. The teaching office stands under the Word of God (Vatican II, DV 10: magisterium non supra verbum Dei, sed eidem ministrat), and perceives its task as constantly involved in interaction with the other ecclesiastical witnesses ( loci theologici) to the Word of God. Consonance with all other courts and organs of the church is shown in the church’s reception (II) of decisions…

Power

(2,465 words)

Author(s): Zenkert, Georg | Herms, Eilert | Seiferlein, Alfred
[German Version] I. Philosophy In philosophical usage, the term power is perhaps more protean than any other. Its spectrum of meanings extends from subtle influence to threat backed by naked violence; it therefore encompasses such diverse phenomena as intellectual and spiritual power, the modern media, the economy, technology, political institutions, and military might. These attributions are arbitrary until the ¶ term is defined more precisely. Power is defined too broadly as possession of technical or technological tools and the ability to employ them…

State and Religion

(2,721 words)

Author(s): Besier, Gerhard | Herms, Eilert | Kleine, Christoph
[German Version] I. The Problem In Western societies, the relationship between the state and religion is determined less by religion’s constitutional status – freedom of religion is a fundamental constitutional right everywhere – than by historical tradition. Where the major confessional bodies were (or still are) state churches, there is still a hierarchy of religions. Without regard to actual religious life, the state gives traditional religions a special status, materially and ideally. In the publ…

Dignity

(409 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] renders the Latin dignitas and, like it, refers to a relationship, the unity of the being of “a” for “b” and the determination of “b” by “a,” that is: the being of the one who has dignity for his addressee and, at the same time, the latter's being as determined by the being of the one who has dignity for him. Three elements of this relationsh…

Self-assertion

(415 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] Self-assertion can involve (1) individuals and (2) groups. 1. Self-assertion of an individual person is his or her effort to maintain the constitution he has achieved in the course of his personal formation as a self, guided and motivated a particular self-image, endowed with certain faculties of experience, processing of experience, and action, against demands for change made in the course of his development from the dimension of his relationship to the environment, his self, and the wor…

Interim Ethics

(403 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] If there are objective or subjective reasons to regard a life-orienting certainty concerning the nature (essence), origin and destiny of the world and humanity and the rules of action derived from it as valid for only a limited time, one speaks of an interim ¶ ethics. More properly, it should be referred to as an interim ethos or an interim morality. Examples include (a) the ethos of Jesus and (b) the “provisional morality” of R. Descartes ( Discours de la méthode, 1637; ET: Discourse on Method, 1960). a. A. Schweitzer first described Jesus' ethos as an “interim eth…
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