David Palme presents a working paper on ‚In the Turn of the River‘

The river as a metaphor for „the world“, „the things“, „time“, etc. is ubiquitous in philosophy. This paper starts with a short-story by Bertolt Brecht and investigates the meaning of the metaphor in Brechts story about philosophy and transfers this to Hercalitus‘ and Wittgenstein‘s use of the river-metaphor. The paper differentiates the river-metaphor into two „rivers“, an actual river and a metaphorical river. Brecht‘s story gives an account of philosophy as criticizing the metaphorical river. With Wittgenstein and Marx the paper suggests a critique of language that goes back to the actual river. This critique of language can help to solve problems of modern moral philosophy.

Martina Roesner gave a working paper on ‚The Grammar of the Divine. Philosophy of Language and Exegesis in Meister Eckhart‘

Judging by the standards of 13th/14th century Scholastic exegesis, Meister Eckhart’s Bible commentaries appear quite unusual in more than one respect. Rather than giving a consistent, continuous interpretation of each Biblical book, Eckhart bases his analyses on a very limited number of chapters and sometimes even isolated verses, while apparently disregarding the rest of the text. The guiding hypothesis of my project is that this extremely lacunary commenting style is the result of a fundamental methodological option: Instead of interpreting the Biblical text itself, Eckhart focuses on those passages that contain the hermeneutic keys to the correct understanding of the whole text. While his two commentaries on Genesis deal with the fundamental principles of created reality as such, his commentary on Exodus raises the question of how divine Revelation can be articulated in human language and how, consequently, the different names and titles of God have to be interpreted. Drawing on Moses Maimonides, as well as on modistic language theory, Eckhart develops a speculative grammar that allows him to understand
God as pure being that constitutes the transcendental fundament and horizon of the semantic relationship between words, concepts, and reality. God, therefore, is not above all names and radically transcendent in relation to human language but, on the contrary, can be referred to by any name, albeit imperfectly. Thus, the Hebrew and Greek original of the Biblical text cannot claim greater “authenticity” over its various translations into other languages. For Eckhart, each and every human language is a place where the divine word (verbum) can become incarnate without ever exhausting its infinite semantic potential.