New publication: „Andere Klarheit. Versuch über die Verklärung in Kunst, Religion und Philosophie“

Wallstein Verlag has just published a new book by Markus Kleinert entitled „Andere Klarheit“ (Other Clarity). It is – as the subtitle promises – an attempt at transfiguration in art, religion and philosophy. The book is also Kleinert’s habilitation thesis, which was awarded the Max Weber Prize for Young Researchers.

When hearing the term „transfiguration“, one might not first think that this could be a key concept for modernity. Transfiguration is called in religious contexts the elevation of the soul into the afterlife or the exaltation of a human being to a god, but above all the term is associated with that peculiar Bible episode of Christ’s transformation on a mountain. Ideas that are not exactly familiar in modern, secularised societies. But even the everyday understanding of transfiguration in the sense of a glossing over does not seem to suggest that transfiguration could be a key concept of modernity.

This makes it all the more exciting to read the book „Andere Klarheit. Versuch über die Verklärung in Kunst, Religion und Philosophie“ by Markus Kleinert (together with Hermann Deuser, head of the Kierkegaard Research Centre at the Max Weber College), which is dedicated to the concept of transfiguration in modernity and shows, on the basis of authors such as Luther or the Baroque poet Greiffenberg, up to Goethe, Nietzsche and Leopold Ziegler, how this motif, aligned with an idea of transformation, refers to an optimistic view of man and the world. In doing so, he also shows that such religious ideas are still effective socio-culturally today – in part without direct reference to religion – as illustrated not least by a look at American and Russian history.

Kleinert’s study, which also includes the visual arts (Raphael) and music (Wagner), shows the productivity of the concept of transfiguration, with its proximity to the Enlightenment as well as to glory, for understanding our modern culture as well as our attitudes and lifestyles.

Markus Kleinert
Andere Klarheit. Versuch über die Verklärung in Kunst, Religion und Philosophie

Wallstein Verlag, 2021
ISBN 978-3-8353-3992-7
277 pages
29,90 Euro

Carsten Herrmann-Pillath und Jens Harbecke publish a book: ‚Social Neuroeconomics – Mechanistic Integration of the Neurosciences and the Social Sciences‘

Die Neuroökonomie hat sich zu einem innovativen Feld entwickelt, in dem Neurowissenschaften und Sozialwissenschaften in einem analytischen und empirischen Ansatz integriert sind. In dem neu erschienenen Sammelband zu „Social Neuroeconomics – Mechanistic Integration of the Neurosciences and the Social Sciences“ herausgegeben von Jens Harbecke und Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, Fellow am Max-Weber-Kolleg der Universität Erfurt, sind Beiträge versammelt, die sich der Integration der Ansätze aus den Neurowissenschaften und den Sozialwissenschaften widmen.

Die Aufsätze erforscht das Potenzial philosophischer und methodologischer Reflexionen in den Neuro- und Sozialwissenschaften, um diese Bemühungen um eine interdisziplinäre Integration zu untermauern, wobei ein besonderer Schwerpunkt auf neueren Beiträgen zu mechanistischen Erklärungen liegt. Die gesammelten Aufsätze stammen aus den Bereichen Neurowissenschaften, Psychologie, Ökonomie, Soziologie und Philosophie und untersuchen die Wege und Methoden der Konstruktion einheitlicher konzeptueller Rahmen, die die empirische Arbeit und die Hypothesenbildung leiten können. Dies zeigt sich in einer Reihe von Anwendungen, insbesondere im Hinblick auf Finanzen und Verbraucherverhalten. Auch das Konzept des „sozialen Gehirns“ wird erforscht – ein Mehrebenen-Konzept, in dem komplexe analytische Kategorien wie Emotionen oder sozial vermittelte kognitive Prozesse neuronale und soziale Phänomene in spezifischen Mechanismen verbinden, die Verhalten erzeugen.

Dieses Buch wendet sich an ein breites Publikum in den verschiedenen Disziplinen, die von den Neurowissenschaften bis zu den Sozialwissenschaften und der Philosophie reichen. Ab September ist es lieferbar, kann aber jetzt zu einem vergünstigten Preis vorbestellt werden.

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Sarah Al-Taher presents a working paper on ‚Meister Eckhart – a second Socrates?‘

In this paper I compare (the platonic) Socrates with Meister Eckhart regarding four comparative criteria. First I describe their life from the perspective of the circumstances surrounding the end of their lives. Second I describe a central aspect of both philosophies. The unity with the good in the concept of Plato, and the unity with God in the concept of Eckhart. This leads to the third step, in which I analyse the way both Plato und Meister Eckhart pursue in order to reach their goals: the unity with good or God. And lastly, I turn to the methodology used by Plato und Eckhart to convey their way of knowledge.
These procedure allows to give a first answer to the question whether Meister Eckhart can be understood as a second Socrates.

Carsten Hermann-Pilath gives an interview on ‚On the Art of Co-Creation: A Contribution to the Philosophy of Ecological Economics‘ at the 13th international conference of the european society for ecological economics (ESEE)

Hermann-Pilath gives a Key note Lecture:ESEE 2019 | CO-CREATION – MAKING ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS MATTER, Turku, Finland, June 18-21 2019

Today, the status of science in society is increasingly contested. One reason is immanent to science: Facing hypercomplex systems and ‘wicked problems’, science cannot provide an unequivocal and binding basis for action and policy design. This problem is especially pronounced in systemic contexts in which epistemic subjects and objects are entangled in a co-creative relationship, as in the economy, which is the core driver of climate change, in turn. I argue that in these contexts, ‘art’ becomes an epistemic mode on equal status with ‘science’ conventionally understood: Art is the science of co-creation. This argument builds on the philosophy of post-Kantian German idealism and its intellectual metamorphoses, such as in American pragmatism. I discuss the essentials of this view, present examples from the field of Ecological Economics and draw practical conclusions for method.

In the Interview Herrmann-Pillath discusses the role of co-creation in designing sustainable economies by taking into account the interests of non-humans.

To see the Interview please follow this link:

Kathi Beier presents a working paper on ‚Being good: Aristotelian Naturalism and the naturalistic fallacy‘

This is the first (and yet unfinished) draft of my contribution to a German anthology on the naturalistic fallacy in philosophy, logic and law. I first explain the two senses of the concept ‘naturalistic fallacy’ in philosophy, distinguishing between (i) G.E. Moore’s claim that it is impossible to define ‘good’, and (ii) David Hume’s suggestion that one cannot deduce ought-conclusions from is-premises. Based on that, I argue that Aristotelian Naturalism does not rest on a naturalistic fallacy in the Humean sense. It should, however, take Moore’s claim more seriously. In order to do so, Aristotle’s idea of ‘good’ as a transcendental term might be helpful.

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.