Philosophy as Critique

Photo: Katherina Kinzel

One way of defining philosophy is as a critical project. On this understanding, the goal of philosophical reflection does not primarily lie in justifying knowledge claims or moral values, but in critically investigating the presuppositions of our discourse and conduct that often remain implicit and unacknowledged. 

In our group, we explore different models for pursuing philosophy as a critical endeavour. Our research interests include the role of critique in early Modern thought on religion and politics, critiques of religion and dogmatism in the Islamic world, the critique of the construction of difference and identity in French post-structuralism, criticism in the Kantian tradition, and Marxist critiques of capitalism, domination and ecological destruction.  

“Critique” also means that we critically reflect on the emergence of a philosophical canon, by studying philosophical problems from the perspectives of different traditions, by explicitly including marginalised figures, and by exploring the boundaries to other cultural fields.