Contemporary Philosophy

Voluntary module (German), 4 SWH, winter semester

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This module will deal with the most up-to-date questions from the engineering sciences and the contemporary approaches of philosophy and ethics. A central role is played by the philosophical consideration of artificial intelligence, its conceptual foundation and its ethical classification using the example of freedom. An attempt is made to actively integrate AI into the lecture. AI - a contemporary "wish fulfillment?"

The lecture is divided into structural and content elements:

- Structural: political-ethical, linguistic-analytic and phenomenological.

- Content: The lecture is divided into 12-14 philosophical units, while the philosophical-social-technical development in the 20th and 21st centuries is presented chronologically. Here, the balance between the approaches of engineering and philosophies plays a elementary role. In the first lecture, the overview of the course, its organization and the participants will be presented. Thereafter, the units of meaning for the "Linguistic Turn" and the "Dream Interpretation", the beginning of the 20th Century start to peal. Attention will be given to the philosophies in and during the two world wars, the subsequent international orientation, as well as the processing by the Frankfurt School and, for example, Hannah Arendt. Fundamentally, the consideration of our society, as it is done in the context of quantum physics, e.g. K.-Fr. v. Weizsäcker. The entire range of responsibility is widely discussed, basic literature of H. Jonas and how ethically applied in animal philosophy and in the climate change philosophy. Towards the end of the lecture, the philosophical-engineering-scientific handling of social media is planned to conclude with a philosophy for a contemporary Europe. It is planned to invite guests for discussion.

Course Objectives

After successfully participating in this course, the students will be able to...

  • ... understand, which philosophy premisses led for today's understanding of contemporary philosophy (basic knowledge), which philosophies are labeled contemporary philosophy and how they are different to traditional approches
  • ... see philosophical differences between human kind and machines
  • ... analyze metapysical issues (Platonism/constructivism/chaos) independently (epistemical knowledge)
  • ... create a philosophical basis of their attitude, how it comes up from engineering studies (reflective competence)
  • ... get in touch with social-ethical and technological issues responsibly and independently (networking skills)
  • ... evaluate technological challenges based on social-ethical background (interpretation skills) and create solutions for concrete problems (solving skills)
  • ... refer ethical-technological fields to their professions

Organizational Matters


  • weekly regular class, 2 SWH
  • lecture content is presented in terms of presentation slides, film clips and audio books to give the students a comprehensive and deep insight in contemporary philosophy
  • guided conversation: philosophers talk - Students are required to be prepared for the talk and ask their questions, to foster their reflective faculty, their spontaneity, their creativity and their sustainability


  • 4 class dates, each of 6 SWH, related in time to the three essays
  • discussion of writing guidelines, form and content of the essays
  • recapitulation and consolidation of the lecture content with respect to current topics
  • practical training of philosophical dialogue


  • three written essays (each with approx. 4000 letters)
  • each essay is weighed equally

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Language skills in English and German are compulsory.

Consultation Hours

On demand.

Further Information