Authors Colloquium with Dieter Henrich
Date: 23 – 25 July 2020
Convenors: Manfred Frank (Bielefeld, GER), Jan Kuneš (Prag, CZE)
Dieter Henrich is one of the great figures of German post-war philosophy – alongside Hans-Georg Gadamer and Jürgen Habermas, for example. Like these, he has exerted significant influence on other disciplines, especially theology (with his doctrine of the "unavailable ground in/of consciousness"), sociology (with his dissertation on The Unity of Max Weber's Doctrine of Science and his critique of Mead's and Habermas's 'a priori intersubjectivism'), psychiatric theories on the causes of a 'personality disorder', on the history of ideas (with the development of a method of 'constellational research'), finally on literary studies (with his extensive work on Hölderlin and Samuel Beckett). Henrich is thus excellently suited for an author colloquium with an interdisciplinary orientation.
His extensive oeuvre, however, focuses on the phenomenon of self-consciousness which has undergone an entirely new description through his theory. Under the title 'Heidelberg School' these works have been so breathtakingly effective (and up-to-date) since about 1966 and more and more recently that there can be no question about the justification for this centring. The great interest of various neighbouring disciplines is further evidence.
To summarize: The colloquium aims at 1. honouring a great living philosopher (this has never happened in this form), 2. giving his (not universally known) central theory the attention it deserves and 3. proving its influence on other disciplines.