Greetings from the President of the DGPhil
Dear congress participants,
Welcome to the 25th congress of the German Society for Philosophy (DGPhil). This year it is hosted by the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and will take place online with the title, “The true, the good, and the beautiful.”
It is no exaggeration to say that this year’s congress is quite special. For one thing, as everyone knows, our everyday life has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic for more than one and a half years, which means it was necessary to make adjustments to the congress. The original plan was to postpone the congress for one year with the hope of holding an “offline” event in Erlangen. But in the spring of this year, as a decision was necessary on the congress format, only one thing was clear about the fall: that nothing would be clear. This meant that an online format was the best option. I hope that you can understand this decision, which was anything but easy for the extended board of the DGPhil.
Switching to this format has various consequences, some regrettable, others representing an opportunity. Of course, our main regret is that personal encounters, which always play a particularly important role at major conferences, are more awkward and inhibited in an online format. At this congress, too, I am looking forward to reconnecting with many philosophers and to making new acquaintances, and while this would be better done in person here in Erlangen rather than via Zoom and Wonder, I am confident that intensive and stimulating exchanges will still take place, even beyond the specialist lectures. The program offers many opportunities for this.
Despite its downsides, the online format also represents a great opportunity: never before have the lectures of the DGPhil congress been directly accessible from anywhere in the world with virtually no hurdles, without fees or travel expenses. This time, pretty much anyone interested in a topic can join the philosophical discussion. With an online format, I expect not only significantly more philosophers than usual will be in attendance, but also that the audience will be more international – as can be assumed by the registrations leading up to the congress. To facilitate participation from North and South America, we have scheduled colloquia and individual talks in the afternoon. This should promote a particularly intense and fruitful professional exchange on an international level. But the easy accessibility is also favorable for networking within German philosophy. I anticipate active participation in the panel discussions on politics and policies in the meetings of the associations in the mornings.
The basic structure of our congress is similar to that of previous DGPhil congresses: the congress theme “The true, the good, and the beautiful” will be unpacked primarily in the colloquia, all of which have been organized and will be led by colleagues who are at an early stage in their careers. The sections will cover systematic and historical areas of philosophy; the forums are concerned with core issues on policy in the field; a supporting program, meetings of associations, a philosophical photo exhibition, and a student congress will complete the program. This tried and tested structure provides participants the opportunity to present their own work for discussion, to discover new ideas, to find solutions to policy problems related to the field, and to make new contacts and cultivate old ones.
Organizing a large congress is much work and only possible with the efforts of many people. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation, the Manfred Roth Foundation and the University Association of the Friedrich-Alexander University for their generous financial support. I would also like to thank the DFG, which agreed to cover any necessary travel expenses for foreign speakers. I am grateful to the Friedrich-Alexander University, especially our president, Professor Joachim Hornegger for his support, and to the entire extended board of the DGPhil and the DGPhil office, especially Nadja Germann, Michael Kienecker and Matthias Warkus. I would like to thank the Society for Analytic Philosophy (GAP), in particular its president Geert Keil, for his help in coordinating the rescheduling of the congress. I would like to thank all colloquium, section, and forum chairs, and everyone who contributed to the structure of this congress with their expert opinions – and, of course, all those whose contributions made this congress possible! I am grateful to our secretaries at the Institute of Philosophy, especially Ulrike Kaps, to the team of student assistants, especially Alma Thoma and Michael Ruppert, and to the students who organized the student congress: Alexander Belak, Dorothee Bleisch, Sebastian Schmidt and Konstantin Weber. Finally, I would like to express my special thanks to all members of the organizing team: to the “organizational management” team, Sanja Dembić, Nora Heinzelmann and Hannes Worthmann; to the “colloquia” team, Stefan Brandt and Erasmus Mayr; to the “sections” team, Alexander Dinges, Antonio Ferro and Béatrice Lienemann; and to Lutz Cramer (website), Michael Jungert (finances), Christian Kietzmann (academic publishers) and Sabine Klopfleisch (media design). I am grateful for the creativity they brought to the table, for their tireless effort and inexhaustible patience, and above all for the fun we had in setting up this special project despite the hard work it entailed. Many, many thanks!
I wish everyone an exciting congress!
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Ernst
President of the German Society for Philosophy
Professor at the Institute of Philosophy at FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg