Our SeminarS

Who can attend?

Everyone, no matter what background, is welcome to attend. To apply, please send a short text briefly describing 1. your professional and/or academic background, 2. your philosophical interests, and 3. your motivation for joining the seminar via email to seminars@hfpo.com by the respective deadline. Keep in mind that each seminar will limit the total number of participants.

Virtual Seminar: Identity and Orientation

Organized by Prof. Hans-Georg Moeller and Prof. Paul D’Ambrosio

Weekly meetings will begin at the end of October 2022; the seminar runs for 8 sessions, 2 hours each; the weekly meeting times will be determined in collaboration with the participants; application deadline: October 20, 2022

Content

Identity is at the heart of political struggles today: identity politics has become a defining feature of the present culture wars between the liberal left and the conservative right. What is more, individuals struggle with their identity existentially: sexual orientation and gender identity have become increasingly fluid and contested, and along with the phenomenal rise of social media, permanent identity curation has become a central task of the daily lives of many. From the perspective of a philosophy of orientation, identity constitutes a “steady foothold’ of orientation. But how is this foothold constructed? This seminar traces different technologies for constructing different types of identity through different forms of orientation: orientation to roles, to originality, and to profiles.
Some Western and non-Western philosophical approaches to identity will be explored in the course of this seminar. Informed by these approaches, contemporary conceptions of identity, especially concerning sexual orientation and gender, will be discussed.

The seminar is discussion-based, so participants are expected to read the respective texts before the meetings. The meeting times will be determined in coordination with everyone before the seminar begins. The seminar is free. Please apply by October 20, 2022, via email to seminars@hfpo.com.

Virtual Seminar: Martin heidegger’s Being and Time and the Philosophy of Orientation

Organized by Dr. Dr. Timon Boehm and Dr. Reinhard G. Mueller

Weekly meetings are on Wednesdays 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (US Central Time), beginning on October 26, 2022. There will be 8 seminar sessions. Apply by October 20, 2022.

Content

Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time (1927) is not only a landmark in the history of philosophy, especially in the so-called “Continental” tradition, but it also prepared the philosophy of orientation in significant aspects. These include Heidegger’s phenomenological analysis of what he calls “being-in-the-world,” its everydayness, the concept of orientation as such, and the relevance of moods, language, signs, contexts of meaning for orientation, as well as his concepts of thrownness, anxiety, and concern. At the same time, there are crucial differences between Heidegger’s early work and the philosophy of orientation, which invites a comparative study of their approaches and philosophical perspectives.

In this seminar, organized over the course of 8 weeks in weekly 2h sessions, we will closely read the “first part” (§§ 1-44) of Heidegger’s Being and Time and explore his phenomenology of what he calls “being-in-the-world” by comparing it with Werner Stegmaier’s concept of “orienting oneself in a situation.”

The seminar is discussion-based, so participants are expected to read the respective texts before the meetings. The meeting times will be determined in coordination with everyone before the seminar begins. The seminar is free. Please apply by October 20, 2022, via email to seminars@hfpo.com.

Virtual Seminar: Orientation/Disorientation in Greek Philosophy and Literature

Organized by Dr. Olga Faccani and Dr. Enrico Müller

Weekly meetings will begin in January 2022; the seminar includes 8 sessions of 2h meetings

Content

Coming soon…

The seminar is free.

in-person Seminar: The Philosophy of Orientation on Leadership

Organized by Dr. Reinhard G. Mueller

Regular meetings beginning in October 2022

Content

“Superior orientation skills qualify for leadership,” Werner Stegmaier writes in What is Orientation? A Philosophical Investigation (p. 242). Outstanding leaders orient themselves more successfully than others under the conditions of uncertainty and time pressure. They are therefore able to take on responsibility for other people. Doing so requires not only “orientation skills”, but also “orientation virtues” such as overview, foresight, insight, precaution, and consideration as well as fundamental “ethical virtues” like open-mindedness, benevolence, tactfulness, cautiousness, politeness, nobility, and goodness. What is leadership in orientation-philosophical terms? How can leaders orient themselves successfully in a complex world that is changing ever-more rapidly? 

In this in-person seminar, we will, in weekly meetings, go through the primary book of the philosophy of orientation, Werner Stegmaier’s What is Orientation? A Philosophical Investigation, with regard to the question of leadership. Besides closely reading and discussing What is Orientation, the seminar will also include additional texts by different authors that relate to the respective book chapters and the issue of leadership. The seminar is organized by Dr. Reinhard G. Mueller.

The seminar is discussion-based, so participants are expected to read the respective texts before the meetings. The meeting times will be determined in coordination with everyone before the seminar begins. The seminar is free. Please apply by September 25, 2022, via email to reinhard.mueller@hfpo.com.

Location in Nashville: TBD

Weekly meeting times: TBD

Virtual Seminar on the Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

Organized by Dr. Reinhard G. Mueller

Weekly meetings since April 2022

Content

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) is not only one of the most influential thinkers of modern and “postmodern” philosophy, art, and literature, but he is also one of the most crucial forerunners of the philosophy of orientation. Behind his seemingly aggressive doctrines of ‘will to power,’ ‘death of God,’ ‘overman,’ and ‘masters and slaves,’ there appears a refined and nuanced thinker, who carefully composes new forms of philosophical writing in order to grasp and push forward his new, radical, and experimental ways of philosophizing. His critical perspectivism, phenomenalism, and his affirmation of the evolution of thinking has revolutionized and continues to inspire philosophy up to the present day.

In this virtual seminar, we will explore, via the philosophy of orientation, the central concepts of Nietzsche’s philosophizing through close readings of his Gay Science, Beyond Good and Evil, Genealogy of Morality, and others. The seminar is organized by Dr. Reinhard G. Mueller, whose translation of Werner Stegmaier‘s An Orientation to the Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche is forthcoming as the first publication on HFPO’s Orientations Press.

The seminar is discussion-based, so participants are expected to read the respective texts before the meetings. The meeting times will be determined in coordination with everyone in order to accommodate participants from different time zones and continents.

The seminar is free.

Virtual Seminar on What is Orientation? A Philosophical Investigation

First seminar round: June 2020 – May 2021; second round: March 2021 – March 2022

Content

Especially in times of the current Coronavirus pandemic, the question of how we continually reorient ourselves in everyday life has become most relevant. But what is orientation? How are we capable of going with the changing times? And how can we philosophically grasp these processes of orientation and reorientation?

The Hodges Foundation for Philosophical Orientation offers a virtual seminar about the primary work of the philosophy of orientation, Werner Stegmaier’s What is Orientation? A Philosophical Investigation. The seminar is organized by the book’s translator, Dr. Reinhard Mueller.

In this seminar, we will philosophically explore the issues of orientation and reorientation not only by going through the book What is Orientation? but also by trying to relate them to today’s everyday life and our fast-changing world. In weekly 2h meetings, the webinars will go through the book chapter by chapter. The seminar is discussion-based, so participants are expected to read the respective chapters before the meetings. The meeting times will be determined in coordination with the participants so that attending from different time zones and continents is no problem.

The seminar is free.