Welcome to the Department of Philosophy at the University of Innsbruck!
We do philosophy in its entire thematic breadth and from a variety of different perspectives, such as analytic philosophy, phenomenology, and hermeneutics. Our research can be found in numerous journals and books. We take care to ensure that different traditions, approaches, and positions are not only represented within the Institute but brought together in our research, projects, and teaching in a respectful, open, and free dialogue.
It is our goal to share this open and diverse atmosphere with our students. They can enrol in a Bachelor’s programme, a Master’s programme, and a PhD programme. In addition, our department organizes and coordinates the new teacher training programme in ethics. We offer an exciting, varied and international study environment that familiarizes our students with research, teaching, and practice.
At our department, philosophy is not only what we do; it is what we live.
During the Thun-Hohenstein university reform after the March Revolution of 1848, the subject of philosophy was represented at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Innsbruck by Georg Schenach. When he was appointed to the University of Vienna in 1857, the chair went to Tobias Wildauer, whose interest, at the latest after his election to the Imperial Council in 1873, was obviously more politics than philosophy.
In 1871, a second chair of philosophy was established and filled by the New Kantian Karl Sigmund Barach-Rappaport. He was succeeded in 1885 by Karl Überhorst, who taught philosophy and psychology. Under Überhorst's influence, Franz Hillebrand, a Brentano student and experimental psychologist, was appointed Wildauer's successor in 1896.
The Innsbruck Brentano School was consolidated when Emil Arleth was appointed to the second chair in 1905, but he died as early as 1909, whereupon the Brentano student and editor Alfred Kastil was appointed to Innsbruck. Kastil became known outside of academic philosophy, among other things, for taking the writer's side in the Innsbruck "Karl Kraus Affair" in 1920. At the end of the winter semester 1933/34, he prematurely retired from his post for political reasons.
Hillebrand was succeeded in 1926 by Theodor Erismann, who was mainly involved in experimental psychology (- the well-known "Innsbruck spectacle experiments"). After his retirement in 1956, the chair was divided. His successors were Ivo Kohler for psychology and Hans Windischer for history of philosophy and systematic philosophy. Windischer had been dismissed as a lecturer in 1938 and advocated a Catholic existential philosophy. He had already criticised Brentano's philosophy as unchristian in a study published by the Innsbruck Institute for Scholastic Philosophy in 1936.
In 1930, on Kastil's initiative, Richard Strohal had received an extraordinariate for philosophy with special consideration of pedagogy. Since he was also removed from office in 1938, he had to spend the period of National Socialist rule as a secondary school teacher in Vorarlberg. The National Socialist Walther Schulze-Soelde took his place. Philosophy was also taught during this time by the two lecturers Ernst Foradori and Walter Del-Negro, who had habilitated in Innsbruck. After 1945, Strohal was reactivated and appointed a full university professor in 1948. Along with Erismann, Strohal was the last representative of the subject of philosophy in the comprehensive sense, which also covered experimental psychology and pedagogy.
In 1968, Gerhard Frey from Stuttgart was appointed to the newly established chair of philosophy and philosophy of science. He made a significant contribution to the re-establishment of a scientifically oriented philosophy in Austria, which had almost disappeared from the universities due to the end of the "Vienna Circle", the National Socialist rule and the Catholic restoration after the war.
Windischer was succeeded in Innsbruck in 1977 by Wolfgang Röd from Munich - one of the most important historians of philosophy in the German-speaking world, whose philosophical standpoint was transcendental philosophy. After his retirement in 1996, the professorship remained vacant until 2009, when Paola-Ludovika Coriando from the University of Freiburg took over a professorship in metaphysics.
Hans Köchler (1982 to 2014) held an associate professorship in philosophy (with special emphasis on political philosophy and philosophical anthropology), as did the social philosopher Josef Zelger (1983 to 2005), who, among other things, co-founded the journal "Conceptus". Frey's successor in 1989 was the logician Reinhard Kleinknecht (previously of the TU Munich), who followed a call to Salzburg in 2002. This professorship also remained vacant for a long time. The Institute's increased focus on practical philosophy was finally reflected in the appointment of Anne Siegetsleitner to an ethics professorship in 2013.
The philosopher and psychologist Franziska Mayer-Hillebrand was the second woman to receive a doctorate from the University of Innsbruck, in 1919. In 1935, Simon Moser habilitated, who co-founded the European Forum Alpbach after the war and became a professor in Karlsruhe.
The philosophers who habilitated in Innsbruck after the war included Amadeo von Silva-Tarouca (later professor in Graz), Wolfgang Stegmüller (who was first in line for the Erismann succession but was passed over for ideological reasons; shortly afterwards he became professor in Munich and founded an important school of analytical philosophy), Bernulf Kanitscheider (Giessen), Reinhard Kamitz (Berlin and later Graz) and Rudolf Wohlgenannt (Linz).
Peter Goller: Die Lehrkanzeln für Philosophie an der Philosophischen Fakultät der Universität Innsbruck 1848 bis 1945 (= Forschungen zur Innsbrucker Universitätsgeschichte 15), Innsbruck 1989.
Peter Goller & Pierre Sachse: Wolfgang Stegmüller im intellektuellen Umfeld der Universität Innsbruck (1941-1958), in: Journal Psychologie des Alltagshandelns, Jg. 16, Nr. 2, 1-15. (Dokument hochladen)
Gerhard Benetka: Der "Fall" Stegmüller, in: Elemente moderner Wissenschaftstheorie, hg. v. Friedrich Stadler, Wien/New York 2000, 123-176.
Department of Philosophy
University of Innsbruck
Head of Department:
Univ.-Prof Dr. Annemarie Siegetsleitner
Our administrative office is opened from August–September
Monday and Wednesday 10:00–12:00
The office will bei closedAugust 14–18
The Department of Philosophy is located on the eighth floor of the building Innrain 52d („Geiwi-Turm“).
Seminar papers etc. can also be handed in at the letter box next to the entrance of the administative office.
Information on the new MA-Curriculum: October 10, 17:15 p.m., SR 40406.
Ethics and Politics of Imagination (Workshop), October 13-14, 2023 organized by Martin Huth (University of Innsbruck) & Sergej Seitz (University of Vienna).
Pfister, Jonas; Beelitz, Julia (2023): Tourismusphilosophie. Konstanz: Universitätsverlag Konstanz (UVK). ISBN 9783825259112. 1. Auflage.
Bstieler, Michaela; Crepaldi, Gianluca (2023): „Working-Through Wellness: Critical Perspectives on the Contemporary Wellness Dispositif“, in: Genealogy+Critique 9/1, S. 1–21.
Frick, Marie-Luisa (2023): „Populismus, das Volk und das Recht. Ein philosophischer Kommentar“, in: Demokratie, Partizipation und Repräsentation. Der Beitrag des Wahlrechts zur Ausübung der demokratischen Rechte in Österreich und der Schweiz, hrsg. von Werner Schröder & Andreas Th. Müller, facultas/Nomos/dike, S. 113–123.
Frick, Marie-Luisa (2023): „Grundzüge einer Ethik der freien (Wider-)Rede“, Zeitschrift für Praktische Philosophie, Vol. 9, S. 253–276. [doi: 10.22613/zfpp/9.2.11].
Current media contributions
We wish everyone a nice end of the semester!