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 Kügler)


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
Innrain 52d
A-6020 Innsbruck

Telephone: +43 512 507-40211
Mail: philosophie@uibk.ac.at

Head of Department:
Univ.-Prof Dr. Annemarie Siegetsleitner

Office hours:
Monday to Wednesday 10:00–12:00 a.m.
Thursday 09:00 - 11:00 a.m.

The secretariat will be closed on July 15, 17 and 24, 2024.

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.

Current events

Courses in the winter semester 2024/25 for BA and MA Philosophy

Together with Leyla Sophie Gleissner (ENS Paris), Michaela Bstieler is organising the method workshop "materializing philosophy?" on 13 September. More information will follow soon. 

On October 2, 2024, the conference "Heterogenität der Diskursformen. Zur Aktualität von Jean-François Lyotard (1924-1998)", which is organized by the Institute of Philosophy together with the Institute for Media, Society and Communication. You can find the pamphlete  for the conference in German here.  

In connection with the research project The Limits of Imagination, the conference "Humans & Animals: Imagining other Relationships" will take place on 11 October. More information can be found here.
Prior to this, another conference of this project will take place from 26-28 September in Vienna under the title "At the Limits of Imagination: Otherness in Humans & Non-Human Animals". Further information on this conference can be found here

At the beginning of the winter semester, the first semester welcome for philosophy and ethics students will be held on 17 October 2024 at 17:15 in lecture hall 3

Recent publications

Bstieler, Michaela; Weithaler, Anna (2023): "Das Paradox der Solidarität. Rezension zu Lea Susemichels und Jens Kastners Unbedingte Solidarität", in: Genealogy+Critique 9/1, pp. 1–14; https://www.genealogy-critique.net/article/id/10924/

Siegetsleitner, Anne (2023): "Die Bedeutung der Ethik in einer zunehmend technisierten Medizin", in: Journal für Gynäkologische Endokrinologie/Österreich
(doi: 10.1007/s41974-023-00288-5)

Kügler, Peter (2023): "Meaning Autonomy and Objective Meaning in Life", in: Journal of Human Values. [doi: 10.1177/09716858231185619]

Pfister, Jonas; Beelitz, Julia (2023): "Tourismusphilosophie". Konstanz: Universitätsverlag Konstanz (UVK). ISBN 9783825259112. 1. Auflage.

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, ed. by Werner Schröder & Andreas Th. Müller, facultas/Nomos/dike, pp. 113–123.

You may access the list of the institute's publications here.


On June 20th the student representatives of Philosophy and Teaching Subject Ethics together with the department of philosophy awarded four students with the Best Thesis/Paper Awards 2024

The first issue of the journal Philosophy, Politics, and Critique, with Andreas Oberprantacher belonging to its editorial board, was recently published! You may find the first issue and a link to his contribution here

The book "Mutig denken. Aufklärung als offener Prozess" by Marie-Luisa Frick that was published at Reclam in 2020 was just translated into Arabic - 
2024 Verlag Mahrousa/Kairo and can be found here

Information about our new MA curriculum can be found here.

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