Prof. Dr. Frieder Vogelmann

Prof. Dr. Frieder Vogelmann

Professor for Epistemology & Theory of Science

University College Freiburg

University of Freiburg

Biography

I am professor for epistemology & theory of science at the University College Freiburg and the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Freiburg.

In my research, I focus on political epistemology, an emerging field of research in which I pursue the dual insight of early Frankfurt School Critical Theory that epistemology requires social theory just as social theory requires epistemology. I am developing this insight in dialogue with analytic, continental and feminist epistemology on the one hand, and (French) political and social theory/philosophy on the other hand. The result of this project has been published in my book The Effectiveness of Knowledge. A Political Epistemology.

My further research projects – on alternative governmentalities, on the concept of responsibility, on the concept of critique and on Michel Foucault’s philosophical method – have a common methodological core, best described as a historical-critical conceptual analysis. Following Ludwig Wittgenstein and Michel Foucault, I take the meaning of concepts to be established by their use in our social practices. Yet these practices must have a history emerging from the social struggles in which they partake.

You can find further information in my CV or on my Academia.edu profile.

Interests
  • Political Epistemology
  • Critical Theory
  • Social and Political Philosophy
  • Michel Foucault
  • Responsibility
  • Contemporary French Philosophy
Education
  • Habilitation and Award of the venia legendi in Philosophy, 2020

    University Frankfurt/Main

  • PhD in Philosophy, 2013

    University Frankfurt/Main

  • MA in Philosophy, Mathematics and Cognitive Science, 2009

    University of Freiburg im Breisgau

Academic Appointments

Recent Publications

The Force of Knowledge. A Political Epistemology [in German]
To aptly conceptualise the internal relationship between truth and knowledge on one side, and politics and society on the other side, political epistemology must reformulate the concepts of epistemology and social and political theory. For the concept of knowledge, this task implies to consider the truth and the force of knowledge equally.
The Force of Knowledge. A Political Epistemology [in German]
Four Paths Towards Political Epistemology [in German]
In this chapter, I suggest that we should understand “political Epistemology” as a name for the task to intertwine epistemology with social and critical theory.
Four Paths Towards Political Epistemology [in German]
Neither Deny nor Glorify: For a Realistic Understanding of Scientific Practices [in German]
In this article, I argue for a realistic understanding of sciences, which based on a materialist epistemology can acknowledge the plurality, historicity and contextuality of scientific practices.
Neither Deny nor Glorify: For a Realistic Understanding of Scientific Practices [in German]
Demokratie und Wahrheit
In twelve contributions, political theorists investigate the relationship between truth and politics against the background of the current discussions about ‘post-truth,’ conspiracy theories and desinformation.
Demokratie und Wahrheit

Upcoming Talks

Vernunft und Politik: Beste Feinde?
Vortrag auf der Tagung “Rationalität und Demokratie”
Vernunft und Politik: Beste Feinde?
The Limits of Control. Was sollten radikaldemokratische Theorien leisten?
Talk at the conference “Transformations of the Political. Radical Democratic Theory for the 2020s”
The Limits of Control. Was sollten radikaldemokratische Theorien leisten?
The Limits of Control. Was sollten radikaldemokratische Theorien leisten?
Talk at the conference “Transformations of the Political. Radical Democratic Theory for the 2020s”
The Limits of Control. Was sollten radikaldemokratische Theorien leisten?

Recent Posts

New Publication: The Force of Knowledge [in German]

“Political Epistemology begins with understanding that epistemology without political philosophy is idealistic whereas political philosophy without epistemolog is dogmatic.”

Today, my revised habilitation thesis has been published by Suhrkamp! In it, I develop a conception of knowledge that is able to grasp the truth and the force of knowledge at the same time. This conception of “effective knowledge” thus fulfils the demands of a political epistemology that intertwines epistemology with social …

New Publication: *The Force of Knowledge* [in German]
Video-Recording of my inaugural lecture at Freiburg

The recording of my inaugural lecture at the Faculty of Humanities of Albert-Ludwigs-University and University College Freiburg is now available.

Video-Recording of my inaugural lecture at Freiburg
Book launch for Thomas Lemke: The Government of Things (NYU Press) [in German]

Thomas Lemkes new book The Government of Things. Foucault and the New Materialisms has just been published by NYU Press. On 29 October 2021, from 5-7pm, Thomas Lemke will present the book in a discussion with Ute Tellmann (Darmstadt) and Reiner Keller (Augsburg).

Book launch for Thomas Lemke: *The Government of Things* (NYU Press) [in German]
Interview on Horkheimers Traditional and critical theory [in German]
The agora42 team asked three questions about the new edition of Max Horkheimer’s essay, a new edition of which I have recently published. You can now read my answers on the agora42 blog.
Interview on Horkheimers *Traditional and critical theory* [in German]
Political Falsehoods: Diagnoses and Concepts [mostly in German] [Update]
A series of online-talks on the different concepts that we use to analyse untruths in politics, from ideology and lies to half-truths and conspiracy theories.
Political Falsehoods: Diagnoses and Concepts [mostly in German] [Update]
The Genealogy of Normativity
In this research project, I aim to write a genealogy of “normativity,” this “chief term” of philosophy.
The Genealogy of Normativity
BEHEMOTH - A Journal on Civilisation
The journal Behemoth publishes semi-annually research articles on contingent and sometimes precarious regimes of (dis)order.
BEHEMOTH - A Journal on Civilisation
The Effectiveness of Knowledge. A Political Epistemology
How does knowledge affect us? What political significance do epistemological questions and insights have? My habilitation project investigates the force of knowledge
The Effectiveness of Knowledge. A Political Epistemology
Alternative Govern­mentalities
How can we govern in such a way that those governed need not fear those governing? What if the usual answer of political philosophy, namely “autonomy,” is not sufficient?
Alternative Govern­mentalities
Concepts of Critique
How do we picture the activity of criticising, and how does this influence our theoretical activity of explicating the concept of critique? What kind of knowledge do we produce in criticising? And what is the relation between critique and necessity?
Concepts of Critique
Zeitschrift für philosophische Literatur
Zeitschrift für philosophische Literatur is a peer-reviewed open-access online journal for book reviews in scholarly philosophy.
Zeitschrift für philosophische Literatur
Philosophie & Kritik. Beiträge zur politischen Philosophie und Kritischen Theorie
The book series Philosophie & Kritik. Beiträge zur politischen Philosophie und Kritischen Theorie will start in 2017 with Springer VS. It publishes books which understand themselves as politically engaged philosophy.
Philosophie & Kritik. Beiträge zur politischen Philosophie und Kritischen Theorie
Michel Foucault’s Philosophy
From a systematic perspective I am especially interested in Michel Foucault’s methodology and the resulting conception of (political) philosophy as well as his attempts to write a non-relativistic ‘History of Truth’.
Michel Foucault's Philosophy
Responsibility
That we should behave and act responsibly seems to be a self-evident norm hardly questioned by anyone. Yet, historically speaking, this is fairly new – only 200 years ago, “responsibility” was a rather marginal legal concept with no ethical significance. So what does the surprising career of “responsibility” mean, both for our thinking and our acting? What happens when “responsibility” becomes a required self-understanding for individuals at the workplace, in the welfare state or in the criminal justice system? And what are the consequences when philosophy’s analyses of “responsibility” focus almost exclusively on conditions of agency mostly absent in non-philosophical practices?
Responsibility

Teaching

In the winter term 2022/23, I will teach the following courses:

Knowledge and Its Problems: An Introduction to Epistemology
This lecture offers an overview of contemporary epistemology and introduces the basics of philosophical logic (propositional and first-order logic).
Sciences vs. Non- and Pseudo-Sciences: The Demarcation Problem
Are there reliable criteria to distinguish “sciences” from “pseudo-sciences”? In the seminar, we will consider this so-called “demarcation problem” in its early and in its contemporary forms.
Sozial- und geisteswissenschaftliche Neuerscheinungen besprechen. Eine Schreibwerkstatt (together with Ulrich Bröckling)
Das Seminar übt rezensieren als eine einfache Form des akademischen Schreibens.

Notes on Term Papers

Scientific writing is not an easy task. To help you with the writing part and to give you some idea how to find a good research question for your term papers, I have assembled some tips in the Hausarbeiten-Survival Guide. (Note that this is a document in progress and is not quite as developed as it’s German counterpart.)

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