Two lectures of Holger Zaborowski

Science, technique, and thinking about the “usefulness”
Heidegger’s thought and his contribution to theoretical reflection of social sciences

This lecture will debate the relevance of Heidegger’s thought for science as a whole, especially the importance of his late philosophy, developed since the mid 1930s. On one side, the attention will be paid to some of the prominent interpretations of Heidegger’s work, which see it as an abstinence and as a refusal to relate the being to other scientific discourses. On the other side, exploring the question of the importance of Heidegger’s late thought for scientific discourses, Zaborowski examines some fairly recently published texts with not yet established importance for this topic.

Related to this is an attempt to, by invoking Heidegger, question the possibility of theoretical self-reflection of (social) sciences, and their historical (self)positioning.

Also, related is the question of possible positive contribution of Heidegger’s late philosophy to understanding of modern world as a world determined by technique.

Nature – mind – freedom. On natural law in the philosophy of modern age

This lecture will address the contradictions between modern age contextuality of survival and contemporary meaning of natural law, and aspiration of natural law to universal meaning and independence from certain religious, philosophical and ideological perspectives.

The beginning of the crisis of natural law thinking could be related to Kant’s critique of natural law and his transcendental-philosophical transformation that defines natural law as the law of freedom and mind. The crisis of natural law validity can be understood as the crisis of its foundation, related primarily to the ambiguity of the “natural law”, but also to the suspicion of its reality.

Zaborowski shows that natural law is resilient to its many critiques and is currently being rediscovered again. This is especially clear during the crisis of the positive law (i. e. during national-socialist governance and afterwards) when the question of the existence of the naturally given rights is frequently asked.

Besides, it appears that natural law is effective even when it is not explicated as such. History of natural law in modern age and contemporary philosophical paradigms reveal moments of continuity and development suggesting that we could think of the transformation of the natural law as its productive adoption and deepening. Therefore, contemporary consideration of natural law should focus on its historicity.

On Holger Zaborowski

He studied philosophy, theology and classical philology in Freiburg, Basel and Cambridge. From 2005-2011 he taught at the Catholic University of America, D.C. In 2012 he became professor of
history of philosophy and philosophical ethics at Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule in Vallendar.

He published numerous works on classical German philosophy and philosophy of the 20th century, especially on phenomenology, hermeneutics, ethics and philosophy of religion. His latest works are: Spielräume der Freiheit. Zur Hermeneutik des Menschseins (Freiburg/München 2009); Robert Spaemann’s Philosophy of the Human Person. Nature, Freedom, and the Critique of Modernity (Oxford 2010); Eine Frage von Irrtum und Schuld? Martin Heidegger und der Nationalsozialismus (Frankfurt am Main 2010).