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Courses during summer term 2024

Umdenken, Verändern, Bewahren: Ökologisches Bewusstsein für eine nachhaltige Gesellschaft (Professional Center)

Ring Lecture
Academic management: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Leidhold

Building 100 (Main Building), Room HS XII
Wednesday, 17.45 - 19.15 (first session: 10.04.2024)

One of the key challenges of our time is to shape the ecological future of our planet in a sustainable and liveable way. On the one hand, this involves correcting and compensating for existing environmental damage - and on the other, preventing further ecological damage from occurring in the first place. To achieve this, we need to change our thinking and behaviour on a collective and individual level.
 A new ecological awareness - an ecological ethos - is needed. It is about replacing the previously dominant anthropocentric ethos of homo oeconomicus and its unrestricted appropriation of the world and exploitation of nature with a "green" ethos.
 Sustainability as a form of existential ecology in its collective and individual dimensions therefore requires this change of consciousness. What is stopping us from adapting our thoughts and actions to our state of knowledge? What is the alternative to the anthropocentric attitude? What strategies for action could promote and spread this new, green ethos - individually and collectively? What does an alternative to modern society look like? How can we untangle the knots in our heads?

More information on the organisation of the course can be found on the website of Professional Center. Classroom language is German.

Critical thinking: tools and ways to make profound judgements (Professional Center)

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Leidhold

Building 103 (Philosophikum), Room S 58
Tuesdays, 17.45 - 19.15 (first session: 09.04.2024)

Critical thinking begins with doubt - doubt as to whether what we think we know actually stands up to closer scrutiny. Over the course of time, various methods have been developed for this examination, the oldest of which are logic and the controlled use of one's own experience.
This skills training is designed to teach the principles and methods of critical thinking to enable students to form independent judgements, make informed decisions and solve complex problems effectively. This interactive and practice-orientated course is aimed at students from all disciplines, as critical thinking is a fundamental skill that can be applied in all areas of life. The course combines various teaching methods, including lecture, group discussions and the application of critical thinking tools to real-life cases.
By the end of the course, students will not only have improved critical thinking skills, but will also develop an awareness of the importance of these skills in their future careers. This course lays the foundation for a lifelong ability to think clearly, analyse carefully and make informed decisions.

This seminar is organized by the Professional Center of University of Cologne. Classroom language is German.

From Exploitation to Sustainabiliy: Reflections on Ecological Transformation

Lecturer: Dr. Johannes Clessienne

Building 100 (Main Building), Room HS VIIb
Tuesdays, 12.00 - 13.30 (first session: April 11th, 2024)

The seminar aims to reflect on various aspects of the transformation towards sustainability from an interdisciplinary perspective. It begins with an examination of religious and philosophical ideas on the relationship between humans and nature in the Western tradition. The scientific foundations of the environment, ecology and climate will then be briefly discussed. Then the justification for the exploitation of natural resources in the writings of the liberal economist F.A. Hayek is considered. The Marxist critique of exploitation by Wissen/Brandt, who see it as an aspect of an imperial way of life, is considered as a counter-example. Two contemporary approaches to reflecting on the ethical dimension of the environment and climate will then be studied. Global and European approaches to socio-ecological transformation will also be examined. Questions about the role of the public and education in the transformation processes are then examined. Finally, the challenges and results of environmental and climate policy will be discussed.

The sessions will be held in Englisch.