Ferdinand Fellmann

Professor of Philosophy


Deutsche Version


Begriffe in Gedichten. Schönheit - Liebe - Glück. Drei Vorträge, eingeleitet von Hartmut Boger, Wiesbaden 2016 (vhs)

(Concepts in Poems: Beauty -- Love -- Happiness. Three Lectures, Introduction by Hartmut Boger)

Beauty, love, and happiness are part of life, though difficult to define accurately. The poems discussed in this book suggest the manifold experiences relating to these ambiguous notions.

The Couple - Intimate Relations in a New Key, Development in Humanities, Bd. 14, 2016 (LIT Verlag)

This book is about the mating couple - considered as both the origin and the foundation of a strong social self. Despite increasing self-realisation, the individual always is in need of being justified through an intimate relationship in which both partners accept one another such as they are. In view of the process of global urbanization empathy and reliability are the royal road to overcoming existential loneliness. 

Phänomenologie zur Einführung, 3. vollständig überarbeitete Auflage, Hamburg 2015 (Junius)

(Introduction to Phenomenology)

The history of phenomenology is the history of the unfolding of the foundational thought of the “father” of phenomenology, Edmund Husserl. Phenomenology encouraged the diverse temperaments of Scheler, Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty—and the following generation as well. Ferdinand Fellmann reconstructs the original intentions of the discipline and searches for common ground in the significantly diverging positions. In an unconventional reading, he clarifies phenomenology and stresses ways of thinking which can be connected to present-day philosophical questioning. This book focuses on the transformation of cultural studies brought about by phenomenology and the thesis that phenomenology is being reclaimed as a general theory of the media in modern life.

Das Paar. Eine erotische Rechtfertigung des Menschen. Um ein Nachwort erweiterte Neuausgabe, Freiburg 2013 (Karl Alber)

(The Couple. A Contribution to Philosophical Anthropology. Extended version with epilogue.)

In the pair-bond, Eros and Thanatos encounter each other in their absoluteness. Although there is no formula for perfect love, as ways of living change from culture to culture, the couple remains the absolute space in which the lovers are conscious of their irreplaceable individuality. The couple is not an invention of late culture, but the elementary answer to the exceptional biological position of humans. Thus I do not share the conviction of postmodern thought that the question concerning human nature has become outdated and the age of the couple is over. I interpret the heterosexual couple as an essential component of what it means to be a human, and I understand erotic justification as what sociologists refer to as “ontological security.”

Philosophie der Lebenskunst zur Einführung, Hamburg 2009 (Junius)

(Introduction to the Philosophy of the Art of Living.)

Philosophy of the art of living describes an unfinished project which combines two types of ethics: ancient virtue ethics and modern moral philosophy. This book describes the ever-changing history of the concrete application of ethical reflection of individual authors, from Epicurus and Seneca, Montaigne and Gracian, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche to Erich Fromm and Michel Foucault. Eastern wisdom is also considered. The result is a concept of moral duty pertaining to the philosophy of life, which emerges from the tension between the striving for happiness and the human capability for happiness. In times of postmodern individuation and the pluralization of life forms, the Old Testament dictum that “Everything has its time” proves to be a principle of a realistic art of living.

Der Liebes-Code. Schlüssel zur Polarität der Geschlechter, Berlin 2007 (Parerga)

(The Love-Code. The Key to the Polarity of the Sexes.)

The couple finds itself in a crisis. Sexual promiscuity, the social equality of male and female, the individual planning of biographies—all make traditional gender roles appear outdated. Whether these changes will make the living together of the sexes easier is doubtful. This book addresses the question, how can love even in the conditions of neo-liberalism keep its mysterious binding force: through the recognition of sexual identity as a way to knowing the self and the other. The conclusion is: only through the new invention of the couple does civil society have a future. Only the love-code will be able to put the disrupted relations of the generations back on the right track.

Das Paar. Eine erotische Rechtfertigung des Menschen, Berlin 2005  (Parerga)

(The Couple. An Erotic Justification of Humans.)

At a time in which the social world threatens to fall apart into elementary particles, the question becomes acute: What holds individuals together? The answer: the couple’s love as anthropological radical, which separates humans from animal hordes. The reconstruction of the emergence of the individual from the couple is the attempt to reveal the anthropological dimension of communicative action beyond the dualism of individual and society, of consciousness and language. Humans learned not in the relation between mother and child, but in the relationship between man and woman how to connect with each other, themselves, and to the world. Even outside the institution of marriage and family, erotic love is the communicative medium that cannot be replaced with discourse alone. In this way the flexible person of postmodernism finds justification in the normal chaos of love: a way of living that in its drama does not fall short of Christian justification through faith alone.

Polish translation, Posnan 2008
Out of print

Die Angst des Ethiklehrers vor der Klasse. Ist Moral lehrbar?, Stuttgart 2000 (Reclams Universalbibliothek)

(Can Morals Be Taught?)

Can morals be taught? And if so, how they should be taught has been a contested philosophical question since antiquity. Now that ethics is being instructed in the school setting, this question becomes once again topical and controversial. With this in mind, the philosophy professor Ferdinand Fellmann discusses how an ethics instructor could deal with the following five controversial themes: The class asks the instructor unexpected questions; how the instructor can address the fascination with evil and utility; the desire for morality and the metamorphoses of hedonism; even in morality, nothing is as successful as success; a field trip experiences a shipwreck, the social foundations of morality.

Orientierung Philosophie. Was sie kann, was sie will,  2. durchgesehene Aufl., Reinbek b. Hamburg 2000 (rowohlts enzyklopädie)

(What Philosophy Is, and What Does It Want to Be?)

The book offers an orientation for all inquisitors for whom philosophy is still an unknown country. It informs readers about the content and methods of philosophy at school, university, and other educational institutions; it gives insights into the historical dimension of philosophy and points to perspectives for philosophy in the future.

Further Books:

Geschichte der Philosophie im 19. Jahrhundert, Reinbek b. Hamburg 1996. Romanian translation, Bucuresti  2000

The History of Philosophy in the 19th Century. This history of philosophy examines positivism, left Hegelianism, existentialism, neo-Kantianism, and the philosophy of life.

Lebensphilosophie. Elemente einer Theorie der Selbsterfahrung, Reinbek b. Hamburg 1993.

Chinese translation, Beijing  2000

Philosophy of Life. Elements of a theory of self-experience. Philosophy of life is explained from the first person perspective.

Symbolischer Pragmatismus. Hermeneutik nach Dilthey, Reinbek b. Hamburg 1991

Symbolic Pragmatism. Hermeneutics after Dilthey. The approach differs from the hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer.

Phänomenologie als ästhetische Theorie, Freiburg/München 1989

Phenomenology as Aesthetic Theory. Husserl’s phenomenological intuition is interpreted as aesthetic experience.

Gelebte Philosophie in Deutschland. Denkformen der Lebensweltphänomenologie und der kritischen Theorie, Freiburg/ München 1983. Japanese translation, Tokyo 1997

Lived Philosophy in Germany. Husserl’s idea of the life-world is compared with the critical theory of Jürgen Habermas.

Phänomenologie und Expressionismus, Freiburg/München 1982. Japanese translation, Tokyo 1984, pocket edition 1986

Phenomenology and Expressionism. Parallels between Husserl’s phenomenological philosophy and literary expressionism.

Das Vico-Axiom: Der Mensch macht die Geschichte, Freiburg/München 1976

The Vico-Axiom. Man Makes History. The new science of Giambattista Vico is interpreted from the point of view of social history instead of Hegelian idealism.

Scholastik und kosmologische Reform, Münster 1971, 2. Ed. 1988

Scholasticism and Cosmological Revolution. A History of Science. Nicolas Oresme is presented as a precursor of Copernicus.