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Philosophy/Ethics *

State Examination (secondary school teaching) - Major Field

Note: This degree program will be discontinued in winter semester 2015/2016. As an alternative, the polyvalent dual-major bachelor's degree program Philosophy/Ethics is available as a degree component.
Language of instruction:


Academic calendar:

Winter Semester

Standard Period of Study:

10 semesters required for the full degree programme

Admission: First semester:

An application is not possible any more

Higher semesters:

free admission

Please note: University admission requirements may change up to the start of the application period.

Application period: First semester: An application is not possible any more
Higher semesters: Winter Semester: until 30.09., Summer Semester: until 31.03.
Important information regarding required application materials for higher semesters.
Faculty affiliation: Faculty of Humanities

Philosophy deals with questions that it is not possible to ask or answer within the context of daily life or scientific research, questions concerning things that are taken for granted in daily life and are simply assumed in scientific inquiry. Thus, as philosophy asks questions that go beyond our trusted action orientations and the empirically validated knowledge of science, it does not lead to knowledge in the usual sense of the word. It is interpretation of life and the world, or in other words: of the possibilities and premises of how we conduct our lives and experience the world. The objective of philosophy is to achieve the most possible clarity concerning our lives as human beings and a world that does not belong to us alone. The possibilities for philosophical analysis also differ from the findings of scientific research in that they cannot be made obsolete by subsequent findings in the sense of a gradual progression of knowledge. Whereas earlier scientific solution proposals are usually outdated, all grand philosophical conceptions that have achieved the status of classic remain valid. They may be modified to a certain extent in contemporary debates, and one must assume them as a premise to understand these debates. In addition, classical conceptions of philosophy provide us an opportunity to view the basic assumptions of our current understanding of life from a distance. Things come more clearly into focus when we see them in a new context that is not colored by our present situation. Only then do they become philosophical in nature. What a course of study in philosophy thus entails above all is inquiry into the great classical philosophies. The classical philosophers include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Schelling, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Husserl, Wittgenstein, und Heidegger. These authors provide us with the questions and the conceptual possibilities for philosophical thought. Their works are the best way to familiarize oneself with the peculiarities of philosophical ways of thinking. The curriculum takes this into account. The introductory phase includes a two-semester interpretation course on a classical text of philosophy. This interpretation course is a required course. At least two interpretation courses begin each semester. They are supported by two tutorials each, which are also obligatory. Another required course is an introduction to formal logic, which is designed to familiarize students with the possibilities of logical thinking and thus with the formal tool of the philosopher’s trade. This course is offered each winter semester. Philosophy encompasses a variety of questions which are subject to change depending on the current historical situation and on what other philosophies a philosopher draws on. Nevertheless, the various subdisciplines of philosophy have remained essentially the same since the time of Aristotle. A basic distinction is drawn between theoretical and practical philosophy, and the first of the two is traditionally considered to be more important. Theoretical philosophy is concerned with inquiry into the nature of being inasmuch as it is being (“ontology”), which leads to the question of the possibilities of knowledge and belief (“epistemology”). Practical philosophy includes ethics, which is concerned primarily with the question of the individual good life and proper behavior, and political philosophy, which deals with the various forms of political community under the aspect of justice. These basic questions have become differentiated in the course of the modern age. Questions on the nature of the beautiful in art and nature, for instance, have come to be viewed as forming a discreet subdiscipline called philosophical aesthetics under the influence of Kant. By the same token, ontological and epistemological inquiry on the topic of science has come to be known under the name philosophy of science. Areas like philosophy of language, philosophy of history, social philosophy, or action theory, on the other hand, should be viewed more as specializations within the context of the two main philosophical disciplines. In modern times philosophy has been increasingly obliged to justify its way of acquiring knowledge against the possibilities of scientific inquiry. This can happen when philosophical thinking takes a scientific approach, which is not seldom the case in analytical philosophy. The alternative is to emphasize the points in which philosophy has its own justification, which was done in the twentieth century particularly in phenomenological and hermeneutical philosophy. Freiburg is committed to this task on the basis of tradition alone. The goal of both research and instruction is to develop philosophical questions independently within the horizon provided by tradition. A course of study in the field provides a solid grounding in both the history and the methods of philosophy.

Please note:
From the summer semester 2020 on there may be deviations from individual regulations of the admission regulations, selection and entrance examination regulations as well as the study and examination regulations from the Corona Statutes [de].

The versions of statutes with relevance to teaching and learning provided on this page by the Department of Legal Affairs (in particular admission and selection regulations as well as subject and examination regulations) are primarily for information purposes. This means that all amendments subsequently agreed upon by the University Senate have been integrated into the respective text of the original statutes; in the case of the examination regulations for bachelor's and master's degree programmes, this generally relates to extracts of the respective examination regulations (framework examination regulations, subject-specific provisions, and appendices).
The greatest care has been taken in writing these versions. Nevertheless, it cannot be entirely ruled out that errors may have occurred. Consequently, it is solely the officially announced statutes and statute amendments that are legally binding, i.e. as published in the Amtlichen Bekanntmachungen der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau [de] or, up to the year 2000, in the official gazette of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts.

Central Academic Advising Office

The central academic advisory service - the Central Academic Advising Office (ZSB) provides information and advice on all questions that may arise prior to, at the beginning of, and during a course of study. The Student Service Center – Center for Teacher Education [de] offers a special academic advising for current and prospective students of teaching degree programs. If you are seeking subject-specific advice in addition to this, you can also contact the respective subject academic advisor

Departmental Academic Advising

Alexander Bilda
Philosophisches Seminar
Raum 1071
Platz der Universität 3
79085 Freiburg
Tel.: +49 761 203-5487
Sprechstunde: Sommersemester 2015 : Mo 11–12 Uhr, Di 11-12 Uhr, Mi 10-12 und 14–16 Uhr

Examination Office

Werthmannstr.8/Rückgebäude, 79098 Freiburg

Bachelor- und Masterstudiengang, Lehramtsstudiengang gemäß GymPO I
Dr. Tobie Walther
Tel. 203-3221
Raum 02 010/2. OG
Sprechstunde: Dienstag 10.15-12.30 Uhr, Donnerstag 14.00-16.00 Uhr

Magister- und Promotionsstudiengang, Lehramtsstudiengang gemäß WPO
Annette Ehinger
Tel. 203-2011
Raum 03 011/3. OG
Sprechstunde: Dienstag 10.15-12.30 Uhr, Donnerstag 14.00-16.00 Uhr

Achtung: In der vorlesungsfreien Zeit gelten gesonderte Sprechstunden, bitte informieren Sie sich rechtzeitig vor einem Besuch.
* Subjects marked with a star are no longer available for selection by students beginning their studies.