Monday, 03 June 2019

There was a time when we believed in the future. The hope of what is to come permeates the work of Hegel and Marx. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the winners declared the “end of history” and proclaimed that there was no alternative to “really existing capitalism”. But this certainty is crumbling before our eyes, yielding in the face of global crises to an apocalyptic mindset that sees us stuc…

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  • Mon. 03 June 2019
  • 19:30
  • WDR Funkhaus, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Gebärdendolmetschung

Tuesday, 04 June 2019

The genetically optimised human: since the birth of two genetically manipulated babies in China, this possibility now appears within our grasp. The technology driving this potential is the CRISPR/Cas method, a “genetic scissors” that enables us to edit the human genome, for instance to prevent severe diseases. However, this method could also be used for optimising humans, e.g. to increase IQ sco…

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  • Tue. 04 June 2019
  • 18:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Grüner Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

Nothing is as fundamental to human coexistence as morality. This is what prompts us to subordinate our own interests to the general welfare, respect others and even show solidarity with them. But how self-evident is morality? And how far does it reach? Do we only owe moral behaviour to those nearest to us – or also to those most distant? And what is the difference between moral obligation and v…

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  • Tue. 04 June 2019
  • 18:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Induktionsschleife
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

In englischer Sprache

Englisch

Do you also like to wear black turtleneck jumpers? Do you believe that freedom is the most important thing in the world? And that Paris is for wisdom-lovers? Then you absolutely must meet Sarah Bakewell – at the Existentialist Café! With her eponymous world best-seller, English philosopher Sarah Bakewell invites us to enter the wonderful conceptual universe of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir an…

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  • Tue. 04 June 2019
  • 18:30
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Induktionsschleife
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

Jena, 1800: The ideals of the French Revolution are roiling Europe, and not only politically. An entire generation of young poets and philosophers resolves to reconceive the world. The leading minds – among them the Schlegel brothers and their wives, the philosopher Schelling and the poet Novalis – convene in this Thuringian university town in order to found a “republic of free spirits”. They not only ch…

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  • Tue. 04 June 2019
  • 20:00
  • Stadtbibliothek
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility

Even 4000 years later, Egyptian high culture is widely admired throughout the world. Contemporary Europe seems to have been above all an unmarked nothingness, a swamp full of bears and the cloddish descendants of Neanderthals. Since the spectacular discovery of the Nebra sky disk and the dramatic decryption of its many secrets, we now know for certain that this view is clearly false. At the time…

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  • Tue. 04 June 2019
  • 20:30
  • WDR, Kleiner Sendesaal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

Never before in history have we known so much about the human body. Its values are measured and its functions analysed to keep it in a state of optimum fitness. But our bodies themselves contain a wealth of knowledge that transcends their perception as mere objects of research. Friedrich Nietzsche even wrote of a “great reason” of the body: arms, legs, intestines, diaphragm – each organ, each part …

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  • Tue. 04 June 2019
  • 21:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Gebärdendolmetschung

The crisis of German football is undeniable. The league lags internationally, and the national team is coming off its weakest year in decades. But what is behind this decline in performance? And what factors determine the outcome of a football game in general? Big data is promising a decisive edge in football as well. On the other hand, this sport in particular appears to be resistant to…

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  • Tue. 04 June 2019
  • 21:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Induktionsschleife
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

Wednesday, 05 June 2019

What do French yellow vests, radical feminists, Silicon Valley, the identitarian movement and Greta Thunberg all have in common? They are all devoting their efforts entirely to bringing about radical change, the next revolution! However different their ideals may be, all these political movements share the hope typical of all such aspirations: that literally everything will be changed and better…

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  • Wed. 05 June 2019
  • 18:00
  • Altes Pfandhaus
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility

We assume that we’re autonomous as a matter of course. And we believe that a life in which we had to do important things against our will could not be a fulfilled one. But it is also true that numerous aspects of our lives are not subject to choice. This is true for many of our social relationships as well as for various situations that we simply stumble into. In her clever, highly-praised book, “…

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  • Wed. 05 June 2019
  • 18:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Induktionsschleife
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

No other mental state impacts our understanding of the world as deeply. Sorrow robs us of our voice, and even our faith in life. Particularly when we lose someone we dearly love, our days are dominated by a feeling of emptiness, numbness and meaninglessness. Death appears to be the last boundary, in the face of which even philosophy has nothing to say. How can we learn to deal with finiteness and…

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  • Wed. 05 June 2019
  • 19:30
  • WDR Funkhaus, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Gebärdendolmetschung

He engaged in a bitter dispute over mathematics with the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. He developed the foundation for today’s computerised world, was a logician, information scientist and cryptologist who cracked the Nazi’s Enigma code machine. His test for determining whether one is interacting with a human or a computer has become world-famous. Before he died, he was working on a new mat…

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  • Wed. 05 June 2019
  • 20:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Grüner Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

Martin Schläpfer comes from a Swiss Alpine farming family, and is today the best known ballet choreograph in Europe. Marco Wehr is a physicist and philosopher who wrote his doctorate on chaos theory. The two men share a passion for dance. They think about the dancing human, they help others to fulfil themselves in harmonious movements and they themselves take the stage to dance. Dance is an art …

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  • Wed. 05 June 2019
  • 21:00
  • Altes Pfandhaus
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility

In English

Englisch

With his work PostCapitalism: a Guide for the Future, British journalist and activist Paul Mason delivered a celebrated, provocative manifesto. The Guardian hailed him as “a worthy successor to Marx”. In Clear Bright Future, Mason continues his project and attempts to save the values of the enlightenment for coming generations. Even in times of uncertainty and increasing heteronomy. Whereas cap…

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  • Wed. 05 June 2019
  • 21:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Induktionsschleife
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

Thursday, 06 June 2019

The numbers paint a clear picture: the 21st century will be dominated by Asia, just as the 19th century was by Europe and the 20th century by the USA. But what does this new leadership role mean for global development – politically, economically, culturally? Will quasi-dictatorial technocracies like Singapore or China become the new reference model? Will the individualistic values of Western c…

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  • Thu. 06 June 2019
  • 17:00
  • Balloni-Hallen
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility

What do the disappearance of apple varieties, politicians’ postures in chat shows, the rise of fundamentalism and the relevance bubbles in the art and music markets have in common? They are all part of a culturally formative meta-trend which Islam scholar Thomas Bauer describes in his book entitled Vereindeutigung der Welt (“The Disambiguation of the World”). In a world of superficial diversity and t…

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  • Thu. 06 June 2019
  • 18:30
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Induktionsschleife
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

Englisch Deutsch

Butterflies in your stomach – gone forever? The dream of a soul mate – of that magical moment that changes everything – in pieces on the ground? If we accept the analysis of Israeli sociologist Eva Illouz, it is indeed time to kiss our fondest expectations goodbye. The great era of romantic love is over, never to return! In this age of speed dating and Tinder, casual sex and body optimising, a new i…

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  • Thu. 06 June 2019
  • 19:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Gebärdendolmetschung

Joy, anger, sorrow, shame – emotions and moods are our constant companions. Our ego plays a dual role: we experience and observe our emotions simultaneously. Sometimes they are familiar to us, and sometimes entirely foreign. We experience emotions as occurrences that are initially not under our control. They happen to us. Often, we find it difficult to communicate about our feelings. Naturally, w…

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  • Thu. 06 June 2019
  • 19:30
  • COMEDIA Theater, Grüner Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

Breathing is not merely a biological necessity. In many cultures and religions, breathing also stands for life and spirit – God breathing life into humanity is just one such age-old religious figure. Even today, the systematic regulation and training of breathing is practised as a path toward expanded consciousness and spiritual awareness. And breathing also plays a surprising role in modern m…

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  • Thu. 06 June 2019
  • 20:00
  • Balloni-Hallen
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Gebärdendolmetschung

Friday, 07 June 2019

We live in agitated times. Whether migration, #metoo or gender-appropriate language: political discourse is characterised by unrestrained hate speech and aggressive moralising simultaneously. The tensions between traditionalists and urbanites, left and right, are heightening as we watch, arguments are taken as insults, unleashed emotions are making rational, objective consideration virtually…

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  • Fri. 07 June 2019
  • 17:30
  • COMEDIA Theater, Grüner Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

No other philosophical movement is considered as practical and relevant. Particularly in this age of acceleration and digital burn-out, the maxims and ideals of the Stoics are once again highly regarded: placidity, concentration on the essentials, cosmic peace, daily mindfulness exercises. In the stoa, people think about their place in the universe and their options for meaningfully shaping…

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  • Fri. 07 June 2019
  • 18:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Induktionsschleife
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

There are people who see themselves as permanently on the brink. For others, however, things are always getting better. They never lose hope even in the darkest hours, retaining their belief in salvation and improvement. The word for this attitude is optimism. Those who view their life optimistically see possibilities, openings and opportunities that can be grasped. But how is this state of being…

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  • Fri. 07 June 2019
  • 19:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Gebärdendolmetschung

“Not every nation that loves itself will become a fascist monster.” So writes author and philosopher Thea Dorn in her fascinating “guidebook for enlightened patriots”, Deutsch, nicht dumpf: Ein Leitfaden für aufgeklärte Patrioten. Dorn has been exploring the German soul for many years, and believes that the oft-quoted assertion that there is no specifically German culture beyond the language is nothing s…

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  • Fri. 07 June 2019
  • 20:00
  • WDR, Kleiner Sendesaal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

Metoo put it front and centre: even in the 21st century, the genders continue to catastrophically misunderstand each other. The influence of misogynistic stereotypes remains strong – for instance in pornography, which comically exaggerates the relationship between the sexes and centres on the fear of the female orgasm. Are men and women simply mismatched? How do female and male desire differ? How s…

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  • Fri. 07 June 2019
  • 20:30
  • COMEDIA Theater, Grüner Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

It is one thing to dream of expanded human possibilities. But it is quite another thing entirely to work toward making this science-fiction future a reality. On the one hand, technical enhancements are “levelling up” humanity’s biological baseline; at the same time, researchers are working to realise autonomous, artificial intelligence whose existence inspires as much fear as it does hope. The most …

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  • Fri. 07 June 2019
  • 21:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Induktionsschleife
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

Saturday, 08 June 2019

With coffee and cake

Royal children, Benedictine monks, beggars, prostitutes, anti-Nazis, psychiatry victims, landmark preservers – this is the order in which one encounters a millennium of residents and users in Brauweiler, this monumental abbey on the outskirts of Cologne. Whoever lived within, whether voluntarily or otherwise, there was always an inside and an outside, and always the question as to who belongs h…

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  • Sat. 08 June 2019
  • 14:00
  • Abtei Brauweiler
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility

Plato was born almost two and a half thousand years ago, but his best years still lie ahead. At least, philosopher Christoph Quarch hopes so. He regards Plato as the thinker of the third millennium who can help us to overcome the crises and pathologies of the modern world. Yet from Nietsche to Popper, western philosophy wanted little to do with Plato until recently. By contrast, Christoph Quarch…

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  • Sat. 08 June 2019
  • 18:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Induktionsschleife
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

It is not just what we say – how we package it makes all the difference. This tenet of neurolinguistics applies equally to everyday life as well as to academia, politics and business. The great problem is that the packaging – the framing of a message – demonstrably influences not only our thinking, but also the action itself. It is not facts, but rather frames that shape our opinions. They pull the s…

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  • Sat. 08 June 2019
  • 19:00
  • Börsensaal der IHK zu Köln
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

Welcome to the post-human age! In light of targeted gene editing, the cyborgisation of the human body and artificial superintelligences, our dominant concept of what it means to be human is in urgent need of an update. Philosopher Stefan Lorenz Sorgner (“Übermensch: Plädoyer für einen Nietzscheanischen Transhumanismus”) at any rate is firmly convinced of this. As one of the leading post-humanism theori…

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  • Sat. 08 June 2019
  • 20:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Grüner Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

Fear has many faces. One of them, supposedly, is “German angst”. But how does this anxiety manifest itself? Does it exist at all? What is undisputed is that feelings of powerlessness are playing an ever greater role in society and politics. Both in real life and online, these manifest themselves in the form of xenophobia, accusations, aggression and rage. Are these descriptions accurate? What are Ger…

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  • Sat. 08 June 2019
  • 21:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Induktionsschleife
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang

Sunday, 09 June 2019

In 1774, the French enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot wrote a highly amusing yet extremely dangerous tract: a conversation between a pious Catholic woman and an atheist philosopher on the meaning of religion. If there is no god, is everything permitted? For a long time, philosophers considered this question moot, viewing religion as simply either meaningless or dangerous. A relic from…

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  • Sun. 09 June 2019
  • 20:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal
  • Tickets available
  • Accessibility
    • Induktionsschleife
    • Rollstuhlgerechter Zugang