Hermann Luebbe

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hermann Lübbe 2007.png

Hermann Lübbe (born December 31, 1926 in Aurich ) is a German philosopher . He was a full professor of philosophy and political theory at the University of Zurich and president of the General Society for Philosophy . His contributions to current political debates made him known beyond the specialist community. Lübbe is part of the knight school .


Lübbe studied philosophy , theology and sociology in Göttingen, Münster and Freiburg im Breisgau from 1947 to 1951 , with Joachim Ritter and Heinrich Scholz among others . After completing his doctorate with a thesis on the completion of the thing-in-itself problem in Kant's work , he was assistant to Gerhard Krüger in Frankfurt am Main - he also attended seminars by Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno there - as well as university assistant in Erlangen and Cologne . In 1956 he completed his habilitation in Erlangen with a paper on The Transcendental Philosophy and the Problem of History and then taught first as a private lecturer and later as a professor at the universities of Erlangen, Hamburg , Cologne and Münster.

From 1963 to 1969 he was a full professor at the then newly founded Ruhr University Bochum , and from 1966 at the same time State Secretary in the Ministry of Culture of North Rhine-Westphalia . In 1969 he moved to the office of State Secretary to the Prime Minister and went to the newly founded University of Bielefeld as a full professor of social philosophy , where he stayed until 1973. In 1970 he gave up the post of State Secretary. In 1970 Hermann Lübbe was one of the closest founding circle of the Bund Freiheit der Wissenschaft : together with Hans Maier and Richard Löwenthal , he had formulated the call for founding.

From 1971 to 1991 Lübbe was a full professor and, since retiring in 1991, honorary professor for philosophy and political theory at the University of Zurich. Since May 2004 he has been a “Senior Fellow” at the University of Duisburg-Essen and since 1974 a member of the PEN Center Germany .

From 1975 to 1978 Lübbe served as President of the General Society for Philosophy in Germany . He is a member of numerous national and international scientific societies and has received numerous prizes and awards, including a. in 1990 the Ernst Robert Curtius Prize for essay writing and in 1995 the Hanns Martin Schleyer Prize for 1994. In 1996 he received the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and in 2000 an honorary doctorate from the Evangelical Theological Faculty of the University of Munich .

Hermann Lübbe has been married since 1951 and has four children. For a time he lives in his secondary residence in Havixbeck near Münster. His daughter Gertrude Lübbe-Wolff was a judge at the Federal Constitutional Court from 2002 to 2014 , his daughter Weyma Lübbe professor for practical philosophy at the University of Regensburg and his daughter Anna Lübbe is professor for procedural law and extrajudicial conflict resolution at the University of Fulda .

As became known in 2007, Lübbe was a member of the NSDAP from 1944 , although he says he can no longer remember whether he actively sealed this membership with his signature or whether he became a member without his own knowledge. After the war, Lübbe was temporarily a member of the SPD .

Hermann Lübbe is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Zeitschrift für Politik .


Lübbe's work is characterized by a large thematic and methodological range, the continuous effort to relate to topicality and practice, the contemporary historical concretization of philosophical considerations and an often polemically committed, linguistically versed style. Early works deal with the history of concepts and ideas ( Political Philosophy in Germany , 1963; Secularization , 1965) and authors such as Ernst Mach , Ludwig Wittgenstein , Edmund Husserl or Wilhelm Schapp ( Consciousness in Stories , 1972).

In a large number of writings, Lübbe is primarily devoted to questions of political philosophy, where he takes a decidedly liberal stand in the tradition of the Enlightenment . From this point of view, he subjects totalitarian theories such as Marxism in particular , but also technocratic approaches in the succession of Helmut Schelsky , for example, to vehement criticism. In contrast to the ethical rigorism of totalitarian “grand ideologies”, Lübbe emphasizes the importance of common sense and conventional morality for the development of political judgment . He opposes decisionism to a technocratic conception of political practice that reduces politics to a planning action dictated by practical constraints : for him it is the subjective decision , the emergence of which is ultimately contingent and which neither rationally nor discursively as "true" or "false “Which is the basis of the political process; In democracies it is realized through majority decisions, in which context Lübbe's recourse to the concept of a civil religion ( Jean-Jacques Rousseau ) also becomes significant.

Another focus is on dealing with the concept of history and interest in history (1977). Inspired by Karl R. Popper Historizismusbegriff exercises Luebbe criticism of totalitarian philosophy of history models and tries to epistemological rehabilitation of historicism : Because stories always a complex conglomerate of unintended represent actions and unintended Begegnenden Nissen and side effects, can be its course neither general laws reduce even their Even forecast the basis , but only tell retrospectively in view of the incalculable number of contingent elements and dysfunctional results . The interest in stories, on the other hand, is primarily based on their identity-creating function as “processes of system individualization”.

According to Lübbe, the development of modern, scientific and technical civilization is characterized by an increasingly accelerating dynamic of change, in the course of which familiar living conditions and traditional orientations are falling out to an ever greater extent. Therefore, as a compensation, it includes the development of a “historical sense”, whose manifestations Lübbe locates in particular in the humanities , but also in phenomena such as museumisation and monument protection . In turn, he interprets the function of religion, which is ultimately resistant to enlightenment, as “ coping with contingency ”.

Lübbe's interventions in current political debates in the Federal Republic of Germany have repeatedly led to controversy, in particular his polemical argument with the student movement and the extra-parliamentary opposition in the 1960s and 1970s. Lübbe accused this of having a harmful influence on contemporary school and university politics and placed it in connection with the left-wing terrorism of the 1970s.


  • Political Philosophy in Germany: Studies on Its History. (1963)
  • The dispute over words: language and politics. (1967)
  • Secularization: History of an Idea Political Concept. (1965)
  • Theory and Decision: Studies on the Primacy of Practical Reason. (1971)
  • University reform and counter-enlightenment: analyzes, postulates, polemics on current university and science policy. (1972)
  • Consciousness in stories: studies on the phenomenology of subjectivity: Mach, Husserl, Schapp, Wittgenstein (1972)
  • Progress as a problem of orientation: Enlightenment in the present. (1975)
  • Our silent cultural revolution. (1976)
  • Science policy: planning, politicization, relevance. (1977)
  • Concept of history and interest in history: analytics and pragmatics of history. (1977)
  • Why philosophy? Opinions of a working group. (1978)
  • Terror terminus: looking back on long marches. (1978)
  • Post-Enlightenment Philosophy: The Need for Pragmatic Reason. (1980)
  • Between trend and tradition: Is the present overwhelming us? (1981)
  • Time relations: On the cultural philosophy of progress. (1983)
  • Post-Enlightenment religion. (1986, 3rd edition 2004)
  • Political moralism: The triumph of conviction over judgment. (1987)
  • Reactions of Progress: About Conservative and Destructive Modernity. 1987
  • The intrusiveness of history: Challenges of modernity from historicism to National Socialism. (1989)
  • The meaning of life in industrial society: on the moral constitution of scientific and technical civilization. (1990, 2nd edition 1994)
  • Freedom instead of compulsion to emancipate: the liberal traditions and the end of Marxist illusions. (1991)
  • In the train of time: Shortened stay in the present. (1992)
  • Farewell to the superstate: there will be no United States of Europe. (1994)
  • Time experiences: Seven terms to describe modern civilization dynamics. (1996)
  • The future of the past: communication networks and archives. (2000)
  • "I apologize." The new political penance ritual. (2001)
  • Post-Enlightenment Politics: Philosophical Essays. (2001)
  • Post-Enlightenment Science and Religion: On the Loss of Cultural Significance of Scientific Worldviews. (2001)
  • Enlightenment on occasion: Philosophical essays on politics, religion and morality. (2001)
  • Media and society change. (2002)
  • Modernization winners: religion, sense of history, direct democracy and morality. (2004)
  • Virtue terror - higher morality as a source of political violence . In: Totalitarismus und Demokratie , 1 (2004), 2, pp. 203-217 ( PDF ).
  • The ecumenism of civilization: globalization culturally, technically and politically. (2005)
  • From party comrade to federal citizen: About silent and historicized pasts. (2007)
  • An interview with Hermann Lübbe. Wilhelm Fink, Paderborn 2010, ISBN 978-3-7705-5044-9 .
  • Dynamics of civilization: Sobering progress politically and culturally. Schwabe, Basel 2014, ISBN 978-3-7965-3251-1 .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Founding appeal from 1970.
  2. Hermann Lübbe . In: Munzinger archive. From: munzinger.de, accessed on June 25, 2016
  3. Lübbe does not exclude membership . In: Focus, September 1, 2007. From: focus.de, accessed on June 25, 2016
  4. Hermann Lübbe . In: Der Spiegel, August 28, 1978. From: spiegel.de, accessed on June 25, 2016
  5. I apologize - The New Political Penitential Ritual . In: Deutschlandfunk, May 7, 2001. From: deutschlandfunk.de, accessed on June 25, 2016
  6. The belated continent . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 25, 2016. From: faz.net, accessed on June 25, 2016