Konrad Ott

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Konrad Ott (2014)

Konrad Ott (born  May 20, 1959 in Bergkamen ) is a German philosopher and ethicist who researches and teaches primarily in the field of bio and environmental ethics . From 1997 to 2012 he was Professor of Environmental Ethics at the University of Greifswald and has been Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of the Environment at the University of Kiel ever since . From 2000 to 2008 he was a member of the German Federal Government's Advisory Council for Environmental Issues .


Konrad Ott was born in Bergkamen in 1959 and studied philosophy , history and German studies from 1981 to 1986 at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main , where he also received his doctorate in 1989 under Jürgen Habermas and held a teaching position from 1990 to 1992 . He is considered a representative of the 'third generation' of the Frankfurt School . From 1991 to 1993 Ott worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the graduate college of the Center for Ethics in Science at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen . Subsequently, in 1993/1994, he took over as a lecturer in Tübingen, representing the chair for “Ethics in Biological Sciences”.

In 1995, Ott received his habilitation at the University of Leipzig , in the same year he moved to the Institute for Social Ethics at the University of Zurich , where he worked until 1999 as a member of the research project “Technology Assessment and Ethics”. During this time in 1997 he was appointed to the Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald , where he held the only German professorship for environmental ethics until 2012 . Since June 2012 he has been professor for philosophy and ethics of the environment at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel .

Konrad Ott is married and has four children.


Konrad Ott's research focuses on discourse ethics , sustainable development , acceptance problems of nature conservation and its ethical and moral justification, nature conservation history, ethical aspects of climate change , green genetic engineering and technology assessment . In addition to environmental ethics, he also holds courses in the areas of bioethics , theory and history of ecology and the history of nature conservation.

Konrad Ott has been a party member of Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen since the early 1980s . From 2000 to 2008 he was a member of the German Federal Government's Advisory Council for Environmental Issues and has been a member of the German Council for Land Management since 1998. He also worked for the German UNESCO Commission and is a member of the scientific advisory boards of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Ministry of the Environment , for biodiversity and genetic resources of the BMELV and the Independent Institute for Environmental Issues .


Konrad Ott developed a strongly ethical theory of sustainability and contributed to the differentiation of the theoretical sustainability concept into weak and strong sustainability through the monograph “Theory and Practice of Strong Sustainability” . Against the background of his approach, which is strongly influenced by Habermas' philosophy and political theory , his central features are the reference to existing theories of justice and the attempt to identify natural capital and to actively discuss it. Ott sees the combination of the sustainability and justice discourse as a means of bringing the shaping of nature by humans into harmony with its essential preservation.

Works (selection)

  • About the German Revolution: A contribution to many contributions these days. Haag and Herchen, Frankfurt am Main 1991, ISBN 3-89228-596-9 .
  • Knowledge of human nature as science: on the origin and logic of history as the science of the individual. Haag and Herchen, Frankfurt am Main 1991, ISBN 3-89228-670-1 .
  • The interplay between architecture and theology. Academy of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-926297-44-1 .
  • Ecology and Ethics: An Attempt at Practical Philosophy. Attempo, Tübingen 1993, ISBN 3-89308-162-3 .
  • From Justification to Action: Essays on Applied Ethics. Attempo, Tübingen 1996, ISBN 3-89308-227-1 .
  • Ipso facto: For the ethical justification of normative implications of scientific practice. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1997, ISBN 3-518-58243-7 .
  • Ethics in Computer Science. WSI, Tübingen 1999 (as co-editor)
  • Technology Assessment and Ethics: A Relationship Determination in Theory and Practice. Together with Barbara Skorupinski. ETH, Zurich 2000, ISBN 3-7281-2745-0 .
  • Range of environmental ethics. Metropolis, Marburg 2000, ISBN 3-89518-289-3 .
  • Reasoning Goals of Climate Protection: Specification of Article 2 UNFCCC; Research Report 20241252. Umweltbundesamt, Berlin 2004.
  • Moral reasons for introduction. Junius, Hamburg 2005, ISBN 3-88506-614-9 .
  • Theory and practice of strong sustainability. Together with Ralf Döring . Metropolis, Marburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-89518-695-0 .
  • Introduction to environmental ethics. Junius, Hamburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-88506-677-4 .
  • Geo-engineering: Necessary Plan B against climate change? Together with Patrick R. Mooney. Oekom, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-86581-226-1 .
  • Natural ethics and the biblical story of creation. A discourse-theoretical and narrative-hermeneutic bridge. Together with Christof Hardmeier . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2015, ISBN 978-3-17-028352-7 .
  • Immigration and Morals. Reclam, Stuttgart 2016, ISBN 978-3-15-019376-1 .
  • Handbook of environmental ethics . Ed .: Konrad Ott / Jan Dierks / Lieske Voget-Kleschin (ed.), Metzler, Stuttgart 2016, ISBN 978-3-476-02389-6 .
  • Environmental ethics . In: Kirchhoff, Thomas (ed.): Online Encyclopedia Philosophy of Nature / Online-Lexikon Naturphilosophie . Heidelberg University Library, Heidelberg 2020, ISSN 2629-8821, https://doi.org/10.11588/oepn.2020.0.68742 .


  • Professor Dr Konrad Ott. In: Konrad Ott, Philipp P. Thapa: Greifswald's Environmental Ethics. Steinbeckerverlag Rose, Greifswald 2003, ISBN 3-931483-32-0 , p. 15/16. (with bibliography, pp. 13–15)
  • Authors: Ott, Konrad. In: Meinhard Schröder (Ed.): Climate prediction and climate protection. (Scientific ethics and technology assessment. 16). Springer, Berlin / New York 2002, ISBN 3-540-43239-6 , p. XII.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Joel Anderson: The 'Third Generation' of the Frankfurt School. Published in: Intellectual History Newsletter. 22/2000. Published by the Department of History at Boston University
  2. a b Konrad Ott | Heinrich Böll Foundation Website of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  3. ^ Humboldt University Berlin, proceedings of the conference "Generation Sustainability" 2011, p. 37ff.