Wolf Lepenies

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Wolf Lepenies (born January 11, 1941 in Deuthen near Allenstein , East Prussia , today Olsztyn-Dajtki, Poland ) is a German sociologist , science politician and academic writer as well as professor emeritus at the Free University of Berlin .


Lepenies grew up in Koblenz after the war and attended the Eichendorff High School there . He studied sociology and philosophy at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster . There he was editor of the student newspaper Semesterspiegel from 1965 to 1966 . In 1967 he was at Dieter Claessens with the work " Melancholy and Society " doctorate . In 1970 he completed his habilitation at the Free University of Berlin . Stays abroad took him to Paris to the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (New Jersey) .

1984 Lepenies was at the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin appointed and full professor of sociology at the Free University of Berlin appointed. Research stays have often brought him back to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 1986 he succeeded Peter Wapnewski as rector of the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin. In 2001 Dieter Grimm succeeded him in this position. In 2006 Wolf Lepenies retired as professor .

In 1991 Lepenies was one of the founders of the Collegium Budapest in Hungary, the first Institute for Advanced Study in Central and Eastern Europe. In 1988 he received the Bavarian Literature Prize (Karl Vossler Prize) for scientific representations of literary rank. He has been a member of the PEN Center Germany since 1994 . From 2004 to 2016 he was a member of the supervisory board of Axel Springer AG .

Wolf Lepenies is chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation Cologne, member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences , the American Academy of Arts and Sciences , the Académie Universelle des Cultures (Paris), the German Academy for Language and Poetry , the Academia Europaea (London), the Aspen Institute (Berlin), the German National Foundation, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Learning, History and Antiquities (both Stockholm). He has been a member of the Leopoldina since 2004 .

Awards and honors

He also received the following awards:

Fonts (selection)

  • Melancholy and society. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main, 1969 DNB 457412070 (At the same time dissertation at the University of Münster 1967 under the title: Melancholie, Langeweile und Reflexion. DNB 482289082 ).
  • With Hans Henning Ritter: places of wild thinking. On the anthropology of Claude Levi-Strauss , 1970
  • Sociological Anthropology. Materials , 1971
  • The end of natural history. Change of cultural self-evident , 1976
  • History of Sociology (in four volumes), 1981
  • Edited with Lars Gustafsson : Nemesis Divina , by Carl von Linné . Carl Hanser, Munich, Vienna 1981 (and Ullstein, Frankfurt / Main et al. 1983)
  • The three cultures. Sociology between literature and science , 1985
  • Authors and scientists in the 18th century. Linné - Buffon - Winckelmann - Georg Forster - Erasmus Darwin , 1988
  • Dangerous elective affinities. Essays on the History of Science , 1989
  • Consequences of an unheard-of incident. The Germans after unification , 1992
  • The rise and fall of the intellectuals in Europe , 1992
  • Sainte-Beuve. On the threshold of modernity , 1997
  • Behavior and Knowledge , 1997
  • Social Science and Social Change. An experience report , 1999
  • Culture and politics. German stories , 2006
  • The Seduction of Culture in German History , 2006
  • Auguste Comte : the power of signs . Hanser, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-446-23572-4 (= Edition Akzente , Volume 505).
  • Power on the Mediterranean: French dreams of a different Europe. Hanser, Munich, 2016.

Essays and articles (selection)

  • Social sciences and social change: a field report , (Oldenburger Universitätsreden 1999; 105)
  • Charming to contradict. A hundred years ago, Talcott Parsons was born, who hid at Harvard and made sociology a home in America. In: SZ, December 13, 2002.
  • Under the spell of the Bible. On the desecularization of American politics. In: SZ, January 3, 2003.
  • We are all Europeans. Three speeches from the East, the New World and the Old Continent. In: SZ, January 30, 2003.
  • At the limits of power. In Iraq, the strategy of "forced democracy" is failing. In: SZ, November 12, 2003.
  • Why it is worth reading Balzac in times of crisis . In: Die Welt, December 13, 2009.
  • I'm not really that much of a sociologist ... Wolf Lepenies in conversation with Sina Farzin , in: Sociology , vol. 46, issue 4 2017, pp. 377–388.

Web links


Individual evidence

  1. FAZ: Wolf Lepenies (accessed on February 23, 2013)
  2. Winner of the Karl Vossler Prize ( Memento of the original from June 27, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Culture, Science and Art @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.km.bayern.de
  3. http://www.fes.de/kommunikation/recht/referent/lepenies.html
  4. Wolf Lepenies receives Leibniz Medal from the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities , in: Uni-Protocols from June 26, 2003, accessed on January 26, 2010
  5. http://www.friedenspreis-des-deutschen-buchhandels.de/sixcms/media.php/1290/2006%20Friedenspreis%20Reden.pdf
  6. ^ The sociologist Wolf Lepenies received the State Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia on November 27, 2007 , press release of the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia of October 7, 2007, accessed on January 26, 2010
  7. ^ Schader Prize 2010 for Professor Wolf Lepenies , in: Informationsdienst Wissenschaft from January 25, 2010, accessed on January 26, 2010
  8. September 2015
  9. Wolf Lepenies: The Saint-Simonists and the Mediterranean System. Chapter extract from the book. In: Romance Studies 4 (2016): 21-32. June 26, 2016. Retrieved June 26, 2016 .
  10. Joseph Jurt: A Subtext of France: Mediterranean Idea, Latinity and Catholicism. On Wolf Lepenies, 'Die Macht am Mediterranean'. In: Romance Studies 4 (2016): 33–64. June 26, 2016. Retrieved June 26, 2016 .