Here you will find information that is mainly intended for students and doctoral students. If you need assistance with formalia/registration, please contact Martin Brecher.

Please also refer to the main page of the Department of Philosophy on Scientific Work.

Student Papers

  • Supervision

    A student paper or thesis must be unmistakably your own work and may therefore only be supervised to a limited degree. In the case of term papers, the support is optional, for the final theses steps 1) and 2) are mandatory.

    • 1) The support begins with a consultation. The purpose is to fix a topic and rough outline.
    • 2) In a further meeting, a written outline and a summary of the intended project (up to two pages long) will be discussed. Outline and summary need to have been submitted by e-mail at least one week before the meeting. (Optional for term papers. This is where the supervision of term papers ends, except for occasional queries if problems arise. A revision of a term paper after submission is only possible if you have failed).
    • 3) You will be assigned to a supervisor from the chair's team. You can contact your supervisor until you submit your completed work, but the supervisor will not read and correct your texts (for an exception, see bullet point 5). If the questions become rampant, the supervisor will alert you.
    • 4) Each student is given the opportunity to discuss his or her project or relevant preliminary considerations or literature on the project in the research seminar. (No write-up of the presentation is required.)
    • 5) An excerpt of a maximum of six pages (preferably pages where you are at work and one can see if you analyze thoroughly enough) can be submitted at least four weeks before you submit your work. Your supervisor will then provide feedback.
  • Guidelines for Submission

    • Term papers are to be submitted in print in the secretary's office of the chair.
    • Final theses are to be submitted in print at the Student Services.
    • A Word-file is to be sent to your Professor by E-Mail.
    • In addition to your name, the title page also requires your course of study, the number of semesters and an e-mail address. 
    • Abstracts of term papers: 
      Can be submitted up to 4 weeks prior to the final submission date.
    • Signatures during the semester-break: 
      Please consider the absence of staff when planning ahead. If possible, do not make any enquiries in August.
    • Presentations and oral examinations are more demanding for master's students.
  • Guidance on Writing

    Precise and structured reasoning, comprehensible writing, correct interpretation and rhetorical conciseness are needed across all areas, but especially in philosophy. Often this is required during your studies, but not taught.

    Here you will find some practical tips and guidance on structured reading and writing (Chapter 1), definitions and explanations (Chapter 2), written argumentation (Chapter 3) and presentation and discussion (Chapter 4).

  • Expectations for a Final Thesis

    (Applies to Bachelor, Master and Admission Theses)

    • These are comparable to a journeyman piece at the craftsman's house, it is important to demonstrate that one masters the methods for creating a text.
    • The text analysis (see „interne Textkritik” in “Orientierungshilfen beim Schreiben und Interpretieren“ on the Homepage) concerns a clear question. This question does not refer to an overview of the topic or an ingenious idea of your own. It presents a concrete problem (including the relevant literature) and also addresses external questions of truth or plausibility. (Rule of thumb: 2/3 reconstruction,  1/3 own evaluation).
    • Especially important: lay a clear thread and do not fabricate self-contradictions.
    • Especially for very good work, independence of thought is an additional requirement.
    • For supervision and length, etc., see other documents.
  • Exemplary Term Papers

Advice for Bachelorsupervision

Independent Study

Some students have realized during their studies that it is not enough to simply attend the offered courses, to eat, as it were, what comes on the table.

Designing a course that seamlessly eliminates gaps would require a very strict curriculum and the associated mentality of a passive, dependent student is precisely not our ideal. Instead, we hold on to the image of the self-responsible and committed student (“Humboldt's Spirit”). In other words, without reading books in independent study, without participating in student discussion groups, a certain degree of success will not be reached. Philosophy fits the ECTS mentality of Bologna only to a limited degree.

In particular, Master's students in the fast track program encounter problems here. If so, it might be adivsable to specialize and focus primarily on normative ethics and business ethics in the field of practical philosophy, for which the following sources can serve as an introduction:

  • Introduction to Ethics:
    • Birnbacher D. „Analytische Einführung in die Ethik“, Berlin.
    • Kutschera F.v. „Grundlagen der Ethik“, Berlin.
  • Normative Ethics:
    • Kagan S. „Normative Ethics“
    • Steenblock V. (Hg.) „Kolleg Praktische Philosophie“ (2. Bd.), Stuttgart.
  • Business Ethics:
    • Homann K./Blome-Drees F. „Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik“, UTB.
    • Gesang B. „Wirtschaftsethik und Menschenrechte“, UTB.
    • Ulrich P. „Integrative Wirtschaftsethik“, Bern.