Einmischung erwünscht? Die öffentliche Rolle der Intellektuellen


*Thea Dorn in conversation with Prof. Rainer Forst, Moderation: Peter Siller*

In an essay in Spiegel, the author and television presenter Thea Dorn lamented the demise of the public intellectual in Germany, arguing that, especially in times of crisis, interventions by intellectuals are now more necessary than ever. This message is also addressed – indeed, especially – to Frankfurt critical theory with its claim to combine social analysis with public intervention.

The author and presenter *Thea Dorn* was born in Offenbach am Main in 1970 and now lives in Berlin. She studied philosophy in Frankfurt, Vienna and Berlin and from 1995 to 2000 was a research associate and lecturer at the Institute of Philosophy at the Freie Universität Berlin. Thea Dorn became well known to a wider audience as the author of award-winning detective novels (including ‘Die Hirnkönigin’, 1999), screenplays and non-fiction books (e.g. ‘Die neue F-Klasse’, 2006) and as the presenter of cultural programmes on television (including ‘Literatur im Foyer’, since 2004).

*Rainer Forst* is Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Following studies in philosophy, political science, and American studies in Frankfurt am Main, New York, and at Harvard University, he worked as a research associate on a research project on legal theory in Frankfurt. He received his doctorate in 1993 (with Jürgen Habermas) with a dissertation on theories of political and social justice (Kontexte der Gerechtigkeit: Politische Philosophie jenseits von Liberalismus und Kommunitarismus, Suhrkamp 1994; English translation: Contexts of Justice, University of California Press 2002) and habilitated in philosophy with his work Toleranz im Konflikt: Geschichte, Gehalt und Gegenwart eines umstrittenen Begriffs (Suhrkamp 2003). Since November 2007 he has been Speaker (jointly with Prof. Klaus Günther) of the newly-established Cluster of Excellence ‘The Formation of Normative Orders’. In the same year Rainer Forst published his book Das Recht auf Rechtfertigung: Elemente einer konstruktivistischen Theorie der Gerechtigkeit. His most recent work, Kritik der Rechtfertigungsverhältnisse: Perspektiven einer kritischen Theorie der Politik, will appear in 2010.

*Peter Siller* (* 1970) is Scientific Manager of the Cluster of Excellence `The Formation of Normative Orders’ at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Formerly he was the director of the domestic divisions of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and a member of the planning staff at the German Foreign Ministry. He studied law and philosophy. In addition he is founder and managing editor of the journal `polar’ which appears twice yearly in the Campus Verlag (www.polar-zeitschrift.de). He numerous publications on political philosophy and practice include `Rechtsphilosophische Kontroversen der Gegenwart’ (1999), `Politik als Inszenierung’ (2000), `Zukunft der Programmpartei’ (2002), `Arbeit der Zukunft’ (2006), `Politik der Gerechtigkeit’ (2009).