Sabine A. Döring-Manteuffel – Germany

Sabine A. Döring is Professor Philosophy at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. She studied Philosophy, German Literature, Linguistics, and Psychology at Göttingen University. Before moving to Tübingen, she was Research Associate in Philosophy at King’s College London and The University of Manchester, and prior to that an Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Duisburg-Essen University, also doing research at UC Berkeley and St. Andrews University … (full text on the homepage of

Sabine Döring’s main research areas are the theory of practical rationality, ethics, aesthetics, and increasingly the philosophy of mind, with an emphasis on the philosophy of emotion. In her thesis (entitled “Ästhetische Erfahrung als Erkenntnis des Ethischen: Die Kunsttheorie Robert Musil’s und die analytische Philosophie”) she examined Robert Musil’s claim that ethical knowledge can only be gained by aesthetic experience. This claim is ultimately based on a particular theory of emotion, fascinating enough to ground an enduring interest into the subject. Sabine Döring “Habilitationsschrift” (Second Book) deals with the problem of rational motivation, i. e. with the problem of how to account for the conceptual claim that normative practical reasons are capable of motivating us towards action. In short, the idea is that this problem can only be solved by integrating the emotions, understood as “affective perceptions”, into the theory of practical rationality and morality. (on

Sabine Doering-Manteuffel (geborene Künsting, * 3. August 1957 in Bonn) ist seit 1995 Professorin für Europäische Ethnologie/Volkskunde in Augsburg. Nach dem Studium der Völkerkunde, Philosophie, Geschichte und Volkskunde in Köln und Bonn, das sie 1984 mit der Promotion abschloss, war sie bis 1989 an der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn als wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin tätig. 1987 war sie Visiting Scholar an der Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Kanada. 1988 hatte sie ein Post-Doc-Stipendium am Maison des Sciences de l`Homme in Paris. Nach der Habilitation in Mainz 1993 erhielt sie 1995 den Ruf nach Augsburg. 1999 war sie Gastprofessorin am Center for West European Studies an der University of Pittsburgh, USA. 2003 nahm sie eine Gastprofessur (Directrice d`Études associée) am Maison des Sciences de l`Homme in Paris an. Sabine Doering-Manteuffel ist verheiratet mit dem Zeithistoriker Anselm Doering-Manteuffel … (full text).

Her bio in german on the UniAugsburg;

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Sabine A. Döring-Manteuffel – Germany – (sorry, it’s again the upload tool for NEW photos)

Listen this audio in german: WGT 2008 MDR Radio Bericht über Okkultismus & Schwarze Szene, 06.13 min, May 20, 2008.

Her book: The Occult, 352 pages, 2008:

  • Occultism is the collective name for a number of neo-heathen, esoteric and theosophical currents that affect, move and threaten people. Especially since the 18th century, occultism has been going through a period of popularity that is unbroken to this day. Sabine Doering-Manteuffel tells the history of occultism from the late Middle Ages until the present day … (full text).
  • A success story in the shadow of the Enlightenment.

Moral Emotions about Risky Technologies, Delft, Netherlands: Risk Assessment as Virtue, by Sabine A. Döring and Fritz Feger, University of Mancheste, 11 pdf-pages.

Find her and her publications bei PapierChaos; bei and on; on de.wikipedia; on philPapers; on Google Book-search.

Beyond the Witch Trials – Witchcraft and Magic in Enlightenment Europe, Edited by Owen Davies and Willem de Blécourt: (This) is an important volume on the nature of witchcraft and magic in European society during the Enlightenment. This innovative book provides the reader with a challenging variety of approaches and sources of information, as well as advancing the study of witchcraft into the eighteenth century. The essays cover England, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Scotland, Finland and Sweden, and examine the experience of and attitudes towards witchcraft in those countries. The contributors come from different academic disciplines and move beyond the usual historical perspectives and sources. They emphasize the importance of studying such themes as the aftermath of witch trials, the continued role of cunning-folk in society, and the nature of the witchcraft discourse in different social contexts … Praise: This is a fine collection of essays on an important topic in witchcraft studies.The study of the persistence of witchcraft beliefs and accusations during a period of enlightenment has only recently begun, and these essays make a substantial contribution to that enterprise.”–Brian P. Levack, University of Texas at Austin … Table of contents: … The dissemination of magical knowledge in Enlightenment Germany, (by) Sabine Doering-Manteuffel … (full text).

IMPRESSIONS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE RESEARCHERS CONFERENCE “ERZÄHLEN ZWISCHEN DEN KULTUREN” IN AUGSBURG, 1.–5.09.2002 – The committee for narrative research at the German Ethnology Society (Die Kommission für Erzählforschung in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde) organised under the leadership of narrative researchers Sabine Wienker-Piepho and Sabine Doering-Manteuffel on September 1–5, 2002, in Augsburg, Germany, the international conference Erzählen zwischen den Kulturen (Intercultural Narrating): … The question of right and wrong, with regard to heritage, often can be reduced to fears and stereotypes that help create a distance from strangers. This distance is necessary for getting used to the stranger. And it is also used to change the stereotype and assimilate the other among the self. The task of narrative research is to find the reasons of narrating: what is important in the society, what is feared, what are we protected from by narrating the fears or by visualising them. Herein lies the reason for giving value to the comments and narrating situation and the need to record both. The papers revealed that within Europe we might rather talk about local features of intracultural narratives, especially in the case of stories concerning the relations of people and nature, Europeans and non-Europeans or even political relations. Intercultural narrating is related to national relations, migration and tourism. Narrating is limited to a fairly limited circle if the topic concerns conflicts that do not carry similar weight with other heritage groups (holocaust stories in Jewish families, deportations in Estonian families … (full text, 5 pages).

She writes: With the consequentialist’s view, the emotions are a nonrational source of practical reason by constituting goals for action. What if, then, they interfere with the reasoned pursuit of these goals? Can emotional choices be rational? This is the claim of Robert H. Frank, whose evolutionary economic theory has recently gained some popularity among philosophers. Frank’s so-called commitment model is my concern in this paper. I explain its formal version which is meant to demonstrate that ‘honest’ individuals can prosper in the material world. It is those individuals who, according to Frank, regularly make rational emotional choices so as to solve ‘commitment problems’. This is claimed to be due to their specific genetic predisposition. I offer two interrelated arguments against the commitment model. First, I argue that Frank does not succeed in bridging the gap between deliberation and evolution. His model rather is exemplary of a research strategy which does not address the question of how the two processes may be combined coherently. Frank applies what, in inversion of Elliott Sober’s ‘heuristic of personification’, I am calling the ‘heuristic of biologisation’. He draws upon the isomorphism between deliberation and evolution consisting in that both are optimising processes. But the respective optimality criteria can come apart. I point out that this is so in the one-shot Prisoner’s Dilemma. Frank’s prime example of a commitment problem provides a counter-example to the method he applies, and his classification of choices is ecisionist and inconsistent. This in turn undermines his account of practical rationality and morality. Opposing Frank’s ambitious normative claims, I show, secondly, that the commitment model does not rationalise emotional choices, leave alone establish their morality. Instead, Frank’s adaptive strategy leads to a paradox, which emerges precisely because the gap between deliberation and evolution remains unbridged … (full long text, 17 pdf-pages).

Buchrezension von Sabine Doering: Thorsten Becker, Das ewige Haus, Urdeutsches Pfarrhaus … Politische Brisanz gewinnt dieses Lutherbild allerdings durch die Romanfiktion, die das Leben des Reformators mit dem seines Biographen Gutsche verklammert. Aus der Sicht von dessen Nachlassverwalter, dem Erzähler des Romans, zieht sich eine unmittelbare Linie von Luthers fürstentreuer Haltung zu den Katastrophen der Gegenwart. Die Niederlage der Bauern in der Schlacht von Frankenhausen nimmt den Untergang der deutschen Soldaten bei Stalingrad vorweg, und Luthers Kritik an den Juden erscheint in grober Verkürzung gar als Vorbereitung des Holocaust … (full long text, 29. März 2009).

Die Philosophie gilt als das Geschäft der Vernunft. Gefühle hingegen werden meistens nicht als der Königsweg zur Weisheit gepriesen. Sie sind vage, unstet, subjektiv, nicht verallgemeinerbar und daher das verdächtige «Andere der Vernunft». Doch das ist nur die halbe Wahrheit. Wer genauer hinsieht, findet das philosophische Interesse an Emotionen schon in der Antike und als manchmal deutlichere, manchmal unauffälligere Spur durch die Geschichte des menschlichen Denkens – etwa bei Baruch Spinoza, David Hume, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre und vielen anderen mehr … (full text).

Viele Errungenschaften der Moderne verdanken wir den Ideen der Aufklärung. Menschenrechte und Staatlichkeit, Frieden und Freiheit sind Ziele, die in den meisten Ländern Europas Grundlage des gesellschaftlichen Lebens sind. Man könnte davon ausgehen, dass in solchen Gesellschaften ausschließlich vernünftige und aufgeklärte Weltanschauungen vorherrschen. Doch das ist nicht unbedingt der Fall.
Durch die beiden Medienrevolutionen – die erste nach Gutenberg und die zweite nach der Einführung des Internets – wurde ein okkulter Untergrund an Lesestoffen geschaffen, der in der heutigen Zeit in Verbindung mit Verkaufsstrategien einen Medienmarkt des Magischen bedient, an dem viele Anbieter und Kunden teilhaben. Der Vortrag zeigt anhand der Entwicklung dieses Marktes seit dem 18. Jahrhundert auf, wie das Zusammenspiel aus neuen Informationstechnologien, einer Säkularisierung der Lebenswelt seit dem 19. Jahrhundert und dem Transzendenzbedürfnis des Einzelnen in einem rational-technischen Alltag zu okkultistischen Weltanschauungen führt … (full text, 15. September 2008).


Zembla-documentaire ontmaskert het ‘medium’ Char — paaszondag, ’s avonds op Nederland 2;

Exorcism and Enlightenment: Johann Joseph Gassner and the Demons of Eighteenth-Century Germany (review);

Humanities and Social Sciences online: Aus den Feuilletons vom 23. – 29.5.2007;

Die Kategorie “Volkskundler” auf Wikipedia.

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