Elisabeth Conradi

Political Theory, Social Philosophy, Ethics



Dr. Elisabeth Conradi started to study philosophy, German literature and educational theory at Heidelberg University. She then continued and completed her studies at Frankfurt University focusing on issues of exclusion and participation in deliberative democracy. In Frankfurt she earned her Master's degree in philosophy with a thesis on Immanuel Kant’s Philosophy of Right directed by Jürgen Habermas.

To qualify for a doctoral degree, she took courses at the Graduate School for Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, and did research at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Austria with an emphasis on exploring the tensions between juridical-political equality and social-cultural difference. At Frankfurt University she was engaged in postgraduate studies with Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas, as well as with guest professors Seyla Benhabib, Nancy Fraser, Judith Butler, Iris Young, and Joan Tronto.

She earned her doctoral degree in philosophy with the distinction 'insigni cum laude' at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Her doctoral dissertation is entitled "Take Care". Here she interrogates the foundation of respect through equality, autonomy, and reciprocity as well as the idea of a contractual society. As an alternative she proposes a foundation of an ethics of attentiveness and explicates how people take responsibility, and act in a careful and cooperative way.

After directing an interdisciplinary empirical research project on moral discourses in medicine at the Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine she worked as a senior researcher in political theory and the history of ideas at the Department of Political Sciences, University of Göttingen. She also conducted research as a visiting scholar at the Political Science Department at the University of Chicago, Illinois. The two questions at the center of her work are: How can the move from practice to theory, from the concrete (situation) to the general (principle) be conceptualised? And: How can the tension as well as the relation between ethics and politics be understood? Engaging these questions, her postdoctoral thesis introduces a conception of "social transformation through successful practices" in the context of a "cosmopolitan civil society".

Until recently she taught Social Sciences at Frankfurt University, and since March 2009 she is Professor of Social Theory and Philosophy at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University Stuttgart.