Kuno Lorenz

Kuno Lorenz ( born September 17, 1932 in Vachdorf, Thuringia ) is a German philosopher. He is co-founder of dialogical logic, a philosopher of language and develops a dialogue philosophy following the pragmatic theory of action of the Erlangen constructivism.


After studying mathematics and physics in Tübingen, Hamburg, Bonn and received his PhD at Princeton in 1961 Lorenz Paul Lorenzen in Kiel with a dissertation on arithmetic and logic as a game. In 1969, he could habilitate in Erlangen. In 1970 he was appointed to succeed Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker to the chair of philosophy at the University of Hamburg. From 1974 until his retirement in 1998 he taught at the University of Saarland in Saarbrücken, in 2013 awarded him the Université de Lorraine (Nancy) the Honorary Doctorate ( Dr. hc ). Lorenz is married to the literary scholar Karin Lorenz - Lindemann.

The close scientific cooperation with Jürgen Mittelstraß since 1970, the Constance School and edited by Mittelstraß since 1980 Encyclopedia Philosophy and Theory originated Lorenz has impressively influenced by a large number of articles in particular to logic, philosophy of language, pragmatism, semiotics and Buddhism. The multi-faceted work of Lorenz includes over 100 publications.

Dialogical logic

Lorenz developed (along with Paul Lorenzen ) to construct an approach, arithmetic and logic as dialogue games. In the dialogical logic logical calculi are written upside-down, so that the initial assertion of a proponent stands up, and is defended as in a game against an opponent. This is a semantic- near logic approach, which is also suitable as a model for argumentation. Lorenz presented for the first time a simple proof of Gentz ​​'s main theorem on this game-theoretic basis. Summarizing logic and mathematics in this way as a game on, it can be a casual intuitionistic approach as a way to choose. For this purpose, an effective structure rule for the defensive and offensive duties was implemented. By another rule modification is obtained then the usual classical logic.

To a lot of dialogical logic more statements are allowed ( dialogdefinit ) than usual. The opinions do not from the outset wertdefinit or be decidable. - Metaaussagen and dialogical logic are possible on a strategic level as statements about winning strategies.

Philosophy of Language

Lorenz has significant contribution to the clarification and reconstruction of the linguistic essential process of predication, which is in the Logical propaedeutic of the early Erlanger constructivism and the philosophy of language is of central importance. The pioneering work published in 1970 elements of the linguistic criticism of that approach is designed following the later philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, a language construction of the elementary proposition and explores the possibility of a scientific language. The relationship between the independent and dependent use of predictors of nouns and verbs for things and actions is discussed spoke critically. Only the nouns are always used independently. Elementary propositions can be introduced as directly related to the predication.

Dialogic Constructivism

Not only the logic, but the whole philosophy receives at Lorenz a dialogical component: only in the mirror of the respective opposite, it is possible to reflect on itself. Lorenz developed from the orientation of the dialogical principle ( Martin Buber) and the process of language games of the late Ludwig Wittgenstein a dialogical constructivism, pragmatism of Charles Sanders Peirce and historicism of Wilhelm Dilthey be merged with the core aspects.

The dialog is used both as a process and as an object of philosophical reflection, not limited to the level of linguistic interaction.

Lorenz distinguishes between acts of the executive agents ( I-Roll ) and acts experiencing patients ( DU- roll). These complementary roles ( within a person) are dependent on each other. The actions can also be speech acts ( speeches): Taking the first-person role ( appropriation ) is done twice in speech acts: in mere talk and to - understand - giving. The capture of the Du- role ( distancing ) happens during speeches both in the mere hearing and in the sinner comprehensive understanding.

Taking as an example of a dialogic situation elementary swimming instruction, so swimming is taught as to learning and articulated as a learning step. - The semiotic functions of an action be ( as showing on the other hand in negotiations on the one hand and a sign in articulations ) distinguish Lawrence from the pragmatic character of an act as an object. The experience - Make the Show and the experience - articulate in dealing with the objects of the world will be instructed as to each other and thus seen as equal. These items are given specifically to the object plane or abstract on the plane or generated by specific acts or abstract through symbolic actions.

With the dialogic construction of the structure of our experience is modeled theoretically, in the phenomenological reduction of the degradation of the same experience is practically experienced. Up found ( Wilhelm Kamlah ) and bred from (Paul Lorenzen ) are related to each other at Lorenz and designed world and language as equally original.

Indian thinkers

Lorenz has worked extensively on Indian philosophy and Indian logic. It is important to him that it escapes the danger, to understand a foreign culture with their own thought patterns. The self and the other are transformed in a process for which there are no uncommitted pattern. In place of the Separation between theoretical and practical philosophy occurs in Indian philosophy, the separation into philosophical views ( darshan ) and religious rules (dharma ).

The typical Lorenz complementary juxtaposition of mutually contradictory acting persons is carried out under a number of other well with the Indian philosopher Nagarjuna and Shankara.

  • Nagarjuna wanted arguing Restore the Middle Way ( Madhyamaka ) Buddhism, for Lorenz an active reason in emptiness ( Shunyata ) by restriction to the I - role. The continuous rejection of all views and its opposite at Nagarjuna should not be construed as a refutation, according to Lorenz. Thinking as argument enforcement is rather itself already practicing within the meaning of the path that leads to the cessation of suffering. The doctrine of emptiness is, according to Lorenz himself empty and therefore no nihilism.
  • Sankara's Advaita Vedanta, however, represents, according to Lorenz interrogating a reason as the experience of the acquisition of the Veda by restriction to the Du- role. The brahman ( knowledge, what distinguishes the atman ) can be personalized just as bhakti at Shankara, one consisting of maya shape. The doctrine of self- delusion is a deceptively loud Lorenz and therefore no illusionism.

Works (selection)