Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The close relationships formed between teachers and students in the materially impoverished and politically compromised postwar universities in western Germany are the central focus of this dissertation. I analyze how a divided generation of politically overburdened intellectual youth negotiated the new possibilities opened up by the collapse of cultural restrictions imposed by the twelve-year dictatorship and the new expectations, stemming from the changing ideas and realities of the university and philosophy in an expanding middle-class, consumerist society. In spite of the limitations of their institutional and cultural environment, the younger philosophers and intellectuals I investigate develop highly productive models for the practice of philosophy and the ‘human sciences’ (Geisteswissenschaften), which have relevance beyond their own specific historical situation, national boundaries, and interests.
Di Liberto, Nicholas E., "Overcoming the Empty Years: the Role of Philosophy and the Humanities in West Germany after 1945" (2009). Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations. Paper 89.