Date of Award

Fall 2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

Warren Breckman

Second Advisor

Frank Trommler

Third Advisor

Thomas Childers


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.