IAS Fellow at Grey College, Durham University (January – March 2008)
Professor Bernd Goebel has German and French degrees in philosophy, divinity and religious studies, with a Ph.D. from Bonn University and the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Paris. He was an Assistant Professor at the Hanover Institute for Philosophical Research from 1997 to 2001 and has lectured for the Catholic University of Lille’s department of theology and for the University of Hildesheim’s department of philosophy. He has held visiting professorships at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Paris and the University of Notre Dame. In 2002-03 he was a fellow of the Erasmus Institute at the University of Notre Dame and has recently been elected to a visiting fellowship at Magdalen College Oxford for Michaelmas term 2007.
Professor Goebel’s main areas of interest are early medieval and contemporary philosophy (ethics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and ontology). He has published on a variety of subjects. His first book, Rectitudo: Wahrheit und Freiheit bei Anselm von Canterbury (2001), is a historical and systematic study of Anselm’s philosophical theology. He has co-edited four collections of essays, on environmental ethics (Nachhaltigkeit in der Oekologie, 2001), political philosophy (Eine moralische Politik?, 2001), bioethics (Gentechnologie und die Zukunft der Menschenwuerde, 2003), and on philosophical naturalism (Probleme des Naturalismus, 2005). Two other works which he is co-editing are to be published in late 2007 or early 2008: a collection of critical essays on philosophical postmodernism (Kritik der postmodernen Vernunft) and a German translation with introduction and commentary of Augustine’s The Nature of Good; a series of three articles on reason and authority in the early middle ages is forthcoming in 2007 in a French anthology. Goebel has also translated several books into German such as the best-selling Ethik für junge Menschen (Ethics for young adults) by the Mexican philosopher Héctor Zagal.
He is a founding member of the German Society for Philosophy and Science (GPW), a member of the International Society for the Study of Medieval Philosophy (SIEPM), the German Society for Analytical Philosophy (GAP), and the scientific board of the Anselm of Canterbury-Foundation Beuron.
Professor Goebel is currently working on a series of articles about the philosophical theology of Anselm of Canterbury, parts of which he wishes to incorporate into an introductory book on Anselm. During his time at the IAS, he will be researching and writing on the new conceptual models of understanding human action, freedom and responsibility that Anselm developed in the 11th century, and on the rival models of interpreting his thought.