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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2020/21 Prof. Dr. Günter Figal

Prof. Dr. Günter Figal

University of Freiburg
Internal Senior Fellow
October 2013 - July 2014


Günter Figal spent his years as a student at the University of Heidelberg. Among his teachers were Hans-Georg Gadamer, Dieter Henrich, Michael Theunissen, and Ernst Tugendhat. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg in 1976, and in 1987, after his Habilitation, his appointment as Privatdozent. From 1989 till 2001 he was professor of philosophy at the University of Tübingen. Since 2001 he has been professor of philosophy (chair) at the university of Freiburg. Since 1995 he is a regular member of the Collegium Phaenomenologicum. He is the editor of the International Yearbook for Hermeneutics (Internationales Jahrbuch für Hermeneutik) and, since 2003, the president of the Martin-Heidegger-Society. Figal held distinguished visiting professor positions in Berlin (Humboldt University), Nishinomiya (Kwansei Gakuin University), Rome (University La Sapienza), Aarhus (Aarhus University), Leuven (Kardinal Mercier Chair), and Boston (Gadamer Distinguished Visiting Professor, Boston College). In 2009 / 2010 he was Internal Senior Fellow of FRIAS. Since 2013 he is the second speaker the Freiburg research center SFB 2015 (Muße. Konzepte, Räume, Figuren). In the same year he was elected as member of the board of trustees of the foundation Humanismus Heute.


Selected Publications

  • Martin Heidegger. Phänomenologie der Freiheit. Forth, revised edition, Tübingen 2013.
  • Kunst. Philosophische Abhandlungen, Tübingen 2012. 389 400 pages.
  • Erscheinungsdinge. Ästhetik als Phänomenologie, Tübingen 2010. 304 pages. English and Italian translation in preparation.
  • Vertehensfragen. Studien zur phänomenologisch-hermeneutischen Philosophie, Tübingen 2009. 329 pages.
  • Gegenständlichkeit. Das Hermeneutische und die Philosophie, Tübingen 2006. 447 pages. Translations into Englisch (Objectivity), Italian (Oggetualità), Brasilian Portuguese (Oposicionalidade), and Hungarian (Tárgyiság).


FRIAS Research Project


Space and spatiality are supposed to be its main topic of my project. My considerations are led by the assumption that, in contrast to phenomenal objects, space is inconspicuous, and, furthermore, that it is the inconspicuousness of space what allows objects to appear. This does not mean that space is just the condition for the appearance of objects. Phenomenal objects are not “in” space, but rather they are spatial themselves. Accordingly, the interplay between inconspicuousness and the appearance of spatial objects is as such a matter of space. Inconspicuousness, Unscheinbarkeit, is an expression used by Heidegger in his later texts. Heidegger refers with this term mainly to Being (Sein) as being withdrawn from understanding. Thus the term is reserved for the indication of ‘something’ that can only be “said” but never be described. Although stimulated and motivated by Heidegger’s considerations, I make a different move. What I am aiming it is just a description of the inconspicuous. This description can surely not be direct or immediate. But conceived as space, the inconspicuous is never hidden or withdrawn. Rather it shows itself indirectly along with the spatial, living beings or things. In letting live or things show themselves, space as such is co-present, and in this co-presence, it can be described.