Philosophicum Lech discusses hatred on the occasion of its 25th anniversary

Presentation of the Essay Prize "tract" to Marie Louise Knott.

Presentation of the essay prize “Tractatus” to Marie Luise Knott.
©VN/Steurer (archive image)

The Philosophicum Lech is meeting this year on the topic “Hate. Anatomy of an elementary feeling”.

After a literary and philosophical evening beforehand and a dialogue event, well-known experts will have a transdisciplinary discussion on this topic from September 22nd to 25th. The highlights are the presentation of the “Tractatus” essay prize to Marie Luise Knott and the presentation of a jubilee volume on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the symposium in the Arlberg community.

Hatred is everywhere

Hate postings on social media, hate speech and hate preachers – hate is omnipresent today. “Everyone agrees on the rejection of hate and hate speech. But it is rarely asked what kind of feeling hate actually is, what sources it is fed from, what makes hate aggressive, hurtful and disturbing, but also what is satisfying , maybe even those who take pleasure in hate,” says Konrad Paul Liessmann, scientific director of the Philosophicum, in his editorial. Too often it is forgotten that hate is the flip side of love. Rapid condemnation fails to recognize that hatred is an elementary feeling that, in its destructiveness, also knows how to release productive energies.

Reinhard Haller speaks

The invited speakers are the psychiatrist Reinhard Haller, the German philosophers Christoph Demmerling, Hilge Landweer, Barbara Zehnpfennig and Ingrid Vendrell Ferran, the philosopher and Islamic scholar Ahmad Milad Karimi from Kabul, the youth culture researcher Bernhard Heinzlmaier, the journalist Svenja Flasspöhler, who Vienna-teaching legal philosopher Alexander Somek and the media scientist Bernhard Pörksen.

After their premiere in the previous year, the “Philosophicum Dialogues”, which are independent of the conference topic, will again kick off in 2022. Two panel discussions on Tuesday will discuss the “Turning point – turning point: Europe in upheaval”. On Wednesday evening, Liessmann and Philosophicum co-founder Michael Köhlmeier will shed light on a “time to love, a time to hate”, after which the volume “Der Geist im gebirge” will be presented on the occasion of the 25th anniversary. Publisher Konrad Paul Liessmann selected contributions from the annual themes – from the first Philosophicum Lech in 1997 to the present day.

The opening will take place on Thursday evening, with State Secretary Andrea Mayer (Greens) and Governor Markus Wallner (ÖVP) among others expected. A highlight of the event is the presentation of the “Tractatus” essay award, endowed with 25,000 euros, to the German author, critic and translator Marie Luise Knott, who won the award for her work “370 Riverside Drive, 730 Riverside Drive. Hannah Arendt and Ralph Ellison” received. The laudatory speech will be held by the Swiss philosopher Barbara Bleisch, and a string trio movement by Marcus Nigsch composed especially for this occasion will be premiered.

25. Philosophicum Lech. “Hate. Anatomy of an Elementary Feeling”. Lech am Arlberg, September 20th to 25th. More information at

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