Altonaer Stiftung für philosophische Grundlagenforschung

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From the statute



Direction and Administration

The Foundation is directed by a Board constituted by Uwe Petersen (Chair), Valerie Kerruish (Deputy Chair), and Matthias Kaiser. Its administrator and secretary is Ulrike Horway.


The Foundation engages mainly in three areas:
  • dialectical logic und speculative philosophy,
  • legal theory, and
  • applied ethics.

It is organised accordingly as a Centre for Speculative Logic convened by Uwe Petersen, a Centre for Legal Theory convened by Valerie Kerruish, and a Centre for Applied Ethics convened by Matthias Kaiser.

Centre for environmental and technology ethics

For further information please contact Matthias Kaiser at

Centre for Legal Theory

The Centre will support the interdisciplinary study of the conceptual, social and political foundations of law with particular reference to the role of colonialism in the emergence of modern forms of law.

The genre of legal theory pursued at the Centre continues the interdisciplinary endeavours of Critical Legal Theory and of Legal Studies in the common law jurisdictions of Great Britain and its erstwhile colonies. What is characteristic of this genre is the displacement and critique of the point of view internal to law by reference to points of view of other disciplines or theoretical approaches.

The Centre has three principal foci: foundations of law, the study of law as a social and cultural phenomenon, and law's relation to its past within particular jurisdictions. The legacy of British colonialism in the legal relations established with indigenous peoples in the former colonies is a particular topic of research at the Centre.

The language of the Centre is English.

For more information, please contact Valerie Kerruish at

Centre for the development of speculative logic

Building on Uwe Petersen's work in dialectical logic and speculative philosophy (cf. Diagonal Method and Dialectical Logic, in particluar Part G, The Calculus of Dialectical Logic) the Centre pursues the goal of locating thought determinations in an area which is occupied in classical (as well as intuitionistic) sequential logic by the structural rules. On the basis of a higher-order logic, i.e. a logic with unrestricted abstraction, which has no structural rules at all (not even associativity of assumptions which is commonly provided without explicit mention), the role of the structural rules is to be replaced in a step by step fashion by intensional notions. The number of basic logical constants is to be kept as low as possibly, preferably only a single one, a form of inclusion. The intensional notions to be developed are designed to reflect the characteristic features of classical thought determinations (categories). The introduction of the Z-inferences and the definition of the notions of necessity and weak implication in Capter XXXIII of Diagonal Method and Dialectical Logic serve as a paradigm here.

The Centre for the Development of Speculative Logic is constantly seeking co-workers with a solid grasp of the Gentzen calculus, who are able to understand and devise on their own account, complex metamathematical proofs.

For more information, please contact Uwe Petersen at