What is Orientation?
A Philosophical Investigation
Transl. by Müller, Reinhard G.
Aims and Scope
The very first thing one does in all situations of life is orient oneself. Decisions of orientation, which are mostly made under uncertainty and the pressure of time, largely determine subsequent decisions. But what is orientation? The problems of orientation are as old as humankind, the word is used everywhere, but the concept has never been thoroughly investigated. The philosopher Werner Stegmaier comprehensively clarifies for the first time the conditions and structures of orientation, including those of our sexual, economic, media, political, legal, scientific, artistic, religious, moral, and ethical orientations. He thereby establishes a new philosophical language and offers a philosophy for our time.
"As if I unexpectedly slipped down into a deep vortex, I am swirled around in a way that I can neither put a foot down, nor swim to the surface. Nonetheless, I will work my way out … " (René Descartes, Philosopher)
"As often as my speculation seems to lead me too far from the paved road of common sense, I stand still and seek to orient myself. I look back at the point from which we started, and I seek to compare the two guideposts I have." (Moses Mendelssohn, Philosopher)
"A philosophical problem has the form: ‘I do not know my way about.’" (Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosopher)
"The second O, orientation – as the repository of our genetic heritage, cultural tradition, and previous experiences – is the most important part of the O-O-D-A loop since it shapes the way we observe, the way we decide, the way we act." (John Boyd, Military Strategist)
"Aufs Ganze besehen präsentiert St. einen ambitionierten Entwurf, der Verschiedenstes auf eine Kernstruktur zu beziehen vermag. Vieles ist bedenkenswert und bietet Anlass, über Grundsätzliches und weitgespannte Zusammenhänge nachzusinnen."
Stefan Berg in: Zeitschrift für evangelische Ethik 2/2010
"Ein stattlicher Band von einem renommierten Verlag [...]."
In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 29.9.2008