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KN Schmaus

Human Ecological General Studies Human Ecological General Studies

Thomas Schmaus, (Alanus University, Bonn-Alfter)

General Studies are a component of many study programmes. What the different concepts have in common is that they represent a supplementary study programme to the specialised study programme and are intended to enable the formation of key competences. They range from a loose collection of disparate courses from different disciplines to a strictly designed study programme with seminars that build on each other.

In my presentation, I will argue that it makes sense for our present and future to orient General Studies towards Human Ecology. For the students, it enables a holistic Bildung at the cutting edge of the times. On the side of society, this focus helps to cope with the manifold ecological and social challenges. On the part of Human Ecology it opens up a low-threshold opportunity to bring its educational concerns into the larger context of higher education.

I will also make a proposal on how human ecological General Studies can be structured.



Human Ecological General Studies Human Ecological General Studies - Keynote


  Thomas Schmaus is Professor of Philosophy at Alanus University in Alfter/Bonn. He studied Philosophy and Theology in Munich and Vienna and was graduated at the Munich school of Philosophy with a study on the philosophy of flow experience. After several years as a research assistant, he became Junior Professor and in 2018 Professor of Philosophical Anthropolgy at Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences. In the last seven years he was Head of the Institute for Philosophy and Aesthetics. During this time he was responsible for the Studium Generale and co-created the B.A. Program "Philosophy, Arts and Social Entrepreneurship". His research and teaching focus on human-nature relations (anthropocene, anthropo- and ecocentrism, resonance and alienation, urban gardening) and human-technology relations (digitisation, trans- and posthumanism).