Teleological Structures in Human Life – A Workshop with Anselm W. Müller

A Conference at the University of Leipzig, 20-22 July 2018
Over the last 40 years, Anselm W. Müller has published a number of important essays on topics such as practical reasoning, virtue, the distinction between making and acting, and the ends of theory and practice. One theme that runs through this work is an interest in the teleological structures that characterize human life. Müller argues that the way thought in general and practical thought in particular are for the sake of an end differs from both blind natural teleology, as we find it in the goal-directedness of the functioning of our organs, and intentional teleology, as we find it in intentional actions. Similarly, virtuous action is neither a blind functional contribution to the good human life, nor is such a life directly in view as an end when one acts virtuously. According to Müller, it is this peculiar directedness towards truth and the good life which elevates human life above mere nature and gives it a spiritual dimension.


A collection of Müller’s essays, both published and hitherto unpublished material, is forthcoming and will be the basis of the workshop. A preliminary manuscript will be available in January 2018. The workshop will consist of a lecture by Müller and twelve sessions for presentations. Six of them will be given by established scholars, and the other six sessions are reserved for graduate students from the Universities of Chicago and Leipzig. It will be a pre-read workshop:c ontributions should be handed in two weeks before the workshop and will be made available to all participants. Sessions will start with a short introduction and will mostly be devoted to discussion.

The workshop is organized by Sebastian Rödl (Leipzig) and Christian Kietzmann (Erlangen).


Graduate students at the universities of Leipzig and Chicago can apply for giving one of the presentations. In order to do so, please send a paper of up to 10000 words to (for students at Leipzig) or (for students at Chicago). The deadline is April, 30th, 2018. Submissions will be evaluated by two committees of faculty members — one at Leipzig and one at Chicago respectively. The final decision will be made jointly by both committees. You will be informed about the acceptance of your paper by June 1st, 2018.


Felix-Klein-Hörsaal of the Paulinum building (Friday)
Augustusplatz 10, 04109 Leipzig

Alte Schlosserei (Saturday & Sunday)
Kurt-Eisner-Strasse 66, 04275 Leipzig


Conference Program          

Keynote Speakers:

Program [PDF]          


20-22 July 2018

Conference Sponsors: