Prof. Darrel Moellendorf - Professur für Internationale Politische Theorie und Philosophie


Goethe Universität Frankfurt
Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Institut für Politikwissenschaft

Haus "Normative Ordnungen"
Max-Horkheimer-Straße 2, Raum 3.11
Karte des Campus Westend 

Ich bin politischer Theoretiker und Umwelt-, Moral- und Politikphilosoph. Die Art der philosophischen Forschung, die ich betreibe, wird von Problemen in unserem Leben und der Welt, in der wir leben, angetrieben. Ich habe viele Interessen in Philosophie und politischer Theorie, aber meine Forschung konzentriert sich auf drei Projekte: 1) ein Buchmanuskript zu umweltphilosophischen und politisch-philosophischen Fragen im Zusammenhang mit dem Anthropozän, in dem ich für die Chancen argumentiere, die es bietet, und die Interessen verurteile, die der Katastrophe den Hof machen; 2) ein Projekt zur moralischen Psychologie der Hoffnung und 3) mehrere Arbeiten in einem Bereich der Theorie des gerechten Krieges, den ich "jus ex bello" nenne. Ich strebe in meinen Texten Klarheit und analytische Strenge an und achte auf die argumentative Struktur und die Notwendigkeit von Beweisen. Ich ermutige die Studenten, die ich betreue, dies ebenfalls zu tun.

“I tried to ask myself, when writing: precisely what does this sentence contribute to the developing exposition or argument, and is it true? You become analytical when you practice that sort of (frequently painful) self-criticism."

─G.A. Cohen, Karl Marx's Theory of History, A defence, Vorwort zur Ausgabe 2000

“[T]here are some things in our social system to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I suggest that you too ought to be maladjusted. I never intend to adjust myself to the viciousness of mob rule. I never intend to adjust myself to the evils of segregation and the crippling effects of discrimination. I never intend to adjust myself to the tragic inequalities of an economic system which takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes. I never intend to become adjusted to the madness of militarism and the self-defeating method of physical violence. I call upon you to be maladjusted. Well you see, it may be that the salvation of the world lies in the hands of the maladjusted."

─Martin Luther King, Jr., A Look to the Future, 1957

Pessimism is cowardice. The man who cannot frankly acknowledge the 'Jim-Crow' car as a fact and yet live and hope is simply afraid either of himself or of the world. There is not in the world a more disgraceful denial of human brotherhood than the 'Jim-Crow' car of the southern United States; but, too, just as true, there is nothing more beautiful in the universe than sunset and moonlight on Montego Bay in far Jamaica. And both things are true and both belong to this our world, and neither can be denied."

—W.E.B. Du Bois, Darkwater, Voices from within the vale, 1920 

Fragen zur Lehre bitte ausschließlich
Sprechstunde: In der vorlesungsfreien Zeit nach Vereinbarung über das Sekretariat.

Betreuung von Studierenden
Ich betreue studentische Abschlussarbeiten in normativer politischer Theorie und Philosophie. Ich kann keine Arbeiten betreuen, deren Argumente in erster Linie auf empirischen Studien und Methoden beruhen (qualitativ und quantitativ). Studierende, die eine solche Arbeit schreiben möchten, sollten sich einen anderen Betreuer suchen. Ich erhalte eine Vielzahl von Anfragen zur Betreuung von Bachelor-Arbeiten und priorisiere daher wie folgt: 

1) Studierende, die Seminare bei mir belegt haben und die in Bereichen arbeiten, zu denen ich ausreichend Expertise habe. 

2) Studierende, die im Bereich Umweltphilosophie bzw. Politische Theorie der Umwelt arbeiten.

3) Falls weitere Kapazitäten bestehen Studierende aus anderen Bereichen, in denen ich über ausreichend Expertise verfüge.

In den Semesterferien biete ich keine BA- und MA-Betreuungstermine an und führe keine mündlichen Prüfungen durch. 

Betreuungsanfragen richten Sie bitte an die Team Assistentin Frau Ellen Nieß, um einen Sprechstundentermin mit mir zu vereinbare.

How I got here

On being (a) Patient

Ein unveröffentliches Manuskript mit dem Titel On Being (a) Patient: A Philosopher Confronts Deadly Disease ist hier verfügbar.

Team Assistentin: Ellen Nieß
Raum: 3.12
Tel.: +49 (0)69 / 798 - 31521
Fax:  +49 (0)69 / 798 - 31462

Öffnungszeiten des Sekretariats für Studierende:
Dienstags 10 bis 12 Uhr


Aktuelle Artikel und Kapitel

The Parties to the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement agreed to act on the basis of equity to protect the climate system. Equitable effort sharing is an irreducibly normative matter, yet some influential studies have sought to create quantitative indicators of equitable effort that claim to be value-neutral (despite evident biases). Many of these studies fail to clarify the ethical principles underlying their indicators, some mislabel approaches that favour wealthy nations as ‘equity approaches’ and some combine contradictory indicators into composites we call derivative benchmarks. This Perspective reviews influential climate effort-sharing assessments and presents guidelines for developing and adjudicating policy-relevant (but not ethically neutral) equity research. 
With the significant disconnect between the collective aim of limiting warming to well below 2°C and the current means proposed to achieve such an aim, the goal of this paper is to offer a moral assessment of prominent alternatives to current international climate policy. To do so, we'll outline five different policy routes that could potentially bring the means and goal in line. Those five policy routes are: (1) exceed 2°C; (2) limit warming to less than 2°C by economic de-growth; (3) limit warming to less than 2°C by traditional mitigation only; (4) limit warming to less than 2°C by traditional mitigation and widespread deployment of Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs); and (5) limit warming to less than 2°C by traditional mitigation, NETs, and Solar Radiation Management as a fallback. In assessing these five policy routes, we rely primarily upon two moral considerations: the avoidance of catastrophic climate change and the right to sustainable development. We'll conclude that we should continue to aim at the two-degree target, and that to get there we should use aggressive mitigation, pursue the deployment of NETs, and continue to research SRM.  
Climate change and climate change policy raise important issues of intergenerational and international justice. Intergenerational justice requires that CO2 emissions be halted by the middle of this century or shortly thereafter. But since human development requires energy, the elimination of emissions raises important questions of international justice. Responding adequately to climate change requires international cooperation in order to affect a rapid transition to renewable energy production and consumption and to safeguard conditions in which continued progress in human development can be made.
The world built by financial integration allows crises that move quickly from one country to another, destroying the lives of people who are vulnerable to poverty. Witness the remarkable speed of the crisis that began as a home mortgage crisis in the United States in 2007 but quickly generalized into an economic crisis around the world. When such contagion breaks out, the poor typically suffer disproportionately. Even after a recovery, the lasting effects, the hysteresis, can trap an entire generation in poverty, which they might otherwise have avoided. 
After a short introduction into the recent discourse on the Anthropocene, I will discuss three different interpretations of the Anthropocene: the Anthropocene as promethean, as destruction andas inegalitarian. These interpretations cannot simply be settled by the facts since they concern the direction in which things might develop. Therefore, I will argue, they are not mere predictions based on theoretical reason. Because of the very fact thatthey are bound up with fundamental human interests and human moral concerns, they involve prospection based on practical reason and prospection is itself deeply associated with hope. The final part of my paper  aims  to  show  that  we  are  justified  to  hold  hope  in  the  epoch  of  the Anthropocene. 
The international community is currently in the midst of a facilitative dialogue about how to increase mitigation ambition under the terms of Paris Agreement. This dialogue concerns centrally considerations of equity, which includes matters of both justice and responsibility. I defend the importance of the right to sustainable development in this regard. I argue that if the right of states to pursue poverty eradicating human development is to be respected, then there is plausible interpretation of responsibility for mitigation in which a state’s ability to pay is the central consideration, where that ability is measured by its human development level. That conception of responsibility should be applied to considerations of how increase mitigation ambition. 
The language of hope is a ubiquitous part of political life, but its value is increasingly contested. While there is an emerging debate about hope in political philosophy, an assessment of the prevalent scepticism about its role in political practice is still outstanding. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of historical and recent treatments of hope in political philosophy and to indicate lines of further research. We argue that even though political philosophy can draw on recent analyses of hope in analytic philosophy, there are distinct challenges for an account of hope in political contexts. Examples such as racial injustice or climate change show the need for a systematic normative account that is sensitive to the unavoidability of hope in politics as much as its characteristic dangers. 
Darrel Moellendorf investigates the question of the justification of hope under current conditions in his “Hope for Material Progress in the Age of the Anthropocene." He argues that hope is subject to rationality constraints and can only be justified if there are “hope-makers" that are constituted by evidence and explanation that allow reasons for hope to be shared. Concerning political progress, Moellendorf takes up a claim from the Marxist tradition that assumes that social justice can only be achieved under conditions of massively increased productive capacity. He discusses G. A. Cohen's version of this claim, in particular concerning the question whether there is evidence for a generalized tendency in human history for productivity to grow, but adds to Cohen's discussion an important new element: we can only hope for such increases if environmental circumstances are sufficiently favorable that when humans labor, improvements can be passed on to at least some successor generations—“the fact of climatic favorability." This fact is now in doubt since human progress seems to be self-undermining by threatening those very climatic conditions. This entails that our hopes must not only be founded in economic tendencies but also in evidence about humanity's abilities to solve social problems. 

Unter Klimaforschern herrscht weitgehend Konsens, dass der Mensch durch die anhaltende Produktion von Treibhausgasen globale und ‚unumkehrbare‘ Klimaveränderungen in Gang gesetzt hat und das Ausma0 der Schäden nur durch ernsthafte Emissionsvermeidungsstrategien beschränkt werden kann (IPCC 2019). Stritt ist gleichwohl die konkrete Ausgestaltung einer solchen Strategie. Ökonomische Modelle berechnen in diesem Kontext wohlfahrtsmaximierende Vermeidungsstrategien. Das Optimumskalkül folgt dabei dem Kriterium der Pareto-Effizienz, vernachlässigt aber in den meisten Fällen den Gedanken der Verteilungsgerechtigkeit. Eine faire Verteilung der Kosten, sowohl zwischen als auch innerhalb der Generationen, stellt jedoch eine wichtige Voraussetzung für ein starkes Commitment der beteiligten Akteure dar. Die vorliegende Arbeit untersucht daher, wie sich modellierte Vermeidungsstrategien ändern, falls neben dem Effizienzgedanken auch Kriterien einer gerechten Verteilung in das Optimumskalkül einfließen. Konkret werden ein ability-to-pay sowie ein emission-intensity-reduction-Ansatz näher untersucht. Im Ergebnis zeigt sich, dass der ability-to-pay-Ansatz keine wesentlichen Fairnessvorteile gegenüber dem rein effizienzgetriebenen Ansatz verspricht. Dagegen scheint die kontinuierliche Reduktion der Emissionsintensität eine gerechtere Verteilung der Kosten mit einer erfolgreichen Beschränkung der Erderwärmung vereinen zu können. 

Illustration von Prof. Moellendorfs Ansatz zur Klimagerechtigkeit (Sophia Halamoda)

Aktuelle Veranstaltung

Podcast zu "Mobilizing Hope"


Jun 16
02:00 Uhr

Anstehende Veranstaltung: Hope in Times of Crisis

Darrel Moellendorf skizziert das Forschungsvorhaben "The Hopeful Personality" und Lukas Sparenborg spricht mit Ilaria Cozzaglio zu dem Verhältnis von Hoffnung und Vertrauen im Kontext von Klimaaktivismus. Weitere Informationen hier.

Mär 1
00:00 Uhr

Moellendorf zu Gast beim New Books Network: Mobilizing Hope

Der Podcast kann hier abgerufen werden.

Jan 17
08:00 Uhr

"Das Opfer hat keine Mitschuld an Kriegsverbrechen" - Moellendorf in der FAZ

Deutsche und englische Version von Darrel Moellendorf's aktuellem Artikel in der Frankfurt Allgemeinen Zeitung: "Ukraine has no Jus ex Bello obligation to enter into concessionary negotiations"

Jan 8
08:00 Uhr

Workshop Conservation and Global Justice

Workshop mit Chris Amstrong: Conservation and Global Justive - Responding fairly to the Biodiversity Crisis am 23. Januar. Weitere Informationen hier.

Dez 7
09:00 Uhr

Ausschreibung: 2 PostDoc Positionen

Ausschreibung von zwei PostDoc Stellen im Global Health Programm für das akademische Jahr 2023/24. Weitere Informationen hier.

Apr 21
00:00 Uhr

Moellendorf im aktuellen UN-Bericht zur Bekämpfung des Klimawandels

Der Artikel “Responsibility for Increasing Mitigation Ambition" (2020) von Prof. Moellendorf wurde in dem aktuellen UN-Bericht zur Bekämpfung des Klimawandels erwähnt und zitiert. Siehe Kapitel 4, Seite 99.

Konferenzen des Lehrstuhls

Book Symposium CJ_FV
Anthropocene Poster FV
KMTH40 Poster FV