Now it is possible to pay your membership dues online. Please click on the “The Society” tab to see membership information.

Not only will becoming a member guarantee that you are informed of any upcoming Hartmann events, it will also give you free admission to any Hartmann conferences or meetings for one year. In addition, the publisher Walter De Gruyter will provide NHS members with a 25% discount for books by and about Nicolai Hartmann.  Member email is required to receive discount.

Dues for regular members are 20 Euros, and 10 Euros for students. Please click the appropriate PayPal button when you register your membership.

We look forward to growing our organization and strengthening the connections of already existing members.

If you have recently published work on Hartmann, please let us know so that we may add it to the growing Bibliography on the NHS page.

Thank you.

The 2nd Nicolai Hartmann Society Conference, held in Trento, Italy (25-27 August 2014), was a great success. All who attended benefited from good presentations, engaging discussions, and warm camaraderie. Many thanks to all of those who presented and participated for making it such a wonderful experience. For those of you who regrettably were unable to attend, the website will keep you informed of future conferences, smaller sessions, and workshops on Hartmann’s work.

Two administrative issues were voted on by members of the society at the conference. Roberto Poli, long-time President of the society, stepped down after a four-year term. Professor Poli’s many contributions to the international spread of knowledge and enthusiasm about Hartmann’s work has been exceptional. Nominees for new President were considered, and Keith Peterson was voted in as the new President of the Society. Peterson hopes to continue to foster interest in Hartmann’s work in the English-speaking philosophical world, not only through arranging periodic conferences, but through encouraging new English translations of, and research on, Hartmann’s imposing and important works.

The second vote confirmed the inclusion of Professor Predrag Cicovacki and Professor Roberto Poli on the Scientific Committee of the society. The Committee now consists of Joachim Fischer (Dresden University), Eugene Kelly (New York Institute of Technology), Andreas Kinneging (Leiden University), Predrag Cicovacki (Holy Cross), and Roberto Poli (University of Trento).

I encourage you to send information about events or publications of possible interest to Hartmann scholars to our email address ( for possible inclusion on the webpage.

I thank you all for your continued interest and support, and am looking forward to working with you in the future.

Keith Peterson
President, NHS

2nd Nicolai Hartmann Conference

25 August
08.30 Registration & Welcome
Chair: Keith Peterson
09.00-10.00 R. Poli, Categories as principles and determinations: the case of time
10.00-11.00 J. Fischer, Philosophy of mind. Structure and relevance of Hartmann’s “Probleme der geistigen Seins” for the humanities and social sciences
11.00-11.30 coffee break
11.30-12.30 A. A. Kinneging, Nicolai Hartmann and natural law

Chair: Joachim Fischer
14.00-15.00 K. Peterson, Flat, hierarchical, or stratified: unruly complexity and dependence in social-natural ontology
15.00-16.00 M. Kleineberg, From linearity to co-evolution: On the architecture of Nicolai Hartmann’s levels of reality
16.00-16.30 coffee break
16.30-17.30 J. Barcena, Nicolai Hartmann’s levels of reality. Complexity theory and emergentism. An intertwined approach
17.30-18.30 R. Zaborowski, Nicolai Hartmann’s categorial laws as applied to the world of feelings
18.30-19,30 G. D’Anna, Is Nicolai Hartmann a realist?

26 August
Chair: Andreas Kinneging
08.30-09.30 S. Bertolini, Elements for a comparison between N. Hartmann and R. Ingarden
09.30-10.30 K. Väyrynen, Nicolai Hartmann’s concept of causality
10.30-11.00 Coffee break
11.00-12.00 P. Cicovacki, The Socratic pathos of wonder
12.00-13.00 C. Luchetti, The discovery of a priori knowledge: Hartmann’s interpretation of Plato’s theory of recollection

Chair: Predrag Cicovacki
14.00-15.00 T. Röck, The being of becoming in pre-Socratic philosophy
15.00-16.00 J. Claramonte, Some basis for a ‘modal aesthetics’ theory in Nicolai Hartmann’s works
16.00-16.30 coffee break
16.30-17.30 N. Danilkina, Nicolai Hartmann: From Value Being To Human Being
17.30-18.30 K. E. Lörch-Merkle, Personality, autonomy, fairness: On Nicolai Hartmann’s ethics in the age of human enhancement
18.30-19.30 S. Pinna, Hartmann on spacetime and geometry

27 August
Chair: Robert Zaborowski
08.00-09.00 F. Tremblay, The Russian roots of Nicolai Hartmann’s philosophy
09.00-10.00 C. Scognamiglio, Nicolai Hartmann’s idea of education
10.00-10.30 Coffee break
10.30-11.30 C. Brentari, “The role of the missing reason”: The search of a layer-specific form of determination in Nicolai Hartmann’s theory of life
11.30-12.30 S. Vasta, The place of Nicolai Hartmann’s ontology in Konrad Lorenz’s epistemology

15.00-17.30 Meeting of the Nicolai Hartmann Society

Call for papers
The Nicolai Hartmann Society organizes the second
Trento, Italy, 25-27 August 2014
We welcome papers on any portion of Hartmanns philosophy, its place in the history of philosophy, and its relevance for contemporary issues. To participate please send a two-page abstract to Roberto Poli (a before the end of April 2014.
The conferences language is English.
Relevant dates:
Abstracts: April 30
Acceptance/rejection: May, 31
Conference: August, 25-27
A list of hotels, organized by price range, will be circulated in due time.

The second general assembly of the Nicolai Hartmann Society will be held during the conference.

A few days ago the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung informed that Hartmann’s unpublished documents (letters, manuscripts, discussion-protocols, etc.) reached the Marbach Archive (this is Germany’s most important archive for the legacy of authors and thinkers, especially of the 20th century).

The following article (in German) adds some information: Deutsches Literatur Archiv

Another good (German) article is: hr-Online

Von der Systemphilosophie zur systematischen Philosophie – Nicolai Hartmann
[From System Philosophy to Systematic Philosophy]
Ed. by Hartung, Gerald / Strube, Claudius / Wunsch, Matthias
De Gruyter 2012

Gerald Hartung, Matthias Wunsch und Claudius Strube, Nicolai Hartmann und die Aufgabe systematischer Philosophie

I. Philosophie und Wissenschaften – Das Programm der Kategorienforschung

Reinhold Breil, Hartmanns Beitrag zu einer Begründung des wissenschaftlichen Realismus
Gerald Hartung, Genese und Geltung der Kategorien. Nicolai Hartmann und das Programm der Kategorienforschung
Stephan Nachtsheim, Neue Wege der Kategorienlehre?
Gregor Schiemann, Mehr Seinsschichten für die Welt? Vergleich und Kritik der Schichtenkonzeptionen von Nicolai Hartmann und Werner Heisenberg
Christian Möckel, Nicolai Hartmann – ein Phänomenologe? Zu den Termini Phänomen und Phänomenologie in der Metaphysik der Erkenntnis

II. Neue Ontologie im Kontext – Philosophische Anthropologie und Philosophie des Organischen

Joachim Fischer, Neue Ontologie und Philosophische Anthropologie. Die Kölner Konstellation zwischen Scheler, Hartmann und Plessner
Matthias Wunsch, Kategoriale Gesetze. Zur systematischen Bedeutung Nicolai Hartmanns für die moderne philosophische Anthropologie und die gegenwärtige Philosophie der Person
Gerhard Ehrl, Die Stellung des Menschen bei Nicolai Hartmann und Max Scheler
Steffen Kluck, Entwertung der Realität. Nicolai Hartmann als Kritiker der Ontologie Martin Heideggers
Thomas Kessel, Der Organismus als Individuum

III. Person, Freiheit und Geschichte

Walter Jaeschke, Über Personalität. Das Problem des Geistigen Seins
Inga Römer, Person und Persönlichkeit bei Max Scheler und Nicolai Hartmann
László Tengelyi, Nicolai Hartmanns Metaphysik der Freiheit
Thomas Renkert, Zum Verhältnis von Personalität und Temporalität bei Nicolai Hartmann und Wolfhart Pannenberg
Carlo Scognamiglio, History and Tradition in Nicolai Hartmann’s Theory of Spiritual Being
Mirko Wischke, Sphären der Geschichtlichkeit und ihre Kontexte bei Nicolai Hartmann

IV. Nicolai Hartmann im Gespräch – Was bleibt?

Daniel Dahlstrom, Zur Aktualität der Ontologie Nicolai Hartmanns
Robert Schnepf, Was nutzt eine ontologische Grundlegung der Geschichtswissenschaft? Überlegungen zu Nicolai Hartmanns Das Problem des geistigen Seins
Magnus Schlette, Wahrnehmung‘ in Nicolai Hartmanns erkenntnistheoretischem Realismus
Christian Thies, Was bleibt von Hartmanns Ethik?

The Nicolai Hartmann Society will meet with the Central Division of
the American Philosophical Association in February, 2013

Hartmann offers the idea that philosophy is at the very brink of discoveries in ethics and in ontology, not at the end of its route; he is always willing to go back to the roots of thought, always willing to concede that some problems in metaphysics, though genuine, may always elude our efforts to understand and answer them, but he is nonetheless certain that we can make progress: his doctrine of categories, the theory of modalities, his description of the virtues, the phenomenology of aesthetic experience are but a sample of his contributions to philosophy. Careful analysis of the categorial connections that link them together show that there is a way of systematically develop philosophy without falling into the inflexibility of a closed system. Hartmann understood reality as essentially dynamic, and gave the category of process a central place within his categorial framework. We welcome papers on any portion of Hartmanns philosophy, its place in the history of philosophy, and its relevance for contemporary issues.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Ontological categories, their nature and organization
  • Modalities and spheres of being
  • Levels of reality
  • Values, including ethical and aesthetical ones, their nature and organization
  • The interplay between metaphysics, ontology and epistemology
  • Philosophical methodology (how to study and teach philosophy)

Applications should be sent to both Eugene Kelly and Roberto Poli.

Important Dates:

  • Abstracts due: April 1, 2012
  • Notification of acceptance: June 30, 2012
  • Conference: New Orleans, Louisiana (USA), February 20-23 2013.

Report of the Conference

The Dynamical Ontologies of A.N. Whitehead and N. Hartmannlt

5-7 May 2011, Katowice, Polandl

The conference emThe Dynamical Ontologies of A.N. Whitehead and N. Hartmann/em has taken place in Katowice-Panewniki between the 5th and 7th May 2011. The event was organized jointly by two philosophical societies: the A.N. Whitehead Metaphysical Society from Poland and the Nicolai Hartmann Society from Italy. Besides the representatives of both societies, many scholars from various scientific centers from around the world took part in the conference. The lectures were delivered at the Franciscan Seminary in Katowice-Panewniki that was one of the events co-organizers, joined by the Chair of History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy of The Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow.

During the first day introductory lectures were delivered, whose purpose was to present basic concepts and theses of Whiteheads and Hartmanns ontological systems and to initially discuss some resemblances and differences between them. The first speaker was Roberto Poli from the Nicolai Hartmann Society in Italy who presented a short comparison between the two systems, discussing both the substantial aspects (e.g. the processual basis, the theory of values, the 2+2 ontological structure) and a global meta-philosophical attitude (e.g. the systematic approach, the close connection to science, the ability to distance themselves from their own results).

Subsequently four lectures were delivered that lasted one hour each and were followed by 30 minutes of discussion. The morning session was focused on Whiteheads philosophy. Bogdan Ogrodnik from the A.N. Whitehead Metaphysical Society in Poland summarized the scheme of processual concepts, including the quantized process, the actual entities, their bipolar nature and the idea of their mutual, internal bonds. He discussed a co-presence of atomistic and continuous models of the world, the concept of organism, the vibrational form of existence, and emphasized the meaning of religious and aesthetic experiences for metaphysics. In the second lecture Helmut Maassen from the Deutsche Whitehead Gesellschaft in Germany continued the introduction of the fundamental concepts of Whiteheads philosophy, paying attention to his categorial scheme and to diverse forms of process analyzed in two aspects: genetic and morphological. Introducing the problem of values, he observed that the processualism accepts both the good (as a positive and creative element) and the evil (as a positive and destructive element). The universe as a creative advance into novelty requires both factors for its existence.

Two lectures included in the afternoon session concerned the ontology of Hartmann. Basic domains and types of existence as well as the nature of ontological categories were introduced by Alicja Pietras from the Pomeranian University in S?upsk, Poland. In her comprehensive lecture she distinguished between the moments of existence (Sosein, Dasein), the types of existence (real, ideal and irreal), and the modes of existence (actuality, possibility, necessity). She also presented categories as the principles of being and discussed a number of philosophical mistakes connected with the so-called old doctrine of categories. In his second lecture Roberto Poli continued a preface to Hartmanns thought, discussed four basic ontological theses, different types of categories (fundamental, special, local), and combined them with the problem of ontological;/pgt;br /
lt;pgt;The next two days of the conference contained forty-minutes lectures divided into a half an hour talk and a discussion that lasted ca. 10 minutes. The second day was again opened by Roberto Poli, who discussed the two patterns present in the ontology of Hartmann: (i) the first one, exemplified by many pairs of fundamental categories (e.g. matter-form) and by the moments of existence (Sosein, Dasein), and (ii) the second one, concerning the difference between a pure category and a being property, e.g. time and temporality. Predrag Cicovacki from the College of the Holy Cross in USA dedicated his first lecture to the comparison between Kants and Hartmanns concepts of categories. After discussing historical sources of categorial analysis, the lecturer presented Hartmanns attempt to invert the Copernican revolution of Kant. The final part of the talk was an interesting attempt of a reverse critique of Hartmanns approach from the Kantian perspective. Next, Bogdan Ogrodnik introduced the similarities between Whiteheads and Hartmanns concepts of knowing which both reach beyond a simple subject-object distinction. Emphasizing that metaphysical statements have a hypothetical status, he argued that the philosophy of organisms provides such a description of cognition in which it becomes only an exemplification of a more primordial type of metaphysical relation of prehension.

The next interesting attempt of comparison between the two philosophical systems was the lecture, in which Maria-Teresa Teixeira from the Lisbon University in Portugal carefully discussed their aspects connected with the concepts of process, levels of reality and evolution. Revealing similarities between the Hartmanns stratification and the Whiteheads hierarchy of societies, she admitted that both systems have a processual and dynamic character, however the very concepts of process and temporality are understood differently. In the successive lecture Karl-Friedrich Kiesow from the Leibniz Universitat Hannover in Germany compared both thinkers on the ground of the philosophy of nature and their discussion of the mind-body relation. Despite the differences in perceiving the place of mind in the nature, both – Whitehead and Hartmann – tried to bridge the mind and the matter in a new, more constructive way. In the last lecture of the morning session Jakub Dziadkowiec from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin in Poland introduced conceptual foundations for an ontological theory of the levels of reality. He argued there are mechanisms in both systems that enable a development of stratalism in two aspects: horizontal and vertical, and its connection with the ontological relation of emergence.

The afternoon session began with the lecture of Andrzej Chmielecki from the University of Gdansk in Poland dedicated to proposals of some modifications to Hartmanns ontology. After a short critique of several Hartmanns theses, the lecturer presented: an analysis of the pairs of categories: individual-general and temporal-atemporal; a distinction of the two aspects of existence: in-sistence and per-sistence; and a proposition of the identification of the fifth level of real being, the so-called intelligibilies. In the next lecture Predrag Cicovacki combined the Hartmanns concept of values as ideal beings with the Poppers understanding of values as objects of the third world. Discussing a possibility of ascribing the real type of existence to values, he adduced the arguments by virtue of which Hartmann did not accept the Poppers suggestion. Afterwards, Lukasz Lamza from the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow, Poland, referring to a hierarchical classification of research topics in physics and astronomy (PACS 2008), introduced a proposal of an empirical theory of the levels of reality. Clearly defining his methodology and narrowing his research down to the inanimate part of natural history, he criticized a linear and continuous way of thinking about the cosmic evolution. In the summary he proposed a refreshed classification of the inorganic levels of reality, where common labels like physical, chemical, mineralogical, or biological should be replaced by names pre-nuclear, post-nuclear, solid state, and planetary.

After a short break the floor was given to Piotr Lesniak from the University of Rzeszow in Poland who dedicated his lecture to the concept of time and space in early works of Whitehead. Distinguishing three types of objectivity and identifying Whiteheads position with the so-called natural objectivity, he argued for the thesis that the time is to be searched – by means of the concept of duration that defines an event – within an extra-subjective nature. The next speaker was Vesselin Petrov from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, who demonstrated that the concept of anticipation – gaining its importance in the contemporary science and philosophy – belongs to the essential elements of Whiteheads metaphysics. Analyzing late works of Whitehead, the speaker noticed that the concept of anticipation played its role in a criticism of Cartesian substantialism and was used in the processual concept of society in explaining the place of future in the presence. Its teleological overtone also allowed for a partial denial of the difference between animate and inanimate beings, and strengthened an argumentation for the gradual emergence of life from its inorganic basis. The last lecture of the second conference day was delivered by Olga Stoliarova from the State University Higher School of Economics in Moskow, Russia. She presented the category of possibility in the relation to a concrete being, as well as in two aspects: ontological and epistemological. Conjoining the former aspect with the philosophy of C.I. Lewis, and the latter aspect with the Whiteheads metaphysics, she argued for the revaluation of concrete things in terms of their possibility.

The third day began with the lecture of Artur Mordka from the University of Rzeszow in Poland who discussed the elements of Hartmanns ontology in a context of the aesthetical analysis of the painting. Emphasizing that fundamental categories acquire a distinct meaning at the axiological level, the lecturer distinguished four types of the dependence relation in a structure of a painting. He also claimed that the layer structure of painting and the ontological categories introduced by Hartmann play an important role in the reflection over some phenomena of the contemporary art. The problem of values appeared again in the talk of Piotr Pekala from the A.N. Whitehead Metaphysical Society in Poland, who stated that there is no possibility of discussing values apart from a metaphysical system conjoined with them. He argued that Whiteheads concept of values as organic and internal aspects of everything what actually exists can compete with other axiological studies, ascribing the different type of existence to values. Next, Martin Kaplicky from the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, introduced fragments of Whiteheads speculative metaphysics in attempt to characterize the processual aesthetics. Underlining the category of Creativity, he maintained that natural values constitute a key to the metaphysical synthesis of existence. At the same time he proposed a dynamic approach to the processual esthetics.

The subject of the next talk was the relation of processual categories to Indian thought presented by Kurian Kachappilly from the Christ University in Bangalore, India. After discussing some basic concepts and theses of Whiteheads metaphysics, the lecturer combined them successively with Buddhism and with the thought of Ramanuja and Gandhi. In conclusions he noticed the complementarity of proposals of Western and Eastern thinkers, whose comparison exceeds the narrow limits of knowledge, and therefore, broadens the horizon of life. In the next lecture Colin Shingleton from the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia presented his own considerations connected with the process philosophy, as well as with the hermeneutics of Levinas and with a broad philosophical tradition. He maintained, among others, that Whiteheads metaphysics isnt essentially a development of Western tradition, but possesses its own etiology and ontological specification. He traced how the difference between the materialist and the processual metaphysics came to being, and revealed a meaning of the latter in the modern era and in the Anglo-Saxon philosophy. The last speaker of the morning session was Piotr Wilczek from the Poznan University of Technology in Poland who delivered a lecture on the mathematical Platonism of Whitehead. Discussing the concept of mathematical objects as eternal objects and pure potentialities, he underlined the objectivity, generality and immutability enclosed in the concept in question. The lecturer referred to contemporary debates within the philosophy of mathematics and proposed an interpretation of Whiteheads position from the perspective of the so-called many-world ontology in mathematics.

The afternoon session contained just one lecture of Marcin Rzadeczka from the Maria Curie-Sklodowska Univeristy in Lublin, Poland. He presented the Hartmanns ontology of life sciences in relation to the general ontology, and he exhibited its philosophical meaning. The speaker claimed that, unlike the logical positivism, Hartmann did not consider the philosophical consideration about results of natural science a pure analysis of scientific language. He maintained that scientific issues in their phenomenological aspect possess a philosophical meaning, as well as the results of philosophical considerations may be included in the science in a twofold way – at the axiological and at the ontological levels. The conference was ended with the panel discussion entitled Quo vadis Ontologia? Final Remarks on Meaning, Place and Role of the Modern Ontology, in which an open discussion between all participants was filled with insightful remarks on a condition of contemporary ontology and on a meaning of Hartmanns and Whiteheads thoughts in its current development.

Jakub Dziadkowiec