How do people live with contradiction and against it?

In which social fields and with which effects are contradictions bound to the imperative of their resolution?

To what extent is it important to develop ways of describing the negotiation of diversity and incompatibilities that do justice to the contradictory in scenarios of living together?

How can contradiction be critically questioned and decentered as part of the foundations of Western/Northern knowledge production?

The Research Training Group (RTG) »Contradiction Studies« explores the formation, negotiation, and explanatory limitations of contradiction. We start from the assumption that the ordering figure of contradiction which includes the imperative of resolving contradiction often stands in a relationship of tension to everyday experiences of the contradictory in everyday life.

Constellations of contradiction, the avoidance of contradiction, and practices of contradicting are systematically studied and established as objects of research in the humanities, social sciences, and law.

The RTG carries out conceptual and theoretical work on the basis of case studies and projects that are genealogically or analytically oriented. This aims at re-evaluating contradiction, contradictions, and the contradictory in empirical constellations, heuristic functions, and ontological dimensions—not least in response to postcolonially informed demands for a cosmopolitanization of knowledge production.

problem to be solved

“Contradiction is not primarily a problem to be solved but a motor we cannot do without.”

Martin Nonhoff

“The contradiction of law in Derrida lies in the interstice that separates the impossibility of deconstructing justice from the possibility of deconstructing law.”

Andreas Fischer-Lescano
ideal of a contradiction-free world

“Science has long been animated by the ideal of a contradiction-free world in which logical orders could merge with society, politics, culture and language. In the GRC Contradiction Studies we are working on ways of describing the multiplicity and complexity, the danger and beauty of our worlds that clearly go beyond concepts of freedom from contradiction.“

Michi Knecht
prison of difference

“’Contradiction is the prison of difference’ writes the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Worlds of Contradiction asks: how can we explain and describe the world without making it more coherent and systematic than it is?“

Michi Knecht

“Contradictions are an important driver of scientific practice and knowledge.”

Norman Sieroka