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Department of Spatial Planning
MSc Seminar

Reality, knowledge and critical realism – theoretical foundations of planning theories

There is no one, clearly definable spatial planning as the subject of planning theories. As a collective term for a great variety of understandings, it includes different fields of action, actors and agency, institutional framework conditions and local contexts. Making these explicit is considered a necessary prerequisite for communication about planning in general and for theoretical reflection on planning approaches in particular. What do the different concepts of planning in our research (ontology of planning) contain? And what planning knowledge is hidden in our approaches to planning (epistemology of planning)? This PhD seminar is dedicated to the theoretical foundations of planning theories and the extent to which ontological, epistemological and ethical foundations influence our research. Starting from different understandings of planning, we will analyze and classify basic concepts of knowledge and how this knowledge is traditionally conceptualized by great philosophical thinkers as well as planning theorists. Based on this, we will work on the foundation of our own scientific work and our own positioning in a philosophical perspective and its consequences, e.g. in the own dissertation project.

The seminar will be held as a literature seminar, so there will be a lot of reading and discussion of the texts together. Apart from the introduction to the basics, the main aim is to think through the theoretical foundation of planning in the participants' work, to substantiate it and develop it further. The seminar thus lives from the cooperation of the participants, is animated by the respective contributions and is, of course, also designed together. The perspective is primarily theoretical and all participants serve as sparring partners for their own thoughts. The seminar is considered an offer to deepen one's own knowledge and to actively participate in the debate of the professional community. Regular attendance is therefore a mandatory requirement.

Details: LSF  |  Moodle