What is context

What actually is a "context"?

Lecture for the seminar "Literature in Context"
Roman Eisele
December 15, 2008

Dear Sirs and Madames,

I would like to pursue with you the question of what a context actually is - or, more pluralistic or "postmodern" formulated: what everything can be and mean "context". Now, the "context" is not a classic philosophical technical term, and the term has not been used for too long in the other scientific disciplines or has rather led a shadowy existence for a long time; and yet the word is on everyone's lips today, at least within the humanities, but also in upscale everyday conversation.

Our central question will therefore initially be: "In which context does the term 'context' actually belong? self ? "This is actually not that easy and clear to answer. A brief passage through its history therefore helps us to understand why the term is so widespread today, on the one hand, but has also become rather vague on the other - it is not at all easy to define what exactly "context" means or what it should mean in the context of the Baden-W├╝rttemberg Abitur tasks.

At the end of this passage I would then like to try to put the gained insights and meanings of "context" into a small system, which hopefully makes the further discussion easier for us, since we can then better say which context we are currently talking about.