Internationale Konferenz 2019

International Conference: August 1st, 2019 until August 3rd, 2019

"The Depth of the Self - Implicit Motives and Human Flourishing"

Together with the Technical University of Munich the Munich School of Philosophy is engaging in an interdisciplinary research project for three years funded by the Templeton Rlg. Trust entitled “Motivational and Volitional Processes of Human Integration: Philosophical and Psychological Approaches to Human Flourishing”. This psychological and philosophical cooperation is conducted by the Chair of Philosophy and Motivation led by Prof. Dr. Godehard Brüntrup SJ and the Chair of Psychology led by Prof. Dr. Hugo Kehr. 

Poster Depth of the Self

The question of what it means to lead a good life and how to achieve this has been of central interest throughout the history of philosophy. Often, proposals revolve around the idea that for flourishing integration of mental states and actions is of central importance: the flourishing person does not ‘just act’, but has developed a view of what the good life is and her states and actions are integrated and contribute to achieving this aim. In this conference, we aim to take the question of human flourishing and how it can be achieved one step further. Importantly, theories of human flourishing and integration generally ignore the issue that some motives are implicit, which introduces an interesting challenge for these views on human flourishing. Implicit motives are taken to be motives we are unaware of, that are not consciously accessible and available for reflection, and yet they do influence what we do.  Furthermore, the suggestion is that these implicit motives are difficult to change and develop early in life. In contrast, explicit motives develop much later and are taken to be easier to change, for example, because they can be reflected on and are taken to be the result of reasoning processes. Accepting this and holding the view that integrated mental states and actions are taken to be necessary for flourishing confronts us with a dilemma. On the one hand, this suggests that human flourishing is about finding out what your implicit motives are, and bringing your explicit motives in line with these. Some claim that this is a correct view: implicit motives are more intimately connected to the self and they reflect what a person ‘really’ wants. On the other hand, however, research suggests that implicit motives are states we happen to have developed in early childhood, they are not available for reflection, and therefore cannot explicitly be endorsed or rejected. This implies that these implicit motives are states we lack control over and are not at all about what we (rationally) take to be the best way to live our lives.

This tension between the role of implicit motives in what we do and what they are like on the one hand and integration of mental states and actions as a necessary condition of human flourishing on the other is what we aim to explore during this conference.


Prof. Dr. Godehard Brüntrup SJ, Munich School of Philosophy

Dr. Ludwig Jaskolla, Munich School of Philosophy

Assistant: Felix Beuing
For any questions or requests concerning the conference please contact:

This interdisciplinary conference is being part of the project "Motivational and Volitional Processes of Human Integration". It is funded by the Templeton Religion Trust (TRT 0119), by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and is supported by the Erich J. Lejeune Chair for Philosophy and Motivation.

Information for Participants:

The conference will take place in the "Burkardushaus" (Link) at Würzburg Cathedral over a period of three days.

There are a few additional options for participations available:
- Conference Dinner (limited number of seats) at the "Frankenzimmer" on Friday, August 2nd, 2019
- Default single room in "Hotel Franziskaner" for 3 nights (from Wednesday until Saturday; just a 2-minute walk distance from the venue): 72€ per night
- Default double bedroom in "Hotel Franziskaner" for 3 nights (from Wednesday until Saturday; just a 2-minute walk distance from the venue): 117€ per night
If you would like to book a room, please contact the Hotel Franziskaner ( referring to "MVI".