Foundation For

Philosophical Orientation
In all situations of life, the very first thing one does
is orient oneself. Orientation precedes everything else,
all perceiving, thinking, and acting;
it decides which directions we pursue.
It seems simple but is very complex,
and it has so far hardly been explored.

Our Mission

The Foundation for Philosophical Orientation (FPO) is based on the philosophy of orientation, as developed by Werner Stegmaier, and strives to promote, research, and further develop this philosophy in theory and practice in academia and among the general public.

The FPO provides a place and a platform for philosophical research and investigation into not only the conditions and structures of human orientation, but also to what extent philosophical orientations are necessary, possible, and beneficial in everyday life. It seeks to philosophically reflect and confront the vast reorientations humanity is facing in the 21st century.

The FPO is neither for profit, nor does it follow any political or religious aims. It wants to support and promote orientation research not only in academia, but also in cooperation with people who are not able to withdraw into quiet rooms for reflection and who are professionally confronted with surprising situations – entrepreneurs and their employees, politicians, diplomats, journalists, lawyers, doctors, teachers, ministers, artists, athletes, marketeers, and many others. They all develop skills and competences of orientation that philosophy has traditionally passed over.

News and Updates

New Publication by Werner Stegmaier: “Which Way to Go? How I Became the Philosopher of Orientation”

Feb 4, 2024

In his short auto-biographical text, "Which Way to Go? How I Became the Philosopher of Orientation," Werner Stegmaier narrates his life story from the historical...

FPO Dissertation Fellowship 2024-25

Feb 4, 2024

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: We're offering again our annual FPO doctoral dissertation fellowship for the academic year 2024-25: - $30,000 for a 12-months-long fellowship -...

Two New Essays by Italian Classicist Angelo Tonelli

Jan 17, 2024

Announcing two new essay translations: "In the Luminous Abysses: Shamanism, Trance, and Ecstasy in Ancient Greece" and "Parmenides, priest of Apollo Oúlios, and the...

Essay Posted: “Nietzsche’s Art of Living in the United States Today” by Reinhard G. Mueller

Jan 10, 2024

In our most recent Orientations Press publication Nietzsche on the Art of Living: New Studies from the German-Speaking Nietzsche Research (2023) – download it here for...

New Seminar: “Late Nietzsche: Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist”

Jan 10, 2024

Announcing a new seminar: "Late Nietzsche: Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist." This seminar will meet weekly on Wednesdays 12 - 2 p.m. (US Central Time),...

New Virtual Seminar: Introduction to the Philosophy of Orientation

Jan 8, 2024

Announcing a new seminar: the second part of our webinar "Introduction to the Philosophy of Orientation." This seminar will meet weekly on Fridays 10 - 11:45 a.m. (US...

New Seminar: “Artificial Intelligence and Human Orientation”

Jan 6, 2024

Given the strong interest and new innovations regarding the theme, we have decided to offer a second seminar on: "Artificial Intelligence and Human Orientation." The...

Conversation with James Sirigotis

Dec 28, 2023

Our dissertation fellow 2022-23, James Sirigotis joined Reinhard in a conversation about James' path to graduate school, about his dissertation project "Resilient...

Dr. Bettina Stumpp Joins FPO Advisory Council

Oct 30, 2023

We are proud to announce a new member of our advisory council: Bettina Stumpp, Ph.D.! Dr. Stumpp is a Senior Lecturer at Zurich University of Applied Sciences at the...

Activities and Projects

Philosophical orientation cannot and should not only be studied, but it must also prove itself in practice. Therefore, the FPO will pursue a variety of projects, some academic in nature, many intended for the general public. The planned projects will continuously be developed and expanded.

PhD Dis­ser­tation Fellow­ships

Philo­sophi­cal Prize Com­pe­ti­tion

Virtual Seminar

Video Podcasts

The Philosophy
of Orientation

A New Philosophical Approach

Philosophy has, from its very beginnings and throughout history, continually reoriented itself. Today, institutionalized at universities, philosophy oftentimes seems confined to either making terms more precise or to justifying moral norms. The philosophy of orientation, as Werner Stegmaier has developed it over several decades, instead observes and reflects how different philosophies orient themselves from different standpoints, in different perspectives, and within different horizons.