Inhaltspezifische Aktionen

Anna Mense

Dozentin und Promovendin

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  • Philosophie der Liebe
  • Philosophie der Sexualitäten
  • Philosophie der Emotion 
  • Philosophische Ästhetik
  • Philosophie des Geistes
  • Training kreativer und akademische Schreibkompetenzen 

Person und Akademische Ausbildung: Ich promoviere in theoretischer Philosophie bei Matthias Vogel mit der Arbeit Vom Vermögen zu lieben. Ich wohne derzeit in Rostock. Ich habe mein Studium im Gymnasiallehramt mit den Fächern Philosophie, Englisch und Deutsch 2014 mit einer Staatsexamensarbeit zur Frage Gibt es eine ästhetische Lust, abgeschlossen. Während meines Studiums engagierte ich mich viele Jahre hochschulpolitisch. 2015 gründete ich die studentische Tagung Dia:logos.



Mense, Anna (2022), »Aristotelian Communal Love«, in: Love: Past, Present, Future, Saunders, J., McKeever, N. and Grahle, A. (Hrsg.), London, New York: Routledge, S. 21–36. (Link)

Mense, Anna (2021), »As Many Rules as Necessary, as few as Possible. The Traps of Deregulated Sex-Positive Spaces with a Focus on Gender Inequality«, in: Journal of Positive Sexuality, S. 27–43. (full text)

Mense, Anna (2020), »Liebe und Emotionen. Erschöpft sich Lieben im Fühlen?«, in: Philokles. Zeitschrift für populäre Philosophie (24), S. 3–35. (full text)

Mense, Anna (2020), »Sexphilosophie«, Prae|faktisch. Ein Philosophieblog. (full text)


Meine Arbeit und Textideen

Doktorarbeit: 2016 begann ich meine Dissertation mit dem Titel Vom vermögen zu lieben, welches anstrebt die Rolle sogenannten defizitären Liebens im Rahmen einer Philosophie der Liebe besser zu verstehen (Betreuer Matthias Vogel). Ich arbeite an einem integrativen Konzept des Liebens, das in der Lage ist, zu erklären, inwiefern zu lieben immer sowohl die Möglichkeit des Gelinegns als auch des Scheitern miteinschließt. Diesen Ansatz nenne ich eine relationale Fähigkeits- und Vollzugstheorie kultivierten Liebens, dem gemäß Liebesvollzüge beziehungsweise Versuche an der Form des Liebens eine Liebesrelation stiften sowie Liebesfähigkeiten instantiieren, welche für sich genommen erworben und genauso kultiviert werden müssen wie alle anderen Fähigkeiten, die Menschen in ihren Praktiken instantiieren

Projekt: 2018 begann ich die Arbeit an dem englischsprachigen Projekt  Sex Speech. Problems of Tabooed Talk and the Potential of a Sex-Positive Discourse and Sex-Positive-Spaces. In diesem Text untersuche ich die Rolle, die Sprache und begriffliche Fähigkeiten für verschiedene Aspekte des Sexuellen, für sexuelle Erfahrungen und sexuelle Identität haben. Ich bette die Untersuchung in das Spannungsfeld zwischen einem sex-negativen sozial-politischen Klima und einer aktuell florierenden sex-positiven Kultur, ein.

Aufsätze, die ich schreiben möchte:

  • What to Learn from Perverts and Sluts about Sex and Sex-Positivity: 

    »The Pervert« as well as »The Slut« are historically negatively connoted concepts and terms. I want to develop a positive interpretation of both concepts as well as develop a train of thought, in which there is something to be learned from people the desires of whom are statistically less frequent. I treat »sluts« as people, who enjoy frequent sexual activities with different sexual partners. I treat »perverts« as people with deviant desires concerning conventional but not statistical standard since it is well possible that a desire might be commonly viewed as perverse but is statistically frequent without being revealed as such. The questions that I want to find answers to are the following: (1) Can sluts teach how to celebrate sexualities and sexual encounters and thus help to decrease sex-anxiety or panic and encourage sex-positivity? (2) Can perverts teach how to increase (precise) self-understanding about personal sexual desires as well as how to decrease moral judgment about minority desires? Concerning the latter question I want to take an exemplary look at the desire to be sexually objectified.
  • »High Sensitivity, Autoeroticism, Promiscuity and Casual Sex«: I want to explore the correlation between the condition of high sensitivity, promiscuity, autoeroticism, and casual sex. Unlike autoeroticism promiscuity as well as casual sex might invite to believe the promiscuous person who engages in (frequent) casual sex to be exceptionally outgoing, which maybe seems to intuitively contradict a high sensitive possibly introvert person. I want to suggest that high sensitivity and promiscuity can go hand in hand with each other and that both sexual practices, autoeroticism and casual sex, might follow from high sensitivity. Since high sensitive people perceive more than average stimuli in quality as well as in quantity, one way to prevent social and emotional overload in a sexual encounter might be not to engage with another person at all apart from fantasising about her (autoeroticism). Another way to prevent such an overload might be to keep distance within the sexual encounter, which could be achieved by preventing emotional bonding before or after the encounter (casual sex).
  • »Someone else’s pain«: I’m interested in the role that language, expression and conversation have on personal and especially on sexual identity. Since I believe that sexual undergoings and experiences as well as undergoings and experiences of pain are especially hard to conceptualize, I’m curious about the experience of pain and its epistemic as well as intimate potential in a personal relation. I reflect up on the asynchronous sexual practice of an Impact Play, in which one person induces pain on another person within a consensual practice. Here, the difficulty to express experiences of physical pain and the difficulty to grasp and access someone else’s pain are intertwined in a playful and potentially erotic intimate pain practice.

  • »What is a body history?«: I try to describe why I think sexualities are abundant. Part of my answer is that the realm of the sexual involves people (at least) as sentient beings, who have the capability to have joyful bodily experiences. Sexual engagements also posit an opportunity of involvement and interconnection with the world to people as conscious beings, who relate to their surrounding and to other people. And as historic individuals, who have an awareness of their respective (body) history and who learn from this history, in sexuality we may find a rich area of exploration and individual development. As sexual beings we experience our body, we build connections and we learn about, as well as shape, our body history. In the course of personal development I find it an achievement rather than a byproduct of growing up to get and stay acquainted with oneself. In the course of these reflections I wonder what a body history is, how changes work upon bodily self-perception, how a body somewhat stores emotional undergoings, how a history of needs gets into being and influences behavior and what discrimination of the body does to a person’s self-perception. In the back of these questions lingers my intuition that bodily experiences form needs, which are being expressed in emotions. I wonder what role the connection between body experiences, needs and emotions play for a person’s sexuality.

  • »Why I like perverts«: I want to reflect up on descriptions of perversion (for instance Thomas Nagel) and discuss the case of being (sexually) attracted by perverts. What kind of understanding and judgment underlie the attraction to a scene or a person one personally classifies as perverse? What is so exciting about perversion? Could it be that even people who use »perverse« as a dismissive judgement are somewhat drawn to the perversion? What is the pleasure behind this? Is it possible that people use the term »perverse« when they are secretly attracted or aroused by something deviant whereas they would use a more – for instance –juristic terminology when they clearly want to distance from an action?

  • »What is sexual change and what does it mean for an intimate personal relation?«: I’m interested in the development and change of sexual attraction. It seems like sometimes certain sexual practices open up a new world in someone’s personal sensual life. By gaining a concept of practices or phenomena such as kink, SM, fetish or Tantra people reorganise their self-perception and reorient in their sexual actions and possibilities. Often though it seems that certain sexual features have always been there: specific fantasies at young age or specific responses when being touched like this or that. What do such changes mean in one’s personal life and what do they mean for a relation?




February 2020 »Sex Speech: Problems of Tabooed Talk and the Potential of a Sex-positive Discourse and Sex-Positive Spaces«, Conference Positive-Sexuality Encourages Peacemaking, Woodbury University, Los Angeles, USA.
Sep. 2019 »Transparent Talk about Sexualities. Taboo, Shame and Discretion versus Open Speech and Sexpositivity«, Conference for Practical Philosophy, Salzburg, Austria
September 2019 »Touching Upon Sexpositive Spaces«, Workshop Love Etc., Leeds, Großbritannien
June 2019 »Transparent Talk about Sexualities. Taboo, Shame and Discretion versus Open Speech and Sexpositivity«, Women in Philosophy Conference, Groningen, Niederlande
October 2018

Loving, Abilities and Habitus, Congreso international La filosofia y el amor, Universidad de Salamanca/Spanien

September 2018 Liebesfähigkeiten und Aristotelischer Habitus, VII. Tagung für Praktische Philosophie at Universität Salzburg/Österreich
May 2018 Panel discussion Love - More - Better, Ewaldshof, Assenheim-Frankfurt/Deutschland
March 2018 Why Love might not be an Emotion, Philosophy of Emotions Conference at Marquette University, Milwaukee/USA
December 2017

Vom Vermögen zu Lieben, DoktorandInnen-Symposium, Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt/Österreich

Video VortragThe Capability to Love, 2017 Klagenfurt [German]

June 2016 Vermögen und Privation von Liebe, Institutskolloquium Darmstadt/Deutschland





2019/20 Schule und Sexualitäten [Deutsch], Lehramtsseminar in den Bildungswissenschaften, Universität Rostock
2019/20 Sexualitäten [Deutsch], L3, Bachelor und Master Seminar, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena 
2018/19 Sexualities [English], L3, Bachelor und Master Seminar, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen
2018/19 Lektüreseminar: In the Name of Love: Romantic Ideology and Its Victims, Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, Ruhama Goussinsky [Deutsch], Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
2018 New Philosophies of  Love and Sex: Thinking through Desire [English], L3, Bachelor und Master Seminar, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Gießen
2018 Philosophie der Gefühle [Deutsch], L3, Bachelor und Master Seminar, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Gießen
2017 Hexis und Steresis: Wie können wir die Phänomene Akrasia, Selbsttäuschung und Irrtum verstehen? [Deutsch], L3, Bachelor und Master Seminar, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Gießen
2016/17 Sickness, Illness, Disease. Theories of Health and Disease [English], L3, Bachelor und Master Seminar, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Gießen
2015/16 Liebe. Bestandsaufnahme eines unordentlichen Gefühls? [Deutsch], L3 und Bachelor Seminar, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Gießen. Finanziert durch Mittel des Gleichstellungsbüros der Justus-Liebig-Universität, Gießen.
2015 Lust in Philosophie und Literatur [Deutsch], L3 und Bachelor Seminar, Justus-Liebig-University, Gießen. Finanziert durch Mittel des Gleichstellungsbüros der Justus-Liebig-Universität, Gießen.