Lecture in German: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Christoph Engel, Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Common Goods, Bonn.

Choosing not to know


Waiting to see each other again - What do we hold on to in changing times?

Science and art come together in the theme concerts co-hosted by the Max Planck Society and the Bavarian State Opera. The evenings are dialogues between two expressions of the human urge to explore, in the form of lectures from basic research and music for chamber ensembles and similar instrumentations. The three programs of the 2022 - 23 season relate to the season's theme Songs of War and Love as much as to the theme of waiting and expecting that underlies this year's festival Yes, May. Three Max Planck Scholars:in from different disciplines approach these themes, and the music focuses on composer Toshio Hosokawa, whose opera Hanjo will be performed in May.


For Immanuel Kant there was no doubt: "Enlightenment is the exit of man from his self-inflicted immaturity." But is the sick person guilty who does not want to know his diagnosis?  Or the spouse who doesn't want to know if he is being cheated on? Or the liberators who wrap the cloak of silence around the misdeeds of the old regime? Or the company that does not keep records of its employees' attendance? How to evaluate the conscious decision not to want to know something? And how can one protect the legitimate desire to be spared from disclosure?

In cooperation with the Max Planck Society