Scholarship Holder from Western Siberia Researches Philosophy of Law

Professor Vitaly Ogleznev is visiting the University of Bremen with a Humboldt research fellowship. The Russian scientist chose the Bremen philosopher of law, Professor Lorenz Kähler, as his host. He will carry out research and publish with him for one and a half years.

Professor Vitaly Ogleznev travelled 5,500 kilometers in order to develop his scientific work over 18 months. The Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers makes it possible for him to dive deeply into specific questions of the philosophy of law with his host, Professor LorenzKähler. Those who receive this fellowship are scientists with above-average qualifications. Vitaly Ogleznev comes from Tomsk in Western Siberia. “A region that is as big as Germany,” he says. “From here, Tomsk is further away than New York,” adds LorenzKähler.

Contact in Lisbon

The Bremen Professor should know. He already worked at Tomsk State University as a visiting professor. He quickly enthuses about the endless expanses of the west Siberian lowlands. The guest is visibly pleased. Both scholars of law came to know each other two years ago somewhere entirely different: A congress of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy in Lisbon. They realized there that they have shared research interests and their friendship developed.

“Each Legal System Has Its Own Language”

The object of their research is very specific. “In the philosophy of law we apply methods of language and logic to law,” says Professor Kähler. His guest, professor Ogleznev, emphasizes, “It is not just about individual paragraphs.” They are different anyway in Russian and German law. “What is more important for us is the language. Each legal system has its own language. Is it possible to simply translate a paragraph into a different language?” This is what they want to find out. Joint publications are planned.

Methodology of Dispute

The umbrella term is “analytical philosophy of law.” This comprises dealing with legal texts in terms of the philosophy of language and the methodology of disputes. “The post-modern, French culture of discussion is different to the American or English one,” explains Kähler. His guest has already translated two long articles of his into Russian. “I want to make Professor Kähler more known as a philosopher of law in my home country,” says the Humboldt fellow.   

Discussion in Several Languages

It is interesting to follow the experts’ discussion. They talk in Russian, English, or German, depending on who else is in the room. “I can hardly speak any German,” reveals Ogleznev, but he is working on it. He is familiar with Bremen as he was here a year ago with his family thanks to a DAAD scholarship. His 11-year-old son goes to the Freie Waldorf school on Tuler Straße in Schwachhausen. “He speaks German very well,” praises Kähler. The biggest difference to the west Siberian home of the guest? “At home, there is now snow and it will stay there for five months at minus temperatures,” he laughs. “It is dry and cold. That is different here.”


Vitaly Ogleznev completed his master’s degree in law at the Tomsk University and subsequently began a degree in philosophy. He acquired his doctorate in the latter and then habilitated. “I was 30 years old back then and the youngest habilitated professor in Russia at the time,” says the now 37-year-old. He also taught at the university in St. Petersburg and is in Bremen for the second time.


Prof. Dr. LorenzKähler
Faculty of Law
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-66069




Two men discussing
Professor Vitaly Ogleznev (right) together with his host Lorenz Kähler