Zoltán Hidas

What is your area of research? How long have you been working in this field? How long have you been lecturing at PPCU?
I studied economy, philosophy and sociology, and now I am working in the field a sociology and philosophy: I gained my degree in sociology and made my habilitation in social philosophy. My main area of research is the history of social thinking. Another big area I am dealing with is the world of human culture. Culture is understood here in its broader sense, which includes every cultural phenomenon that bears significance for man. Actually, every human activity can be considered as important and thus as cultural. I have always been interested in these questions.
I have been lecturing at PPCU for 18 years, I have started my academic career here. Today, I am the Head of the Department of Sociology, what is a great honour for me.

When you were a university student yourself, did you ever study abroad? If you did, what courses did you take?
I have completed my doctoral studies in Germany. I have been studying and working in an academic research institute there for five years. Since I had planned to be dealing with Max Weber, one of the greatest sociologists, I went straight to Heidelberg University. My supervisor was the most illustrious expert of the subject.

Have you got any recent teaching experience at foreign universities and with the students of these universities?
Nowadays, I am still lecturing at foreign universities, I teach regularly in Germany. I have several professional connections, mainly in the German-speaking countries and also in Canada. However, I conduct most of my researches individually.

Your lectures here, at PPCU, are very popular with foreign students. To what reasons do you attribute this?
Based on my experiences so far, the reason why most students choose my courses is that they have not investigated these projects during their curriculum at home yet. My foreign students are very inquisitive, they love thinking about and discussing the topics that we are dealing with during my lectures. In my view, most of them are aware of the fact that those theoretical ’big questions’ have relevance to their lives as well.

Do you ever give your Hungarian students advice on where to spend their Erasmus scholarship? What aspects do you take into consideration when you do so?
I encourage my Hungarian students to try themselves and take on studies in other countries. They seem to be a bit more timid than their foreign classmates.

Last but not least, when you have spare time, how do you usually spend it?
We have four children, my aim is to make them like foreign languages and different cultures.
When we can find the time, we travel a lot within Hungary, throughout Europe and we spend a lot of time together.