This website brings a philosophical perspective to current events and trends. It combines a blog (my own texts, what you see on the front page) with quotes and text selections from the philosophical, psychological, theological, and literary traditions that I find most interesting. You can access the content pages from the menu above.

I am especially interested in the theory of the subject, and Continental Philosophy. Philosophy is the activity of free thinking, and it culminates in intensive and more or less systematic self-reflection. It is also an attempt to critically examine how we create knowledge and synthesize it into a view of the world. We are biological creatures, but we live in a world of language, and we think and operate through abstractions. We transcend our physical existence through language, art, science, theology, and philosophy. We try to understand the world we inhabit, and ultimately, we try to understand ourselves. I have summarized my own thoughts about the constitution of human existence into a list of philosophical assumptions.

Philosophical thinking is a critical tool, and in this sense, it is liberating. The engagement with philosophy frees us from misconceptions and various forms of ideologies. Philosophy clarifies ideas; it subtracts more than it adds, and it removes false beliefs rather than adding more knowledge. Philosophical reflection helps to differentiate between information, knowledge, understanding and shared beliefs. It works with concepts, and it emancipates the subject from being caught up in objectification and instrumental thinking.

Knowledge itself has become a variable in the dynamic process of knowledge-production. Artificial intelligence is entering the mainstream, and it will further revolutionize every aspect of social life. The flow of history is accelerating. In this period of continuous transformation, the ability to simplify our lives and to adapt to the changes around us is crucial for our well-being. I call this “absorption speed:” how fast can we assimilate new technologies, and react to the continuous paradigm shifts occurring around us?

In order to find orientation in the flood of information, we should continue to re-examine the philosophical project, and return to perennial philosophical questions: What are the visions we have for the human future? How do we balance humanity with technological progress? What is humanity in the first place? What do we mean by “nature,” and how do we relate to the nature around us, as well as to our own nature? What kind of creature do we want to be? How do we gain consciousness in the midst of historical struggles and our attempts to keep up with the change?

From the beginning, philosophers have also reflected on the principles that create a meaningful life. Philosophy cannot just be a critical tool; it must also be the science of the good life. It must become ethics, and address the constitution of society as well.  Philosophers have always explored the relationship between human nature and justice, and today, their voices are more important than ever. The power of human agency has reached geological dimensions (“Anthropocene“), so how do we pursue a vision of peace and justice in the current transformation of humanity, and of the whole earth?   

Please take a look around; I hope you like this website. If you do, please sign up for occasional email updates, or connect with me on one of the social networks.

Thank you for visiting!

Jürgen Braungardt

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