Focus on the Humanities, Ecology, Justice, Innovation, and Peace. What keeps going wrong?

Welcome!

This website brings a philosophical perspective to current events and trends. What are the visions we have for our collective 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? I created this website to bring together different interests, reflect on my own traditions, and pursue these big questions. I am a psychotherapist, and I teach philosophy in the Bay Area of San Francisco. I grew up in Bavaria, Germany.

Book Recommendations 2019

Reading a whole book is not so easy; nevertheless, I am posting a list of interesting books every year. I think that reading books is essential if we want to...

Political Philosophy Quotes

“From these things it is evident, that the city belongs among the things that exist by nature, and that man is by nature a political animal” (Aristotle, The Politics, 1253a1–3)....

Heavy-Duty Philosophy Quotes

Who thinks philosophy should be easy to understand? How intelligible is true reality? The following randomly selected quotes demonstrate how complicated philosophical language can be. Language is deeply woven into...

Wisdom Crackers

You can find deep insight in strange places. The following quotes are randomly collected from various traditions; if you prefer Asian wisdom, I suggest you check out this collection of...

Scientific Assumptions

For a long time, science has operated on the assumption that nature is ruled by causality. What this means, however, is by no means clear to philosophers, and has become...

2019: How do you define Revolution?

Time to rethink an old concept! Individual events, like elections, are just markers, often very symbolic, signifying the underlying transformative flow in the global society. Everything is increasingly interconnected: financial...

Holidays in the Bay Area

The holiday season starts with Thanksgiving (end of November) and lasts throughout December. It includes Hannukah,  the Winter solstice, Kwanzaa, Christmas, as well as a few other memorable events, like our...

Challenges of the Anthropocene

This paper draws on early twentieth-century philosophical anthropology as well as cognitive science and evolutionary anthropology to examine how humans compensated for their biological under-determination by becoming second-natured, empathetic, cooperative, symbol-using creatures. Examining the capacities for cooperation that emerged in our evolutionary history may help clarify our thinking about contemporary problems that require collective decisions.

Book Recommendations 2018

Learning is a life-long activity. The number of books on my list is increasing, which means I have been very busy reading in 2018. Feel free to send me an...

2018: Trouble Ahead

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, remains a voice of hope for the world. He issued a grim warning at the end of 2017: “The globe is on red alert following a year marked by deepening conflicts and new dangers.”

“When I took office a year ago, I appealed for 2017 to be a year for peace. Unfortunately, in fundamental ways, the world has gone in reverse. … Global anxieties over nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War, and climate change is moving faster than we are. Inequalities are growing, and we see horrific violations of human rights. Nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise….Facing such challenges, only international unity and cooperation can now help solve these many crises.”

Madness and Civilization, Revisited

“For the madness of men is a divine spectacle: In fact, could one make observations from the Moon, as did Menippus, considering the numberless agitations of the Earth, one would...

The History of South East Asia

Southeast Asia is an extremely diverse region on Earth. It consists of many large and small ecological areas. It has a staggering variety of economic, social, and cultural niches. Hundreds of ethnic groups and languages coexist in the space between the two large cultural neighbors, India and China. Over the centuries, the region has been colonized by the Europeans, and in the aftermath, it has developed its independence with a strong underlying sense of unity. unity,

South East Asia

I became interested in South East Asia in recent years, and I traveled through the region during the summer of 2017. I live in the Bay Area of California,  which...