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Author: Jurgen Braungardt

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...

/ November 22, 2018

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...

/ January 4, 2018

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 think one saw a swarm of flies or gnats fighting...

/ December 9, 2017

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...

/ October 15, 2017

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 is increasingly influenced not only by China, but also by...

/ October 9, 2017

Book Recommendations 2017

Here are my book suggestions for 2017. There is a little bit of everything, and the selection is purely subjective. Some of the books are older, but have lasting value (for instance “Psychopathology and Politics.”) The books about environmental problems...

/ May 20, 2017

World Urbanization Trends

"The city allows you to become yourself by making a stranger of you." We are experiencing a historical transition - human civilization will more and more coalesce into very large urban centers. Cities are the manifestation of the cultural, economic...

/ April 21, 2017

Can Ethics be the First Philosophy?

Emmanuel Levinas is a unique philosopher in the 20th century. He redefines traditional philosophy by radically re-thinking it from the point of view of justice, which in his understanding originates in the encounter with the other. For Aristotle, the "first...

/ March 23, 2017

Flowers and Art

It is spring in California, and we had plenty of rain through the winter. Everything is in bloom, and the De Young Museum uses this abundance to organize its annual “Bouquets to Art” exhibition. The idea is simple, and it...

/ March 21, 2017

The Execution of Damiens

The use of torture as a form of punishment was commonplace in European societies into the early 19th century. Today, we are outraged by mass killings, genocide, and ISIS beheadings, but extreme violence has always been there; it runs deep...

/ February 23, 2017

Shrump I: Post-Democracy in America?

Before I get started, let’s introduce a new term that helps us to appreciate the differences between words, their meaning, and reality itself. You may wonder what a “shrump” is. If you google it you will find that the definition is still...

/ January 25, 2017