• This paper examines Georg Simmel’s philosophy of culture in relation to anthropological debates, developing a historical and a systematic argument: First, I show that Simmel’s approach can be read as a response to the anthropological challenge of modernity. Second, I demonstrate that Simmel’s theory of culture can be brought to bear on current anthropological debates. Focusing on his concept of cultivation, I argue that Simmel advances a transformative concept of humanity that considers both the…Read more
  •  203
    From Völkerpsychologie to Cultural Anthropology: Erich Rothacker’s Philosophy of Culture
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 10 (1): 308-328. 2020.
    Erich Rothacker (1888–1965) was a key figure in early-twentieth-century philosophy in Germany. In this paper, I examine the development of Rothacker’s philosophy of culture from 1907 to 1945. Rothacker began his philosophical career with a völkerpsychological dissertation on history, outlining his early biologistic conception of culture (1907–1913). In his mid-career work, he then turned to Wilhelm Dilthey’s (1833–1911) Lebensphilosophie (philosophy of life), advancing a hermeneutic approach to …Read more
  •  14
    Georg Simmels Bekenntnis zum Relativismus. Historische und systematische Überlegungen
    In Gerald Hartung, Tim-Florian Steinbach & Heike Koenig (eds.), Der Philosoph Georg Simmel, . pp. 111-140. 2020.
    Das Thema des vorliegenden Aufsatzes ist Georg Simmels »relativistische[s] Weltbild« , anhand dessen die Prinzipien seiner Kulturphilosophie dargelegt werden. Im ersten Teil wird die systematische Fragestellung der Philosophie des Geldes im historischen Kontext rekonstruiert. Dabei steht der philosophiegeschichtliche Zusammenhang zwischen dem Wertproblem und der Debatte um den Relativismus im Zentrum. Im zweiten Teil wird Simmels kulturphilosophische Lösung des Wertproblems, durch die das Geld z…Read more
  •  237
    This chapter explores the ideological dimension of dehumanization in the context of National Socialism, focusing on the connection between concepts of humanity and dehumanizing images. NS regarded itself as a political revolution, realizing a new concept of humanity. Nazi ideologues undergirded the self-understanding of NS by developing racist anthropologies. I examine two major strands of Nazi ideology, focusing on their diverging strategies of dehumanization, and arguing that they were depende…Read more
  •  97
    From Buzz to Burst—Critical Remarks on the Term ‘Life’ and Its Ethical Implications in Synthetic Biology
    with Michael Funk, Daniel Falkner, and Tobias Eichinger
    NanoEthics 13 (3): 173-198. 2019.
    In this paper, we examine the use of the term ‘life’ in the debates within and about synthetic biology. We review different positions within these debates, focusing on the historical background, the constructive epistemology of laboratory research and the pros and cons of metaphorical speech. We argue that ‘life’ is used as buzzword, as folk concept, and as theoretical concept in inhomogeneous ways. Extending beyond the review of the significant literature, we also argue that ‘life’ can be under…Read more
  •  28
    The Emergence of Relativism: German Thought from the Enlightenment to National Socialism (edited book)
    with Martin Kusch, Katherina Kinzel, and Niels Jacob Wildschut
    Routledge. 2019.
    Debates over relativism are as old as philosophy itself. Since the late nineteenth century, relativism has also been a controversial topic in many of the social and cultural sciences. And yet, relativism has not been a central topic of research in the history of philosophy or the history of the social sciences. This collection seeks to remedy this situation by studying the emergence of modern forms of relativism as they unfolded in the German lands during the "long nineteenth century"—from the E…Read more
  •  290
    The aim of this chapter is to clarify the use and meaning of the concept of relativism in the context of National Socialism (NS). Section 1 examines the critical reproach that NS is a form of relativism. I analyze and criticize the common core of this widespread argument which has dominated discussions about the topic up to the present. Section 2 sketches the general debates on relativism before and during NS. I show that fascist thought could be associated with both relativism and anti-relativi…Read more
  •  131
    Die Perspektive des Lebens: Genealogie und Kritik beim späten Nietzsche
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 67 (3): 451-463. 2019.
    This paper focuses on the relation of genealogy and critique in Nietzsche’s late philosophy. It is argued that the late Nietzsche distinguishes between genealogy and critique. The genealogy of morality is a descriptive endeavor that shows the origin of values in processes of life. The critique of morality assesses the value of values from the perspective of life. It is argued that the concept of life is at the core of Nietzsche’s critical project and thus his fundamental standard. The paper also…Read more
  •  205
    The aim of this chapter is to clarify the meaning and the use of the concept of relativism in the context of National Socialism (NS). This chapter analyzes three aspects of the connection between relativism and NS: The first part examines the critical reproach that NS is a form of relativism. I analyze and criticize the common core of this widespread argument, which is developed in varying contexts, was held in different times, and is still shared by several authors. The second part investigates…Read more
  •  319
    Die identitäre Ideologie. Wiederkehr des völkischen Denkens
    Perspektiven DS 35 (2): 77-79. 2018.
    Nationalistische Ideen haben in der gegenwärtigen Politik Konjunktur. Dabei ist auch die Wiederkehr einer völkisch-traditionalistischen Ideologie zu beobachten. Der völkische Nationalismus ist in rechtsextremen Gruppen weit verbreitet. Mittlerweile wirken völkische Ideen jedoch weit in die bürgerliche Mitte hinein, nicht zuletzt aufgrund der erfolgreichen Strategien der sogenannten „Neuen Rechten“. Die Identitäre Bewegung (IB) spielt in dieser Szene eine wesentliche Rolle und wird zumeist als ei…Read more
  •  171
    In this paper, I examine two exemplary replies to the challenge of history that played a crucial role in the controversies on the nature and purpose of philosophy during the so-called long 19th century. Nietzsche and Dilthey developed concepts of philosophy in contrast with one another, and in particular regarding their approach to the history of philosophy. While Nietzsche advocates a radical break with the history of philosophy, Dilthey emphasizes the continuity with the philosophical traditio…Read more
  •  423
    Several authors have recently questioned whether dehumanization is a psychological prerequisite of mass violence. This paper argues that the significance of dehumanization in the context of National Socialism can be understood only if its ideological dimension is taken into account. The author concentrates on Alfred Rosenberg’s racist doctrine and shows that Nazi ideology can be read as a political anthropology that grounds both the belief in the German privilege and the dehumanization of the Je…Read more
  • Goethe um 1900 (edited book)
    Kulturverlag Kadmos. 2017.
  • Christoph Friedrich Heinle: Lyrik und Prosa (edited book)
    Kulturverlag Kadmos. 2016.
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  •  23
    The concept of life plays a crucial role in the debate on synthetic biology. The first part of this chapter outlines the controversial debate on the status of the concept of life in current science and philosophy. Against this background, synthetic biology and the discourse on its scientific and societal consequences is revealed as an exception. Here, the concept of life is not only used as buzzword but also discussed theoretically and links the ethical aspects with the epistemological prerequis…Read more
  •  173
    In Defence of Epistemic Relativism: The Concept of Truth in Georg Simmel’s Philosophy of Money
    Proceedings of the 38th International Ludwig Wittgenstein-Symposium. 2015.
    As one of the first modern philosophers, Georg Simmel systematically developed a “relativistic world view” (Simmel 2004, VI). In this paper I attempt to examine Simmel’s relativistic answer to the question of truth. I trace his main arguments regarding the concept of truth and present his justification of epistemic relativism. In doing so, I also want to show that some of Simmel’s claims are surprisingly timely. Simmel’s relativistic concept of truth is supported by an evolutionary argument. Th…Read more