Recent Publications

The role played by the diagnosis of an »era of post-truth« in political, scientific and medial struggles necessitates a critique of reason.

The chapter analyses demands for transparency as a specific way of exercising power.

Radical critiques of reason are possible, I argue, if we turn our attention to the practices of criticizing, if we refrain from a sovereign epistemology, and if we pluralize reason without trivializing it.

A critical reading of Robert Brandom’s usage of the concept of responsibility to explicate normativity’s binding force.

The chapter describes the specific knowledge articulated in diagnoses of our times by looking at the critique of such diagnoses voiced in sociology and philosophy.

Upcoming Talks

Basiert auf der Veranstaltung “Vernunftkritik in der kritischen Theorie”.

Roundtable discussion on critiques of reason

Recent Posts

The new issue 2/2019 of WestEnd. Neue Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung features my article »Fighting with Untruth. Why a Critique of Reason Remains Necessary« [in German]. It grew out of the talk that I gave almost exactly a year ago in the lecture series »Frankfurter Positionen 2018/19«.

Jan Groos has a podcast “for expanding our ideas of te future,” appropriately named Future Histories. In the last episode, I was invited to speak about my project alternative governmentalities. However, I would also recommand listening to all the other interesting episodes!

My latest article on the concept of responsibility is a critical interpretation of Robert Brandom’s use of ‘responsibility’ to make explicit normativity’s binding force.

Es ist soweit: Nach langen Diskussionsrunden und Überarbeitungen ist der Sammelband Gegenwartsdiagnosen. Kulturelle Formen gesellschaftlicher Selbstproblematisierung in der Moderne erschienen, herausgegeben von Thomas Alkemeyer, Nikolaus Buschmann und Thomas Etzemüller. Von mir ist ein kleiner Text zur Kritik an Zeitdiagnosen enthalten, die aus der Soziologie und der Philosophie gern geäußert wird. Denn das Adjektiv “zeitdiagnostisch” kann ziemlich giftig sein…


How does knowledge affect us? What political significance do epistemological questions and insights have? My habilitation project investigates the force of knowledge

How can we govern in such a way that those governed need not fear those governing? What if the usual answer of political philosophy, namely “autonomy,” is not sufficient?

How do we picture the activity of criticising, and how does this influence our theoretical activity of explicating the concept of critique? What kind of knowledge do we produce in criticising? And what is the relation between critique and necessity?

Zeitschrift für philosophische Literatur is a peer-reviewed open-access online journal for book reviews in scholarly philosophy.

The book series Philosophie & Kritik. Beiträge zur politischen Philosophie und Kritischen Theorie will start in 2017 with Springer VS. It publishes books which understand themselves as politically engaged philosophy.

From a systematic perspective I am especially interested in Michel Foucault’s methodology and the resulting conception of (political) philosophy as well as his attempts to write a non-relativistic ‘History of Truth’.

That we should behave and act responsibly seems to be a self-evident norm hardly questioned by anyone. Yet, historically speaking, this is fairly new – only 200 years ago, “responsibility” was a rather marginal legal concept with no ethical significance. So what does the surprising career of “responsibility” mean, both for our thinking and our acting? What happens when “responsibility” becomes a required self-understanding for individuals at the workplace, in the welfare state or in the criminal justice system? And what are the consequences when philosophy’s analyses of “responsibility” focus almost exclusively on conditions of agency mostly absent in non-philosophical practices?

In the winter term 2019/20, I will teach three seminars and convene a weekly colloquium (all in German):

Colloquium for Critical Social Theory [in German]
Room for debates of BA and MA theses, current research projects and new literature on critical social theory.
Marcuse versus Habermas: Critical Theory, Left Politics and Technological Rationality [in German]
Syllabus Proseminar
The seminar examines the discussions about (critical) theory and praxis in the 1960/70ies.
The Critique of Reason in Critical Theories [in German]
Syllabus Seminar
“Critique of Reason” may sound like a relic from the 1980ies but the questions have never been fully answered – and have become pressing today.
What is (not) Critique? [in German]
Syllabus Proseminar
An in-depth introduction to the debate about the concept of critique.

Notes on Term Papers

Scientific writing is not an easy task. To help you with the writing part and to give you some idea how to find a good research question for your term paper, I have assembled some tips in the Hausarbeiten-Survival Guide - so far only in German. If you are instead looking for answers how to format your paper, you should consult the explanations given by Prof. Dr. Tanja Brühl (in this file) or by Prof. Dr. Thomas Lemke (in this file).