About Me

I am ‘Privatdozent’ (Priv.-Doz. or PD) for Philosophy at the Technical University of Berlin/Germany. From an educational perspective, a Privatdozent is similar to an Associate Professor in the US. My background includes a strong interest in biophilosophy, philosophy of biology, the main works of seminal philosophers (A.N. Whitehead, H. Bergson, G. Canguilhem, Aristotle, G.W. Leibniz, H. Jonas, and Ch. S. Peirce), interdisciplinary problem areas, such as the interdependence of the sciences and the influence of systems thinking on 20th century philosophy and biology, theories od self-organization and complexity,  and classical problems of the history of philosophy, such as theodicy and the problem of universals. My current research focus is on the concepts of organism, complexity, teleology, and information, as well as on Trans- and Posthumanism. I have been writing, teaching and doing research on many of these subjects since 1995. Because of my long education in philosophy, sciences and technology I have had the good fortune of constant interdisciplinary exchange and of working in a setting of close cooperation between different academic fields. I am particularly adept at dialogue between different philosophical traditions and different disciplines.

       Between 1985 and 1990 I studied mechanical engineering with additional studies in theoretical physics in Germany. In 1991 I completed studies in theory of self-organization at the Humboldt University of Berlin (HU-Berlin).

       My Ph.D. at the HU-Berlin was on philosophy of science; a philosophical examination of the theories of self-organization, autopoiesis, and second order cybernetics. My dissertation was published with the title Selbstorganisation ohne Selbst [Self-Organization without a Self]  in the Pharus press (Berlin) in 1996.

      In 2009 I passed the post-doctoral Habilitation-examination in philosophy at the department of philosophy of the Technische Universität Berlin/Berlin Institute of Technology (TU-Berlin). (The Habilitation’s research and formal requirements are more advanced than a post doc and qualify scholars for full professorship at a German university.) The subject of my habilitation-thesis, Organism as Process, is on the topic of biophilosophy and process philosophy. I focused specifically on the nature of organism, and the interface between process metaphysics, biology, and physics in connection with a critical examination of modern systems-theoretical approaches, such as systems-biology and theory of complexity, to ontogenesis. I also dealt intensively with the history of biology. An extended, corrected, and updated version of my habilitation was published with the title  Organismus als Prozess. Begründung einer neuen Biophilosophie [Organism as Process. Foundations for a New Biophilosophy] in Karl Alber press (Freiburg, Munich) in 2019.  

       Since 2010 I have been a Privatdozent for philosophy at the TU-Berlin. Candidates having fulfilled the requirements of the Habilitation, but without a full chair at a university carry the title ‘Privatdozent’ (Priv.-Doz. or PD) and are entitled to supervise Masters and Ph.D. projects.

        In recent years I have regularly presented papers in conferences, workshops and departments in Europe and the U.S. Between February 2012 and May 2014 I was a Visiting Research Scholar in the department of anthropology of the University of California, Berkeley under the advice of the chair of the department, Professor Terrence W. Deacon. The subject of my research was in the philosophy of organism, information, and complexity. In the fall 2012 I was Visiting Associate Professor in the same department where I co-taught a course with Professor Deacon, on the concepts of information and semiosis in biology and anthropology. In the spring quarter 2013 I was employed as visiting lecturer at the California State University East Bay for teaching in the department of philosophy.

        The results of my continuing collaboration with European and US scholars have been made public in the books Organismus als Prozess. Begründung einer neuen Biophilosophie [Organism as Process. Foundations for a New Biophilosophy] (2019) and Selbstorganisation ohne Selbst [Self-Organization without a Self] (1996), articles published in peer-reviewed journals and in book chapters, as well as in the edited volumes Unprecedented Evolution. Continuities and Discontinuities Between Human and Animal Life and the Future of Humanity (2020), Life and Process. Towards a New Biophilosophy (2014), and Prozesse des Lebendigen [Processes of Aliveness] (2007). 

       I have experience in teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses specifically in philosophy of science (focus on biophilosophy, physics, and theories of self-organization and complexity), 20th century metaphysics, history of philosophy, and history of science (especially history of biology). I taught several introductory courses on classical and current metaphysical and natural-philosophical (Naturphilosophie) subjects for many years, including courses in process philosophy, ancient metaphysics, and science and religion.