This paper proposes that the human mind in its creativity and emotional self-awareness is the result of the evolutionary transition from sexuality to eroticism. Eroticism is arrived at and defined by the high amount of energy displayed in animal sexuality. We propose that the unique human emotional intelligence is due to this “overflow” of mating energy. What from the survival viewpoint looks like an enormous waste of time and energy reveals itself to be an unexpected psychological benefit. The diversion of (...) sexual energy from procreation — a process that results in erotic fantasies — turns intimacy into a source of human self -consciousness. This places different emphasis on the meaning of eroticism and provides a coherent scenario of mental development beyond mere cognitive capacities. Arguments are presented on how erotic imagination, or sexual excitation as an end in itself, promotes the human propensity for explorative curiosity; data from ethology, psychology, sociology, and neuroscience are presented to support these arguments. As philosophical anthropologists, we do not provide new empirical data, but the available results of comparative behavioral research confirm our hypothesis. (shrink)
In this book, I bring together my researches on Edmund Husserl. I explain how the diverse temperaments of Scheler, Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty developed Husserl’s foundational idea. This book focuses on how phenomenology transformed cultural studies, and how phenomenology is being reclaimed as a general theory of media in modern life.
This article is about Eroticism as a key-concept in the psychological understanding of the human mind. The meaning of the term can be defined as follows: Eroticism is the way humans experience sexuality as a self-sufficient mental activity. Sexuality underlies different social rules in varying cultural contexts and may lead to different ways of thinking, but there is no evidence that cultural diversity actually leads to fundamentally different ways of feeling. The constant disposition for recreational rather than procreational sex makes (...) eroticism a medium of human creativity. In this sense, eroticism is considered a central factor in the process of hominisation. The crucial cognitive competence which makes for the uniqueness of our species is due to the transformation of sexuality into eroticism and its disposition for social learning. In the animal kingdom, sex contributes to the welfare of the horde, while in human society eroticism contributes to individual self-recognition and paves the way to moral awareness. Methodologically, I plead for a cooperation of psychological and anthropological research, each utilizing and combining the complementary aspects of both approaches. (shrink)
This paper is about erotic love as source of the self. Unlike in the Platonic tradition, love is interpreted in the light of human mating systems. Following modern sociobiological theories I reconstruct the pair-bond as the original site in the evolution of man. For the philosophy of mind it follows that the unity of personal consciousness can be explained as a dialectic of emotional nearness to and distance from the beloved other.
In this article, we argue that there is an essential difference between social intelligence and creative intelligence, and that they have their foundation in human sexuality. For sex differences, we refer to the vast psychological, neurological, and cognitive science research where problem-solving, verbal skills, logical reasoning, and other topics are dealt with. Intelligence tests suggest that, on average, neither sex has more general intelligence than the other. Though people are equals in general intelligence, they are different in special forms of (...) intelligence such as social intelligence and creative intelligence, the former dominant in women, the latter dominant in men. The dominance of creative intelligence in men needs to be explained. The focus of our research is on the strictly anthropological aspects, and consequently our explanation for this fact is based on the male-female polarity in the mating systems. Sexual dimorphism does not only regard bodily differences but implies different forms of sex life. Sex researchers distinguish between two levels of sexual intercourse: procreative sex and recreational sex, and to these we would add “creative sex.” On all three levels, there is a behavioral difference between men and women, including the subjective experience. These differences are as well attributed to culture as genetically founded in nature. Sexual reproduction is only possible if females cooperate. Their biological inheritance makes females play a decisive role in mate choice. Recreational sex for the purpose of pleasure rather than reproduction results from female extended sexual activity. Creative sex, on the contrary, is a specifically male performance of sexuality. We identify creative sex with eroticism. Eroticism evolved through the transformation of the sexual drive into a mental state of expectation and fantasizing. Hence, sex differences (that nowadays are covered up by cultural egalitarianism) continue to be the evolutionary origin of the difference between social and creative intelligence. (shrink)
This article addresses the emergence of human personality in evolution. The mechanisms of natural and sexual selection developed by Darwin are not sufficient to explain the sense of self. Therefore we attempt to trace the evolutionary process back to a form of selection termed “emotional selection.” This involves reconstructing selection out of subjective qualities and showing how emotions enable human forms of life that are relevant for the cultural level of cooperation that marks our species. We see a paradigm shift (...) in the concept of emotional selection that binds emotion and evolution closer together, thus closing the explanatory gap between classical ethology and modern evolutionary psychology. (shrink)
The exclusive relationship, either as a pair or even as a married pair, has regained its attraction. Obviously, the traditional roles, the economically dependent woman who stands by the side of the ‘strong man’, no longer represent the pair bond.
The pair-bond model of human origin proposed by Lovejoy in his “Reexamining Human Origins in Light of Ardipithecus ramidus” combines fossil records with the unique sexual behavior of modern humans. This construct, however, seems to lack an emotionally important element. By connecting ovulatory crypsis with frontal copulation and face-to-face contact, the transition to the complexity and subtlety of human emotional life becomes more evident. Reproductive success and emotional representation are considered as two interacting levels in the phylogenetic scale. Thus, the (...) behavioral frame of sociobiology is extended to psychobiological phenomena and a bridge is built between natural sciences and philosophy. Light from both sides will be thrown on the origin of man, including his unique cultural history. (shrink)
Croces philosophische Akademieabhandlung von 1893, für die Philosophische Bibliothek erstmals ins Deutsche übertragen, gehört zu den fundamentalen Texten der neueren Geschichtstheorie. In Anknüpfung insbesondere an die deutschen Geschichtsphilosophen des 19. Jahrhunderts entwickelt Croce einen ästhetischen Ansatz, um die Geschichtswissenschaften vor ihrer positivistischen Auflösung in reine Gelehrsamkeit zu bewahren.
This work has proved to be the secret classic of pedagogy. Fellmann argues for the transition from the strict Kantian ethics to the utilitarian-based art of living. This is presented in five steps: The class asks the instructor unexpected questions; how the instructor can address the fascination with evil and utility; the desire for morality and the metamorphoses of hedonism; even in morality, nothing is as successful as success; a field trip experiences a shipwreck, the social foundations of morality.
In this autobiography, Fellmann’s personal experiences obtain in the light of philosophical themes a general significance. His connections to famous authors from the past and present situate his thought in a historical context. The focus of his Philosophy of Life is Eros; the Erosopher is the one who shares his wisdom of living. This book appeals to a broad public interested in the contemporary currents of philosophical reflection.
The Love-Code is a continuation of The Couple to the family, whose image has changed dramatically. Sexual promiscuity, the social equality of male and female, the individual planning of biographies, all make traditional gender roles appear outdated. Whether these changes will make the living together of the sexes easier is doubtful. This book addresses the question, how can love even in the conditions of neo-liberalism keep its mysterious binding force: through the recognition of sexual identity as a way to knowing (...) the self and the other. (shrink)
This work represents the turn in philosophical anthropology to intersubjectivity. In our day, when society threatens to disintegrate into elementary particles, the question becomes acute, What holds individuals together? Fellmann’s answer: the couple as anthropological radical liberates individual humans from isolation. Even outside of marriage and family institutions, erotic love is the communicative medium that cannot be replaced with discourse alone. Thus, the human finds justification through love: a way of living in no way inferior to Christian justification through belief.
This book examines The New Science by Giambattista Vico. Unlike previous commentators, I do not interpret it idealistically as purely intellectual history but rather pragmatically in light of the ways humans have concretely organized their lives over time.
This book illuminates the state of the humanities in the second half of the twentieth century. A comparison of Husserl’s idea of life-world with the “critical theory” of Jürgen Habermas shows that both thinkers are bound to the same idea of integral rationality, which still exists in the German mind today.
In times of social upheaval, self-understanding has become shaky. Against this background, Fellmann asks the anthropological question anew: He does not inquire into human essence, but, in reference to Thomas Nagel’s question, “What is it like to be a bat?”, into subjective experience. The key concept that Fellmann rediscovers and focuses on is “life feelings”. He connects both sides of life experience, the subjective and the objective. In nine concise chapters, life feeling is viewed from diverse perspectives: from basic instincts (...) and moral sensibility to postmodern attitudes in the global and digital world. (shrink)
This book considers the prehistory of Husserl’s doctrine of phenomenological reduction. The focus is on Rudolf Eucken, who was world-renowned in his own time but is now the mostly forgotten late-idealistic philosopher. The prehistory clarifies how Husserl arrived at transcendental idealism in his most famous work, Ideas.
This book describes the ever-changing history of the concrete application of ethical reflection of individual authors, from Epicurus and Seneca, Montaigne and Gracian, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, to Erich Fromm and Michel Foucault. Eastern wisdom is also considered. The result is a concept of moral duty pertaining to the philosophy of life, which emerges from the tension between the pursuit of happiness and the human capability for happiness.
This work compares Edmund Husserl’s worldview in Ideas to the literary expressionism of that time. The comparison sheds light on the common way of thinking that the concept of reality, in contrast to the concept of rational truth, is in the foreground.
In contrast to the hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer, which maintains the interpretation of classical texts, I emphasize the role of images in our everyday understanding. I see the added value of images in the fact that they show the latent background, from which the manifest messages draw their actual significance. Before Thomas Mitchell’s “pictorial turn”, I referred to the iconic turn as “imagic turn” in order to emphasize the originary connection between images and magic rituals. The magical component of the (...) hermeneutic image is to the human ability to make something absent present. (shrink)
This book is about the couple, which I consider to be both the origin and the foundation of a strong social self. Despite increasing self-realisation, the individual is always in need of justification through an intimate relationship in which both partners accept one another as they are. In view of the process of global urbanization, empathy and reliability are the royal road to overcoming existential loneliness.
The ›zoological turn‹ currently proclaimed by animal ethicians suggests a complete reversal of our view on animal life. As welcome as the overcoming of an anthropocentric outlook may be, one cannot ignore the ideological bias of animal ethics. What looks like a modest surrender of our customary arrogance turns out to be a subtle way of reinforcing human supremacy. In order to debunk this kind of self-deception, the article reconstructs how ethics and biology consistently came together in the 19th century. (...) Accordingly, the question arises which kind of ethics best suits current anthropology. My answer is: a concrete ethics of the art of living that takes into account the ambivalent nature of the relationship between humans and animals. (shrink)
Die Kunstwissenschaft zeichnet sich in den letzten Jahrzehnten dadurch aus, dass sie analog zur Entwicklung in der Kunst keine übergreifende Stilbildung mehr betreibt. In der vorliegenden Publikation nähern sich nun international anerkannte Kunstwissenschaftler, Philosophen und Medienwissenschaftler dem Begriff »Bild« – sowohl durch klassische Bildanalysen und ästhetische Fragestellungen als auch durch Versuche, einen neuen wissenschaftlichen Begriff für Kunst zu finden. Die Autoren, darunter Felix Ensslin, Frieder Nake, Jean-Baptiste Joly, Ute Meta Bauer, Katharina Sykora und Beat Wyss, erörtern, wie wir Bilder lesen (...) und welchen Stellenwert diese in unserem Denken heute einnehmen. Beispielhaft zeigen 30 Kunstwerke, etwa von John Baldessari, Gianfranco Baruchello, Holger Friese, Matthias Hoch, Christian Jankowski, Stephan Jung, Markus Schinwald oder Peter Weibel, die ganze Vielfalt der heutigen Bildproduktion in der Kunst. (shrink)
In this paper I claim that the metaphysical concept of culture has come to an end. Among the European authors Georg Simmel is the foremost who has deconstructed the myth of culture as a substantial totality beyond relations or prior to them. Two tenets of research have prepared the end of all-inclusive culture: First, Simmel's formal access that considers society as the modality of interactions and relations between individuals, thus overcoming the social evolutionism of Auguste Comte; second, his critical exegesis (...) of idealistic philosophy of history, thus leaving behind the Hegelian tradition. Although Simmel adheres in some statements to the outdated idea of morphological unity, his sociological and epistemological thinking paved the way for the concept of social identity as a network of series connected loosely by contiguity. This type of connection is confirmed by the present feeling of life as individual self-invention according to changing situations. (shrink)
Die neuzeitliche Ethik hat den teleologischen Naturbegriff der Antike durch den Begriff der praktischen Vernunft ersetzt, deren Normen alle Menschen unterworfen sind. Dieses von Immanuel Kant entwickelte Modell hat den Vorteil, Ethik als deduktive Disziplin zu behandeln, es hat aber den Nachteil, dass der Ausgangspunkt eine abstrakte Konstruktion ist. Konstruiert wird als Kern des Menschen eine rein logische Instanz, die sich selbst nach dem Prinzip des Widerspruchs Gesetze des Handelns gibt. Davon getrennt bleibt die empirische Wirklichkeit, in der die Menschen (...) nach dem Prinzip der Selbsterhaltung agieren. Damit hat Kant die antike Tugendethik, die zugleich als Lebenskunst auftrat, gespalten in Moralphilosophie und Anthropologie. (shrink)
In his presentation of different life-philosophers, Fellmann shows that the discrediting of the Philosophy of Life as a dangerous irrationalism misses the main point. This lies in the discovery of emotional intelligence, which is found in modern forms of self-experience in opposition to the Cartesian Cogito. It is not about overcoming rationalism, but rather enriching it with the first-person perspective.