Hans Sluga

Job title: 
William and Trudy Ausfahl Professor Emeritus

Sluga has broad philosophical interests of both a systematic and a historical kind. These cross the boundaries of so-called “analytic” and “Continental” philosophy. From the latter tradition, he has acquired a strongly historical bent. From the analytical tradition, he has gained an appreciation of clarity and logical order.

Sluga's knowledge of philosophy began with the study of classical languages and culture in the German Gymnasium. At the Universities of Bonn and Munich, he subsequently developed an interest in symbolic logic and, in particular, in the work of Gottlob Frege at the same time, as he was reading Martin Heidegger and Max Scheler. It was at Oxford where he discovered Wittgenstein.

In recent years, he has become increasingly preoccupied with political philosophy and specifically with what he calls “the diagnostic tradition in political philosophy,” which he sees beginning with Marx and Nietzsche and extending to Carl Schmitt, Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault in the 20th century. His goal is always to learn something new. It is in this spirit that he has come to concern himself lately with China and its philosophical culture.