Peter Sloterdijk and Rüdiger Safranski

What do you think about Peter Sloterdijk?


Old Europe

(title changed from “Peter Sloterdijk” to “Peter Sloterdijk and Rüdiger Safranski” Old Europe, 12 March 2006)

I think he’s a better Heidegger than Heidegger. Somewhat…polemic (dare I say that?!).

Yes Obw, he can be very polemic and his writings has a brillant style including creations of new words or using words in annother or polemic context. End of last year he received the Sigmund-Freud-Award for Scientific Prose. I know why… I like his little books (lectures). Last week I bought the first part of his trilogy “Spären”. I am curious…


Old Europe

Ah yes, the spheres… I enjoy that imagery very much. He borders on a freudian simplicity at times though - if I understand him right - with regards to ‘the womb’-sphere inspiring nation-state-spheres and so on.

I shall have to read more of his work.

Obw, the spheres are, according to WIKIPEDIA ( ) his opus magnum. More than 2500 pages, a real philosophical adventure. The first volume already contains nearly 650 pages and it will take me some time to read this. But the first impression is great…

As Sloterdijk is polarizing the minds in the german speaking countries, I would like to ask you all in the english speaking countries, whether his work does the same. It is only, because I’m curious. It will not influence my meaning about Sloterdijk. I think, he is one of the most important contemporary philosophers and I like reading his books. But this should not give the impression, that I’m very strong in philosophy. No, philosophy is only one of my hobbies and I prefer the themes, which have relation with philosophy of art, culture, contemporary politics and media. Maybe this, combined which his great style, is the reason, why I like Sloterdijks work…


Old Europe

In Germany, Peter Sloterdijk has a regular TV penal discussion together with Rüdiger Safranski and two well chosen guests. For all, hwo understand German a little, can receive this program and are interested, please find this link: (please choose “!Online als Video anschauen!” >>>).


Old Europe

Rüdiger Safranski, who has the TV penal discussion “Das Philosophische Quartett” with Peter Sloterdijk wrote some really remarkable biographies about philosophers. I like in particular the ones about Nietzsche and Schopenhauer very much: … oding=UTF8 (Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy) … oding=UTF8 (Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography)

The next penal discussion comes closer (12 March) and I get curious…

Both, Peter Sloterdijk and Rüdiger Safranski, are writing books with very good style. They can make difficult things easyly understandable.

I’m not sure, whether Peter Sloterdijk and Rüdiger Safranski are well known outside Old Europe, I have my doubts about it. Maybe my posts can make the one or annother a little curious…


Old Europe

Very little of what he has written is in English, at least
in the U.S. Amazon has only his critique and nothing else.
I will have to do some research to find his work
in English.


Here is a long article about Sloterdijk’s sheres trilogy:

It seems, there is no interest in the English speaking world for the spheres trilogy. I just looked on the web page of Sloterdijk’s publisher and it seems, that no English rights have been sold:


Old Europe

I really enjoy reading the first part of the spheres trilogy! Sloterdijk’s “Zeitdiagnostik” (I could not find the English translation) is very detailed and beautiful described. I can imagine, that it was a big and hard working project to write this trilogy. If his books will not be available in English, maybe you have the opportunity to read them in French, Spanish, Dutch or even in German: … nfo01.html … 45-0124865

Regards, Old Europe

For interested thinkers, please remember “Das Philosophische Quartett”, which will be shown by ZDF this evening 23:40 o’clock:,1872,1021352,00.html

and 9 April 2006, the next edition will be shown:,187 … 90,00.html

You can discover two good contemporary philosophers which always invite guests, which are important for the topic treated.

See also … =safranski

Have a good Sunday and regards from

Old Europe

I just ordered Safranski’s Heidegger biography and his rather new Schiller biography ( … 208293.htm ) and his book “Wieviel Wahrheit braucht der Mensch?”. Rüdiger Safranski is a master in writing biographies about great philosophers and their time. The biographies are always more than pure biographies in classical sense. Sometimes Safranski even develops very interesting own ideas, but always based on the biographies. He is able to make the reader curious to read the work of the philosophers/writers he write about and about others which are less known. Anyway, the topics are always very good investigated and brought together with pilosophical craftsmanship and are written in a very clear and precise a little poetic style. I believe, that Safranski is a very sirious writer and that the time reading his books is never lost time. You can always learn from his books. Maybe the Schiller biography will never be translated into English, because I have the impression, Schiller is rather unknown in the English speaking world, but this is only an impression. The critics about the Schiller biography are throughout very enthousiastic and positive… Old Europe

Sphären I is a beautiful reading, I enjoy this book really a lot, but it seems, that there is still no English translation (see also )… Maybe this book is written for continental Europeans, or only interesting for them…

I will keep you informed.

Regards, Old Europe

Peter Sloterdijk is one of the best or even the best philosopher of the current era.

Sloterdijk’s ideas seek to integrate different components that have been erroneously considered detached from each other. Consequently, he proposes the creation of an “ontological constitution” that would incorporate all beings—humans, animals, plants, and machines.

Sloterdijk regards cultures and civilizations as “anthropogenic hothouses”, installations for the cultivation of human beings; just as we have established wildlife preserves to protect certain animal species, so too ought we to adopt more deliberate policies to ensure the survival of Aristotle’s zoon politikon.

The exploration of these spheres begins with the basic difference between mammals and other animals: the biological and utopian comfort of the mother’s womb, which humans try to recreate through science, ideology, and religion. From these microspheres (ontological relations such as fetus-placenta) to macrospheres (macro-uteri such as nations or states), Sloterdijk analyzes spheres where humans try but fail to dwell and traces a connection between vital crisis (e.g., emptiness and narcissistic detachment) and crises created when a sphere shatters.

Sloterdijk has said that the first paragraphs of Spheres are “the book that Heidegger should have written”, a companion volume to “Being and Time”, namely “Being and Space”. He was referring to his initial exploration of the idea of Dasein, which is then taken further.


Sloterdijk also argues that the current concept of globalization lacks historical perspective. In his view it is merely the third wave in a process of overcoming distances (the first wave being the metaphysical globalization of the Greek cosmology and the second the nautical globalization of the 15th century). The difference for Sloterdijk is that, while the second wave created cosmopolitanism, the third is creating a global provincialism. Sloterdijk’s sketch of a philosophical history of globalization can be found in “Im Weltinnenraum des Kapitals” (2005; translated as “In the World Interior of Capital”), subtitled “Die letzte Kugel” (“The final sphere”).

Fiscal kleptocracy.

Sloterdijk claimed that the welfare state is a “fiscal kleptocracy” that had transformed the country into a “swamp of resentment” and degraded its citizens into “mystified subjects of tax law”.

Sloterdijk opened the text with the famous quote of leftist critics of capitalism (made famous in the 19th century by Proudhon in his “What Is Property?”) “Property is theft”, stating, however, that it is nowadays the modern state that is the biggest taker. “We are living in a fiscal grabbing semi-socialism – and nobody calls for a fiscal civil war.”

He repeated his statements and stirred up the debate in his articles titled “Kleptokratie des Staates” (transl. “Kleptocracy of the state”) and “Aufbruch der Leistungsträger” (transl. “Uprising of the performers”) in the German monthly Cicero – Magazin für politische Kultur.

According to Sloterdijk, the institutions of the welfare state lend themselves to a system that privileges the marginalized, but relies, unsustainably, on the class of citizens who are materially successful.

In January 2010, an English translation was published, titled “A Grasping Hand – The modern democratic state pillages its productive citizens”, in Forbes and in the Winter 2010 issue of City Journal.

Sloterdijk’s 2010 book, “Die nehmende Hand und die gebende Seite”, contains the texts that triggered the 2009–2010 welfare state dispute.

“Die moderne Welt wird sich als eine Zeit erweisen, in der die Wünsche durch ihr Wahrwerden das Fürchten lehren.” - Peter Sloterdijk, “Die schreckliechen Kinder der Neuzeit”.

That is absolutely right. Are you German, Old Europe?

If property is theft, who is it being stolen from? It had to be property before it became theft.


Nobody here is saying that property is theft, you silly gewse. It is logical, even tautological, that stealing the property of those people who are the service providers is theft. That is what we are saying.