Hans Blumenberg

Theory of the Life-World

Edited by Manfred Sommer
(German title: Theorie der Lebenswelt)
ca. 200 pages
Hans Blumenberg
Foto: Hans Blumenberg
© Peter Zollna

Hans Blumenberg (1920-1996) was professor for Philosophy at the University of Münster.

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Spanish world rights (Fondo de Cultura Economica), Chinese simplex rights (China Legal Publishing House)


To mark the 90th anniversary of Hans Blumenberg’s birth, Suhrkamp is bringing out a posthumous text in which the philosopher provides a radical new view of the issue of the life-world.

The latter is one of the most fiercely debated topics in contemporary philosophy. Often it appears as a world of everyday activities from which philosophy originates, however, without being reducible to it.
Hans Blumenberg does not consider the life-world an actual or everyday world but sees it as the world as it would be if there were no un-answered questions, unsatisfied needs or un-verified statements.
In a surprising way, his comparisons shed light on the difficulties that make the life-world an object of knowledge.

»We need a theory of the life-world because we do not live in a life-world anymore.«


»Blumenberg is still alive, in his own way.« Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»Anyone who engages as uncompromisingly as Blumenberg did with the life-world, virtually throwing himself into it, must wonder, as he does, how one can live in it so well, despite – or perhaps more because of – its many inconsistencies and uncertainties. Blumenberg illustrates his theory with countless examples, from the allegedly precise world of jurisprudence to very everyday situations.« Frankfurter Rundschau

Other publications

Rigorismus der Wahrheit/The Rigorism of Truth (2015)

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English world rights (Cornell UP)

Präfiguration/Prefiguration (2014)

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Italy (Morcelliana), France (Seuil)

Quellen, Ströme, Eisberge/Sources, Streams, Icebergs (2012)

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Spanish world rights (Fondo de Cultura Economica)

Löwen/Lions (2010)

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English world rights (Seagull), France (Klincksieck)

Geistesgeschichte der Technik/Geistesgeschichte der Technik (2009)

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Spanish world rights (Pre-Textos), Italy (Mimesis), Korea (Ghil)

Briefwechsel 1971-1978/Correspondence and other materials (2007)

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France (du Cerf), Italy (Laterza)

Der Mann vom Mond/The Man from the Moon (2007)

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Spanish world rights (Pre-Textos), France (Editions du Felin), Italy (Mimesis)

Theorie der Unbegrifflichkeit/Theorie der Unbegrifflichkeit (2007)

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Beschreibung des Menschen/Description of Man (2006)

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Die Legitimität der Neuzeit/The Legitimacy of the Modern Age (1996)

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Schiffbruch mit Zuschauer/Shipwreck with Spectator (1993)

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English world rights (MIT Press), Spanish world rights (A. Machado Libros - published, rights reverted), France (L'Arche), Italy (Il Mulino - published, rights reverted), Netherlands (Historische Uitgeverij - published, rights reverted), Korea (Saemulgyul), Japan (Tetsugako Shobo - published, rights reverted), Hungary (Atlantisz), Turkey (Dost - published, rights reverted), Greece (Antipodes), Israel (Shalem Press)

Arbeit am Mythos/Work on Myth (1979)

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English world rights (MIT), Spanish world rights (Paidos), Chinese simplex rights (Horizon), Italy (Il Mulino – published, rights reverted), Japan (Hosei UP), Poland (Oficyna Naukowa), Croatia (Sandorf)