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Jochen Schuff




seit 2022 Postdoc in der Einstein Research Group »Reorganizing Ourselves.

2014–2021 wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter bei Prof. Martin Seel an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main.

2019–2020 Forschungsaufenthalt an der University of California, Berkeley. Supervisor: Prof. Alva Noë.

2017 Promotion zum Dr. phil. mit einer Arbeit zum Kunstverstehen nach Wittgenstein und Cavell.

2010–2014 Mitarbeiter im Projekt »Rechtfertigungsnarrative: Das Beispiel des gegenwärtigen Kinos« am Exzellenzcluster »Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen« in Frankfurt am Main.

2003–2010 Studium der Philosophie, Psychoanalyse und Kunstgeschichte an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main.

Techniques of Self-Knowledge

My research aims to investigate the currently widely received forms of autobiography – in fictional writing and the visual arts, as well as in theory and philosophy – in order to lay bare the normative presuppositions governing self-explorative image-making, be it rhetoric or visual. Thus, I will explore a central part of aesthetic practice, both by illuminating the way subjects project and perform their self-staging, and by exploring the aesthetic techniques they make us of to construct their images of themselves. In my view, the very possibility of self-knowledge cannot be seen apart from those techniques and the aesthetic practices they are embedded in. From this vantage point, the project offers an aesthetic explanation of crucial dimensions of human self-relation.

My approach is connected, on the one hand, to the idea of a critical aesthetics of artistic practice, and fleshes it out with regards to different strategies of self-exploration. Techniques of self-picturing and procedures of imaginative representation are put to the fore. This perspective makes for an emphatic orientation to creating and self-creating as aspects of our artistic practice, to their normative and technological conditions. In this respect, my investigation is designe das a kind of philosophical art criticism – or, as an art-critical philosophy.

On the other hand, I will use the multi-faceted and hybrid artistic self-expressions as conspicuous models to contrast and confront philosophical conceptions of self-knowledge. Many recent conceptions share the basic idea to conceive of self-knowledge in a decidedly practical perspective, thus to understand it less within an epistemic framework of reflection, but to tie it, in a normative view, to our actions and to our bodily stance in relation to the world. In my view, these approaches correspond with the artistic explorations of self and autobiography I sketched above. All of these articulations seem to me to tackle a common problem using different techniques and methodologies – a problem I aim to illuminate by an entangled reading.

(im Erscheinen/forthcoming) »Realism and Redemption in Film: Lines between Kracauer and Cavell«.

(im Erscheinen/forthcoming) »Fragmente einer Ästhetik aus der Architektur. Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Valéry«, in: Daniel Martin Feige, Karin Schulte & Tobias Walliser (Hg.): Ästhetik der Architektur, Bielefeld (=Schriftenreihe des Weißenhof-Instituts zur Architektur- und Designtheorie, Bd. 2).

»Aesthetics and Autobiography in Cavell«, in: Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 57 (2) 2020, 150–162. DOI: http://doi.org/10.33134/eeja.208 (peer reviewed).

Freie Universität Berlin
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
Universität der Künste Berlin