BiographyAfter completing his dissertation in philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, Thomas Hilgers was a research associate at the Free University Berlin, the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and Columbia University. He has also taught seminars in philosophy and film studies at UPenn, the Free University Berlin, the Kunstakademie, the Humboldt University Berlin, and Potsdam University. Currently, he is a research associate at the Priority Program 1688, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
So far, Hilgers has mostly been working on the nature and value of aesthetic experiences and judgments, the ontology of film, and the concept of art. Methodologically, his work is influenced by transcendental philosophy, phenomenology, analytic philosophy, and critical theory. In particular, it very much relies on a critical engagement with Kant, German Idealism, Schopenhauer, Heidegger, Gadamer, and Adorno. In the future, Hilgers will focus on developing satisfying accounts of subjectivity and freedom, and will work on the nature and implications of digital technologies. In general, he belongs to those philosophers who intend to bridge the still existing gulf between the traditions of so-called analytic and continental philosophies.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art
Philosophy of Film and of the Visual Media
Philosophy of Technology
Metaphysics (Theories of Subjectivity, Selfhood, and Freedom)
History of German Philosophy (especially Kant, Schopenhauer, Heidegger, and Adorno)