Thomas Metzinger

Thomas Metzinger ( born March 12, 1958 in Frankfurt am Main ) is a German philosopher and professor of theoretical philosophy at the University of Mainz. His main research areas are philosophy of mind, philosophy of science of neuroscience and neuroethics.


Metzinger studied philosophy, anthropology and theology at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. In 1985 he received his doctorate with a thesis about the mind-body problem. In 1992 he habilitated at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. Metzinger 2000 was appointed Professor of Philosophy of Cognitive Science at the University of Osnabrück, however, changed in the same year at the University of Mainz.

Metzinger, the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness co-founded, was there from 1995 to 2008 Board Member and 2009-2011 President. From 2005 to 2007 he was president of the German Society for Cognitive Science, is an Adjunct Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies and member of the advisory board of the Giordano Bruno Foundation. From 2008 to 2009 he was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin.


With the help of philosophical and cognitive scientific methods he developed a theory of "self " models, to explain the unity, reflexivity and intentionality of consciousness. Part of this program is also a representational theory of subjectivity. In general, Metzinger has been used for many years for interdisciplinary opening of analytic philosophy of mind.

Metzinger is regarded as one of the philosophers who look most the exchange between philosophy and the neurosciences and cognitive sciences. So he deals with some of the philosophical interpretation of the search for neural correlates of consciousness.

In 2009 he published The Ego Tunnel is an illustration of his theory, which claims to be accessible to interested parties outside of academic philosophy and science. In this book he discussed beyond the ethical, cultural and social consequences of consciousness research and its results.

Another field of work Metzinger is applied ethics. There he tries to apply results of anthropology and the philosophy of mind on moral theoretical debates. This created under the direction of Thomas Metzinger a bilingual web portal for Neuroethics with subject-specific bibliography. Metzinger is project coordinator of a research group that deals with ethical issues related to Neuroenhancement ( " brain doping " ), brought about by drugs that are designed to improve cognitive skills (so-called nootropics ) dealing. He is also the initiator and coordinator of the MIND - Group, a group of interdisciplinary scientists and philosophers with the goal of reunification and complementarity of empirical and philosophical approaches to the study of consciousness.