Thomas Hilgers

[image of Thomas Hilgers]
Contact Information
Email address: 
Dissertation Title: 
Art and Selfhood
Research Interests: 
  • Aesthetics & Philosophy of Art
  • History of 18th, 19th and 20th Century German Philosophy
    (especially Kant, Schopenhauer and Heidegger)
  • Philosophy of Film

I primarily work on the question "What is it that the experience of art does to us?" In my dissertation, I take a first step towards answering this question. I further work on various topics in the history of German philosophy. In particular, I work on the different accounts of selfhood, personhood and subjectivity that one finds in the works of Kant, Fichte, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Wittgenstein. Finally, I work on issues in the philosophy of film, such as the ontological status of the cinematic image, for instance.

Previous Degrees: 
  • MA in Philosophy (University of Pennsylvania)
  • MA in Cinema Studies (Free University Berlin)
Publications: 

Co-Translator (with Uygar Abaci and Michael Nance) of "Notes in the Observations on the Beautiful  and the Sublime." In: Kant, Immanuel, Observations on the Beautiful and the Sublime and other Writing. Ed. Patrick Frierson and Paul Guyer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010

"Die Idee der Interesselosigkeit als aesthetische Kategorie." ("The Idea of Disinterestedness as an Aesthetic Category.") In: Congress-CD-ROM of the XXI. German Congress for Philosophy, 2008

Presentations: 
  • "Seeing the Past: Some Reflections on the Ontology of Photography," SPSCVA Sessions at the Eastern Meeting of the Amercian Philosophical Association, upcoming
  • Comments on Erin Bradfield's "Productive Excess: Aesthetic Ideas, Silence, and Community," Eastern Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics, 2010
  • "Freedom from Interests: A Kantian Notion of the Aesthetic Attitude", Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics, October 2009
  • "In Defence of Disinterestedness", Eastern Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics, April 2009
  • Comments on Matthew Pacholec's "Kant's Aesthetic Ghosts", Eastern Meeting of the American Society for Aestehtics, April 2009
  • "Die Idee der Interesselosigkeit als aesthetische Kategorie" ("The Idea of Disinterestedness as an Aesthetic Category"), XXI. German Congress for Philosophy, September 2008
  • Comments on Jerome Languth's "Kant's Nightingale", Eastern Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics, April 2008
Awards: 
  • Critical Writing Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 2010-2011
  • Dean's Summer Grant, University of Pennsylvania, 2008
  • Benjamin Franklin Graduate Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 2006-2008
  • Study Abroad Fellowship, Free University Berlin, 2004-2005
Advisors: 
  • Prof. Paul Guyer (Primary)
  • Prof. Elisabeth Camp
  • Prof. Noel Carroll
  • Prof. Georg Bertram
  • Prof. Gunnar Hindrichs