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Michael Hauskeller

Professor of Philosophy, Head of Department, University of Liverpool

I am a professor at the University of Liverpool's Department of Philosophy. As a philosopher, I am a generalist, which is a nice way of saying that I have done many different things and I am not really an expert on anything in particular. Most people would probably tag me as an ethicist, but this is only true in a very broad sense. Figuring out what is right and what is wrong, permissible or impermissible, does not hold much interest for me. It seems to me that when people are debating these questions they are actually arguing about something else, namely who we want to be and in what kind of world we want to live. For me, doing philosophy is ultimately a sustained attempt to get to grips with this "deeply puzzling world" (to borrow an expression of Mary Midgley's), to understand it and to understand our place in it. Philosophy is not business; it's personal, more akin to therapy than to science. It's about finding out what is actually going on and what we are doing here. Can philosophy provide an answer to these questions? I don't know. All we can do is keep on trying. Perhaps what matters is not that we find an answer, but that we keep the question alive.

Since I immigrated to the UK in 2003, I have authored and published several books in English, starting with 'Biotechnology and the Integrity of Life' in 2007, followed by three books on the philosophy of human enhancement: 'Better Humans? Understanding the Enhancement Project' (2013), 'Sex and the Posthuman Condition' (2014), and 'Mythologies of Transhumanism' (2016), and culminating (for now) in 'The Meaning of Life and Death. Ten Classic Thinkers on the Ultimate Question' (2019), which was very recently published by Bloomsbury and which contains chapters on Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Melville, James, Camus, Proust, and Wittgenstein.


  • –present
    Professor of Philosophy, head of department, University of Liverpool