Rico Gutschmidt

Short CV

Rico Gutschmidt studied mathematics and philosophy and received his doctorate from the University of Bonn in 2009 with a thesis on the philosophy of physics. In his dissertation, he argues for a pluralist conception of modern physical theories. He then studied the philosophy of Martin Heidegger and reinterpreted the religious references in Heidegger's later work from the perspective of negative theology. On this subject, he received his habilitation at the Dresden University of Technology in 2015. Furthermore, he has been working on skepticism in ancient and modern philosophy.

All in all, he has argued in his previous research against a foundational theory of physics, against a foundation of being, and against a foundation of knowledge. Accordingly, in his current research, he is interested in forms of philosophy that do not aim at foundational justifications, but that challenge our supposed foundations and transform our self-understanding respectively. To this end, he explores philosophy as a kind of transformative practice and links the existential dimension of philosophy with psychology.

After holding positions in Bonn, Dresden, Chicago, Hamburg, and Valparaíso (Chile), he has been an assistant professor (akademischer Mitarbeiter) at the University of Konstanz since 2018 and a visiting lecturer at ETH Zurich since 2022.

Selected Awards

  • 2024 – 2026: Research Grant from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation [postponed]
  • 2023 – 2024: Philosopher in Residence at the TUM IAS
  • 2023 – 2024: Junior Fellowship at the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg, Greifswald [declined]
  • 2017: Fellow at the Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies, Hamburg
  • 2016: U.S.-Fellowship from the Volkswagen Foundation
  • 2012 – 2015: Research Grant from the German Research Foundation
  • 2010 – 2011: Fellowship from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation

Research Interests

Philosophy as a Kind of Transformative Practice, Existential Dimension of Philosophy and Psychology

Skepticism (ancient and modern), Wittgenstein

Philosophy of Religion, Negative Theology, Heidegger

Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Mathematics, Philosophy of Physics

Selected Publications

“Performativity and Transformative Experience. Terrence Malick’s Mysticism” in: Steven DeLay (Ed.) Life above the Clouds: Philosophy in the Films of Terrence Malick, Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2023, 91–105

“Verstörung und Vertrauen. Negative Theologie in Existenzphilosophie und Psychologie” [Disturbance and Trustfulness. Negative Theology in Existentialism and Psychology] in: Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 69/6 (2021), 930–949

“The Religious Dimension of Skepticism” in: International Philosophical Quarterly 61/1 (2021), 77–99

“Transformative Experience in Skepticism. The External Standpoint and the Finitude of the Human Condition” in: Philosophy 95 (2020), 395–417

“Beyond Quietism. Transformative Experience in Pyrrhonism and Wittgenstein” in: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 10/2 (2020), 105–128

“The Late Heidegger and a Post-Theistic Understanding of Religion” in: Religious Studies 56/2 (2020), 152–168

“Skepticism, Metaphors and Vertigo. Wittgenstein and Cavell on the Human Condition” in: Wittgenstein Studies Vol. 7 (2016), 131–147

Sein ohne Grund. Die post-theistische Religiosität im Spätwerk Martin Heideggers [Being without Foundation. The Post-Theistic Religiosity in the Later Works of Martin Heidegger] Freiburg, München: Alber, 2016

Einheit ohne Fundament. Eine Studie zum Reduktionsproblem in der Physik. [Unity without Foundation. The Problem of Reduction in Physics] Frankfurt am Main: Ontos, 2009

Publications as TUM-IAS-Fellow


  • Frick, Eckhard, sj; Gutschmidt, Rico: Wir werden mit dem Geheimnis der Existenz nie fertig. Spiritual Care 12 (4), 2023, 371-374 mehr…