academia between enchantment – disenchantment

For only fools, fanatics, and mental cases can stand living at the highest pitch of soul; a sane person must be content with declaring that life would not be worth living without a spark of that mysterious fire. [1]

It is a fundamental challenge of scientific thinking: if disenchantment is the ultimate goal, it is at the same time enchantment that makes results valuable: the enchantment of discovering questions as being relevant in the first place and then “unpacking” the results in such a way that they lead to a renewed enchantment of life. This applies to the discoveries of Pythagoras as well as the seemingly trivial invention of a mechanism like the zip fastener.

Nowadays, the question of meaning tends to take a back seat to highly specialised knowledge, both in terms of asking questions and imparting knowledge. It is important, however, to keep the awareness alive that the latter is only a tool for understanding the world. As far as my expertise is concerned, it is about overcoming economics, being reduced to mathematical formulae, moving it towards sustainability as matter of life of and living in society; it is about reaching a legal system that promotes coherence of justice and is thus able to put content before form.

[1] Musil, Robert, 1940: The Man Without Qualities. A Sort Of Introduction And Pseudoreality Prevails; Translated From The German By Sophie Wilkins; Editorial Consultant: Burton Pike; New York: Vintage International, 1996: 199


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