History of Ideas

The history of ideas is the field I work in. It comprises the traditions of the German Geistesgeschichte and the French histoire des idées. It is close to philosophy. Some of the most interesting historians and philosophers of today study the history of ideas: Jonathan Israel, Rüdiger Safranski, Simon Schama, John Gray, Roberto Calasso. Still, the questions ‘what is an idea?’, ‘how do ideas influence us?’ and ‘how and to what extend do ideas shape history?’ are asked too little (or too late). Find here what I think of interest in the world of pure concepts, rudimentary beliefs, fundamental insights, and the mental order as conceived by Foucault.

Moments and Places

In photo’s one particular moment in time and a specific place merge into a unique image. The photographer freezes daily life and, sometimes, even history. It is this stillness in photography that offers inspiration. The photo preserves. Find here some of my photographs.

The Writer

The novelist, the playwright, the essayist, the poet, the writer of stories, memoirs and letters. Ever since Goethe it is the writer’s task to express the ideas crucial to the ‘modernity’ of the lifestyle and the outlook of the times. Long before Sartre, fiction became existentialist and literature began to partake in the mission of philosophy to interpret our position in the universe and to search for life’s sense in the thrills and pains of being. Find here my comments on modern writers and the existential doubts they mirror.


Miscellaneous comments on whatever doesn’t fit in with one of the other themes.