ABOUT Stephan Schleim

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Stephan Schleim is Professor for Neurophilosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich (Germany).

He studied philosophy, informatics, and psychology at the Universities of Mainz and Frankfurt (M.A. 2005). After an internship at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and a visit to the California Institute of Technology he went to the University Clinics Frankfurt and Bonn to investigate moral and legal judgments with functional magnetic resonance imaging. His theoretical and ethical interests led to a number of publications in the area of neurophilosophy and neuroethics.

He received a PhD in Cognitive Science for his doctoral dissertation "Norms and the Brain" from University of Osnabrück in 2009 that was awarded the Barbara Wengeler Prize for bridging neuroscience and philosophy in 2010. After a short period as postdoctoral researcher in Groningen, he was promoted to Assistant Professor in 2010. He is Professor for Neurophilosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich since October 2012.

Stephan Schleim is also working as a science writer since 2005, published in different German media with translations into Italian, Dutch and Portuguese. His first book on neuroscience and mind reading was published in 2008, followed by an edited volume on neuroscience and the law in 2009, and another book on the neurosociety and its challenges for morality and the law in 2011.


Stephan Schleim: All Posts


Fifteen Years Bologna-Declaration – When will we replace students with computers?

Posted 19 June 2014 by Stephan Schleim

The Bologna-Declaration was signed fifteen years ago and envisioned a regime of quantification, standardization, and quality assessment for Europe’s universities. Since then, we have witnessed the adaptation of education and science in line with the Europe of Knowledge fancied by ministers of education. To finalize this process, we should consider to replace students with computers, too. ... Read more

Nature: Research shows that Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud are the best scientists ever!

Posted 8 November 2013 by Stephan Schleim

Assessment has become ubiquitous in the present science system. Particularly output measures such as the Impact Factor or h-index are very influential in determining scientific progress at all career stages. Presently, there is a surge in resistance against this assessment regime – resistance that also criticizes many other things going wrong in the present science system. One example for such resistance is the Science in Transition movement that just organized an international meeting at the Dutch Royal Academy of Arts... Read more

Enhance your brain? Enhance our minds!

Posted 2 June 2013 by Stephan Schleim

Scientists have often commented on political/social problems and some suggested that new technology provides the solution. People calling themselves transhumanists extend this idea radically: By overcoming human nature, using means such as genetic modification or brain implants, we will also overcome our large-scale problems until ultimately turning into a species of post-humans. ... Read more

Visions for Neurophilosophy – Meeting at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, March 21 & 22 2013

Posted 19 February 2013 by Stephan Schleim

The Chair for Neurophilosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich organizes an international and interdisciplinary meeting on neurophilosophy on March 21 & 22 2013. Colleagues interested in the neurosciences and their implications for other disciplines and society are invited to participate. ... Read more

Plagiarism: German Minister of Education and Science Annette Schavan Steps Down After Losing Her PhD

Posted 9 February 2013 by Stephan Schleim

It is already the fifth necessary restructuring of the governing cabinet of Germany within the current legislative period. Annette Schavan, minister for education and science, declared to step down from her function today in order to prevent further damage to her office and the government after the philosophical faculty of the University of Düsseldorf declared her doctoral degree to be invalid on Tuesday February 5. These cases lead to a general credibility crisis of German politics. ... Read more

Adam Lanza or the Genes of a Mass-Murderer

Posted 13 January 2013 by Stephan Schleim

Scientists will analyze the genome of the young man who recently killed almost thirty people in a mass shooting in the USA. Biology has been used frequently to understand criminality in the course of history, but with little success. It is unlikely that the genetic analysis will contribute to understanding the terrible crime. By contrast, it carries the risk of stigmatizing people with similar biological features and of overlooking psychological and sociological explanations. ... Read more

Science and the Search for the Soul (3): Pluralistic Causation and How to Avoid the Reductionistic Fallacy

Posted 17 December 2012 by Stephan Schleim

Many sciences use a broad model of causation that allows causal relations to exist on many levels, including social interaction; a reductionist view, by contrast, would even hamper scientific progress instead of supporting it; and agnosticism, after all, is a viable and rational position in a debate if neither side can present convincing arguments. ... Read more

Science and the Search for the Soul (2): Not Everything That Exists is Purely Physical

Posted 6 December 2012 by Stephan Schleim

The world is more than just an assembly of physical particles. Pragmatical arguments force us to give up the idea that, ultimately, everything must be accounted for by physics. This allows a pluralistic and complementary view for all scientific disciplines and helps us to avoid a philosophical stance that takes the world to be much more simple than we observe and experience it. Simplicity can be a virtue, but with regard to the sheer complexity of our world it can... Read more

Science and the Search for the Soul (1): Psychology, Physics, and Metaphysics

Posted 25 November 2012 by Stephan Schleim

Are humans nothing but a conglomerate of physical particles behaving in accordance with physical laws? Can we show that the existence of a soul and an afterlife are scientifically impossible? Is agnosticism a viable alternative? My proposal to overcome a deadlocked metaphysical debate. ... Read more