Andreas Urs Sommer

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Andreas Urs Sommer (2012)

Andreas Urs Sommer (born July 14, 1972 in Zofingen , Canton Aargau , Switzerland ) is a Swiss philosopher , publicist and numismatist . Since October 2016 he has held an academy professorship for philosophy with a focus on cultural philosophy at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg .


After finishing school in Aarburg and Basel , Andreas Sommer studied philosophy, church and dogma history and German literature at the universities of Basel , Göttingen and Freiburg . In 1995 he graduated with a licentiate in Basel, in 1998 he received his doctorate there with the grade summa cum laude .

In 1996/97 he was a research assistant at the Frey-Grynaeischen Institute in Basel. In 1998 he received a teaching position at the Philosophical Department of the University of Basel. In 1998/99, Sommer was a “Visiting Research Fellow” at Princeton University and from 1999 to 2001 he was a research fellow from the Swiss National Science Foundation for scientific research at the Research and Study Center for European Cultural History in the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel . In 2000, Sommer became a research assistant at the Philosophical Institute at the University of Greifswald , but in 2001 he switched to the Institute of German Studies, School for Advanced Study at the University of London as a “Visiting Fellow” . Again in Greifswald , he completed his habilitation in 2004 with the work Meaning Foundation through History? On the genesis of the philosophy of history between Bayle and Kant . From 2000 to 2007 he taught philosophy at the University of Greifswald with a special focus on the history of philosophy , in the 2007/08 winter semester at the University of Mannheim , and since 2008 philosophy at the Philosophical Department of the University of Freiburg. In 2011 he was appointed adjunct professor of philosophy in Freiburg . In the 2013/14 winter semester, Sommer was visiting professor at the State University of Design in Karlsruhe ,

Since 2014 he has been head of the Nietzsche Commentary Research Center at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences , based at the University of Freiburg. In October 2016, Sommer accepted a call for a W3 professorship for philosophy with a focus on cultural philosophy at the University of Freiburg / academy professorship in cooperation with the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. For 2019/2020 he was appointed guest professor ( Professeur invité ) at the École normal supérieure (Paris) .

Sommer is a specialist in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche , the Enlightenment and the early modern period, as well as in the methodology of the history of philosophy. Since 2008, Sommer has been significantly involved in the Nietzsche Commentary of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, which is being developed at the University of Freiburg, and is director of the Friedrich Nietzsche Foundation in Naumburg (Saale). He is a broader audience with newspaper and magazine articles and especially with his popular philosophical books The Art of Thinking for Yourself , Is It Worth Being a Good Person? as well as The Art of Doubt . In it he tries out a new form of skeptical philosophy and critical enlightenment. Sommer emerged through a modern adaptation of stoic thinking, whose potential as a philosophy of peace of mind he wants to rediscover: The Stoa is to be freed from its metaphysical and moralistic ballast. His book values. Why you need it, even though it doesn't exist (2016) advocates enlightened pluralism of values, which is understood as a positive sign of modernity. Sommer also presented his philosophy on television.

Sommer is a member of the German-Swiss PEN Center (DSPZ).

In addition to his work as a philosopher, Sommer also deals with numismatics, especially that of the Byzantine Empire .


  • 1992 3rd Eligius Prize of the German Numismatic Society
  • 1994 De Wette Prize from the Faculty of Theology at the University of Basel
  • 1999 Visiting Research Fellow at Princeton University
  • 1999 Scholarship from the Swiss National Science Foundation
  • 2000 grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation
  • 2001 grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation
  • 2001 Visiting Fellow at the University of London
  • 2003 Die Goldene Brille / La lunette d'or of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences SAHS for its glosses under the title “Ethics Council” in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit and its philosophical letters in the magazine ( Tages-Anzeiger , Zurich).
  • 2007 Vreneli Prize for outstanding contributions in the field of numismatics and the philosophy of collecting
  • 2012 Shortlist of the Tractatus Prize for philosophical essay writing with the book Lexicon of Imaginary Philosophical Works
  • 2012 Friedrich Nietzsche Prize
  • 2016 Special prize as part of the International Humanities program for the book Values: Why you need them when they don't exist
  • 2017 Shortlist of the Tractatus Prize for Philosophical Essay Writing with the book Values. Why you need it when it doesn't exist
  • 2017/18 Carl Friedrich von Siemens Fellowship



  • The spirit of history and the end of Christianity. On the “Waffengenossenschaft” of Friedrich Nietzsche and Franz Overbeck. With an appendix of unpublished texts from Overbeck's "Kirchenlexicon". Academy, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-05-003112-3 .
  • Friedrich Nietzsche's " The Antichrist ". A philosophical-historical commentary (= contributions to Friedrich Nietzsche. Vol. 2). Schwabe, Basel 2000, ISBN 3-7965-1098-1 .
  • together with Dagmar Winter and Miguel Skirl: The hoarding. A philosophy of collecting. Parerga, Düsseldorf 2000, ISBN 3-930450-54-2 .
  • On military imagery in Stoicism (= series of publications by the Federal Military Library and the Historical Service. No. 2). EMB / BBL, Bern 2002, ISBN 3-906969-01-0
  • History as a consolation. Isaak Iselin's philosophy of history (= Schwabe horizons ). Schwabe, Basel 2002, ISBN 3-7965-1940-7 .
  • The art of thinking for yourself. A philosophical Dictionnaire (= The other library . Vol. 214). Eichborn, Frankfurt am Main 2002, ISBN 3-8218-4521-X .
  • War and history. On the martial origin of the philosophy of history (= series of publications by the Federal Military Library and the Historical Service. No. 5). EMB / BBL, Bern 2003, ISBN 3-906969-04-5 .
  • Christof Boehringer (Hrsg.): Catalog of the Byzantine coins. Coin collection of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in the Archaeological Institute. Universitätsverlag, Göttingen 2004, ISBN 3-930457-30-X ( online ; PDF; 1.6 MB).
  • Is it worth it to be a good person? And other philosophical questions. Eichborn, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-8218-5590-8 .
  • The art of doubt. Instructions for skeptical philosophizing (= Beck'sche series. Vol. 1664). Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-52838-4 .
  • Creation of meaning through history? On the genesis of the speculative-universalistic philosophy of history between Pierre Bayle and Immanuel Kant (= Schwabe Philosophica. Vol. 8). Schwabe, Basel 2006, ISBN 3-7965-2214-9 .
  • together with Peter Schulz: Fritz Buri. His way. Life - Thinking - Belief. V&R Unipress, Göttingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-89971-314-5 .
  • The art of calmness. Instructions for stoic thinking (= Beck'sche series. Vol. 1940). Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-59194-5 .
  • The coins of the Byzantine Empire 491–1453. With an appendix: The coins of the kingdom of Trebizond. Battenberg, Regenstauf 2010, ISBN 978-3-86646-061-4 .
  • Past and present of the academic guild (= Basler Universitätsreden. Vol. 109). Schwabe, Basel 2011, ISBN 978-3-7965-2789-0 .
  • Lexicon of imaginary philosophical works (= The Other Library . Vol. 326). Eichborn, Frankfurt am Main 2012, ISBN 978-3-8218-6241-5 .
  • Commentary on Nietzsche's The Wagner Case. Götzen-Twilight (= historical and critical commentary on Friedrich Nietzsche's works. Vol. 6/1). De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-028683-0 .
  • Commentary on Nietzsche's Der Antichrist. Ecce homo. Dionysus dithyrambs. Nietzsche contra Wagner (= historical and critical commentary on Friedrich Nietzsche's works. Vol. 6/2). De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2013, ISBN 978-3-11-029277-0 .
  • Commentary on Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil (= historical and critical commentary on Friedrich Nietzsche's works. Vol. 5/1). De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2016, ISBN 978-3-11-029307-4 .
  • Values. Why you need it when it doesn't exist. JB Metzler, Stuttgart 2016, ISBN 978-3-476-02649-1 .
  • Nietzsche and the consequences. JB Metzler, Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-476-02654-5 ., 2nd, extended edition with an attachment: Fake Nietzsche. JB Metzler, Stuttgart 2019.
  • What remains of Nietzsche's philosophy? Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2018 (= Lectiones Inaugurales. Vol. 19), ISBN 978-3-428-15429-6 .
  • Commentary on Nietzsche's “On the Genealogy of Morals” (= Heidelberg Academy of Sciences (Hg.): Historical and critical commentary on Friedrich Nietzsche's works , Vol. 5/2). De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2019. ISBN 978-3-11-029337-1 , eBook ISBN 978-3-11-038892-3 .
  • together with Matthias Politycki : Finding attitude. Why we need it and still never will have it. JB Metzler, Stuttgart 2019, ISBN 978-3-476-04981-0 .

As editor

  • together with Niklas Peter: Franz Overbeck's correspondence with Paul de Lagarde . In: Journal for Modern History of Theology. Vol. 3, 1996, pp. 127-172.
  • In the field of tension between God and the world. Studies on the past and present of the Frey-Grynaeischen-Institut in Basel 1747–1997. Schwabe, Basel 1997, ISBN 3-7965-1063-9 .
  • Existential philosophy and Christianity. Albert Schweitzer and Fritz Buri. Letters 1935–1964. Beck, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-406-46730-X .
  • together with Volker Depkat and Matthias Müller: Why story (s)? Historical science and philosophy of history in conflict. Steiner, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-515-08419-3 .
  • Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Jerusalem : Writings (= Historia Scientiarum ). With an introduction ed. by Andreas Urs Sommer. Olms-Weidmann, Hildesheim / Zurich / New York, ISSN  1430-8320 .
    • Vol. 1: Letters on the Mosaic Scriptures and Philosophy. Reflections on the noblest truths of religion. First part. 2007, ISBN 978-3-487-13220-4 .
    • Vol. 2: Reflections on the most noble truths of religion. Second part. 2007, ISBN 978-3-487-13221-1 .
    • Vol. 3: Reflections on the most noble truths of religion. Second part, second volume or fourth piece. 2007, ISBN 978-3-487-13222-8 .
    • Vol. 4: Legacy writings. First part: Continued reflections on the most noble truths of religion. Leave fragments behind. 2007, ISBN 978-3-487-13223-5 .
    • Vol. 5: Legacy writings. Second and last part. 2007, ISBN 978-3-487-13224-2 .
  • Franz Overbeck : Works and Estate. Vol. 8: Letters. Selected, edited and commented on by Niklaus Peter and Frank Bestebreurtje with the assistance of Andreas Urs Sommer. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2008, ISBN 978-3-476-00970-8 .
  • Nietzsche - philosopher of culture (s)? De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2008, ISBN 978-3-11-020130-7 .
  • Friedrich Nietzsche: The Antichrist. Curse on Christianity. With contributions by Andreas Urs Sommer and Thomas Jöchler. RaBaKa-Publishing, Neuenkirchen 2008, ISBN 978-3-940185-08-2 .
  • with Wolfert von Rahden: Abgrund = magazine for the history of ideas. Issue V / 2, summer 2011. Beck, Munich, ISSN  1863-8937 .
  • with Barbara Neymeyr : Nietzsche as a modern philosopher. Winter, Heidelberg 2012, ISBN 978-3-8253-5812-9 .
  • with Wolfert von Rahden: Namen = magazine for the history of ideas. Issue VII / 1, spring 2013, Beck, Munich, ISBN 978-3-406-64461-0 .
  • with Dieter Birnbacher : moral criticism in Schopenhauer and Nietzsche (= contributions to the philosophy of Schopenhauer. Vol. 13). Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-8260-5081-7 .
  • Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve : People of the XVIII. Century (= The other library . Vol. 355). Translated by Ida Overbeck, initiated by Friedrich Nietzsche. With newly discovered notes by Ida Overbeck, newly edited by Andreas Urs Sommer. The Other Library, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-8477-0355-6 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Chair of the University of Freiburg
  2. Prof. Dr. Andreas Urs Sommer., archived from the original on March 26, 2014 ; accessed on October 16, 2016 .
  3. ^ Nietzsche Commentary
  4. Appointments 11/2016 .
  5. / HAdW newsletter. 5, 2019, p. 21 .
  6. ^ Research project: Nietzsche Commentary
  7. ^ Establishment of the Friedrich Nietzsche Foundation and homepage of the Friedrich Nietzsche Foundation
  8. TV show Sternstunde philosophy Sternstunde values ​​SRF
  9. Values ​​without culture? Culture without values?
  10. ↑ List of members of the German-speaking Swiss PEN Center
  11. Information on the award ceremony
  12. Shortlist of the Tractatus price
  13. Special prize for Andreas Urs Sommer - Humanities International
  14. Shortlist of the Tractatus Prize 2017
  15. Acknowledgment for Nietzsche researchers. The Freiburg philosopher Andreas Urs Sommer received a Carl Friedrich von Siemens Fellowship. September 14, 2016, accessed September 15, 2016 .
  16. Podcast? BcastId = 22051178 & documentId = 35794380 (link not available)
  17. Impact and impact of a contentious thinker . Andreas Urs Sommer in conversation about the book Nietzsche and the consequences with Joachim Scholl on Deutschlandradio Kultur