Formerly, my research was primarily in Metaethics, Philosophy of the Humanities, Philosophical Methodology and History of Epistemology. My current research is in the areas of Philosophy of Language and Wittgenstein.
I also have a special interest in imparting study techniques and widely applicable competences to my students.
I was born on Feb. 10, 1941, in Berlin. After completing my pre-university studies, I entered Universität München in the summer semester of 1960 and began studying Law. From the winter semester of 1960-1961, however, I studied Philosophy, Old German Linguistics and Literature and Ancient History, spending the winter semester 1961-1962 in Besançon/Doubs. In the summer semester of 1965, I completed my Ph.D. with a dissertation entitled Der empirische Charakter des deutschen Strafrechts, which I revised for publication in 1967. In the summer semester of 1970, I received my ‘Habilitation’ from Universität München as the final phase of my post-doctorate studies.
I was married in 1965 and have two children (1966 and 1968).
I was named substitute research assistant in 1964, research assistant in September, 1967. In the summer semester of 1971, I was named Universitätsdozent, Universität München. In the winter semester of 1972, I taught Logic and Philosophy of Science as a Visiting Professor at Universität Trier and held the same position at Universität Salzburg in the summer semester of 1975, teaching Philosophy and Linguistics. In the winter semester of 1975-1976, I was a Guest Lecturer on Logic and Philosophy of Science at Universität Klagenfurt. In the academic year 1976-7, I acted as Interim Chair at Universität Bielefeld and was named Associate Professor at Universität München in November of 1976. One year later, in November of 1977, I was named chair at Universität Bielefeld.
From 1970-75 I was a member of the Munich University Planning Committee; from 1981-84, a member of the Bielefeld Universität Senate, and from 1982-83 I was Dean of the History and Philosophy Faculty at Universität Bielefeld. From 1973-79 I was a member of the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Federal Research Foundation). From 1975-80 I was a member of the German Wissenschaftsrat (Federal Board of Advisors on Academic Affairs) (and was acting as Deputy Chair of its Academic Committee and Member of the Presidential Committee from 1978-80).
From October 1988 until July 1989, I was a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin.
I am acting as a member of the Editorial Board of Erkenntnis. I was also a member of the Independent Committees reviewing research on "Philosophy of Science" and "Cognition and the Brain" for the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (research which has now been concluded). I was a permanent referee for the German Academic Exchange Service from 1997-1999, elected referee for the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for Systematic Philosophy from 1992-2000, and Chairman of the Committee for Systematic Philosophy from 1996-2000.
- Die Überprüfbarkeit der Strafrechtssätze, 1967
- Philosophie und normale Sprache (ed.), 1969
- Die Philosophie der normalen Sprache, 1969 (3rd edition 1993)
- Analytische Philosophie, 1970; spanish translation 1974
- Grundkurs im wissenschaftlichen Definieren, 1970 (5th edition 1980)
- Fachsprache - Umgangssprache (co-ed.), 1975
- Grundkurs im logischen Schließen, 1976 (3rd edition 1993)
- Argumentation in der Literaturwissenschaft, 1976
- Juristische Dogmatik und Wissenschaftstheorie (co-author), 1976
- Probleme der sprachlichen Bedeutung (ed.), 1976
- Die Signalsprache der Autofahrer, 1980
- Zum Begriff der Sprache, 1983
- The Social Foundations of Meaning, 1988
- Wittgensteins "Philosophische Untersuchungen", Running commentary in 2 vols., 1988/89 (2nd edition 1994/96)
- Wittgenstein über die Seele (co-ed.), 1995
- Der Mensch als Mitmensch, 1996
- Einführung in die Analytische Philosophie (co-author), 1996
- Wittgenstein: Philosophische Untersuchungen (ed.),1998
- (Ed. with Theodore R. Schatzki and Karin Knorr-Cetina) The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory. London/New York (Routledge) 2001.
- (Ed. as a co-operator, together with Georg Henrik von Wright and Heikki Nyman, of Joachim Schulte) Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophische Untersuchungen, Kritisch-genetische Edition, Frankfurt a. M. (Suhrkamp) 2001.
- Recent articles have concentrated on Wittgenstein’s later philosophy.