Esa Saarinen

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Esa Saarinen giving a lecture at the Aalto University in January 2020.

Esa Jouni Olavi Saarinen (born 27 July 1953 in Hyvinkää, Finland) is a Finnish philosopher who is professor of applied philosophy at Aalto University and co-director of the Systems Intelligence Research Group.[1]

Saarinen completed his Ph.D. degree in 1978 at the University of Helsinki, where he has since held docentship. His extrovert public persona – he became known as the “punk doctor” – was reflected in his lectures at the university, which drew increasingly large audiences until the late 1990s.[citation needed] After failing to get the position of full-time professor at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Helsinki, Saarinen resigned his lecturer position.[citation needed] Soon afterwards he was appointed professor at Helsinki University of Technology, since renamed Aalto University. His lectures there each year draw full lecture halls.[citation needed]

Saarinen's philosophical interests have changed dramatically, from early writings in formal logic, to concerns with existentialism and later to media philosophy. The year 1994 saw the publication of Saarinen's most well-known work, Imagologies: Media Philosophy, written jointly with American philosopher Mark C. Taylor.

Since the turn of the century Saarinen's academic lecturing has centered at the Helsinki University of Technology, but he has also continued his business as a coach for Finnish companies and organisations, promoting a doctrine of self-actualization.[citation needed] The book written to commemorate his 60th birthday included contributions from many notable professors like Ilkka Niiniluoto and business leaders such as Jorma Ollila and Matti Alahuhta.

Saarinen is married to Pipsa Pallasvesa and has twin boys, Jerome and Oliver, born in 1989.[citation needed]

One of Esa Saarinen's most notable and famous students and colleagues is the philosopher Pekka Himanen.

Esa Saarinen was stabbed with a knife by a student outside a lecture hall in March 2014. He survived without life-threatening injuries.[2]



  1. ^ Kuka kukin on 2003, pp. 867–868. Helsinki: Otava, 2002. ISBN 951-1-18086-X
  2. ^ Thursday's papers: Professor stabbing, icebreaker move and spring-like driving conditions Yleisradio. March 6, 2014.

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