Joachim Fischer (sociologist)

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Joachim Fischer (born 1951 in Hanover) is a German sociologist and social theorist. His reference book on Philosophical anthropology has become the standard reference for the field. As of 2011, he is president of the Helmuth Plessner Society.

The focus of his work lies in the areas of philosophical anthropology, sociological theory, culture sociology and sociology of architecture. In 2010, he became an honorary professor at the Philosophical Faculty of the Dresden University of Technology. In the summer semester of 2012 he was a visiting professor at the University Viadrina of Frankfurt (Oder) (Sociology / Sociological Theory).

Fischer´s work has focused on reconstructing the paradigm of modern European Philosophical anthropology (Max Scheler, Helmuth Plessner, Erich Rothacker, Arnold Gehlen, Adolf Portmann) in the 20th century, explicating its significance for biological, sociological and philosophical debates in the 21st century. In a series of essays he too developed - with reference to Simmel and Freud - a systematic consideration on the figure of the Third: Triads (sociology) seem for intersubjective relationships and institutions to be just as well constitutive than the Dyad (sociology) or the Other (Alterity).


  • Exentrische Positionalität. Studien zu Helmuth Plessner, Weilerswist 2016, ISBN 978-3-95832-093-2.
  • Philosophische Anthropologie. Eine Denkrichtung des 20. Jahrhunderts, Freiburg/München: Alber Verlag 2008.
  • Exploring the Core Identity of Philosophical Anthropology through the Works of Max Scheler, Helmuth Plessner and Arnold Gehlen, in: Iris. European Journal of Philosophy and Public Debate, Florence University Press, Vol. I, 1 ("Critical Points: Philosophical Anthropology and Contemporary German Thought" (2009), pp. 153–170.
  • Turn to the Third. A Systematic Consideration of an Innovation in Social Theory, in: Bernhard Malkmus / Ian Cooper (Eds), Dialektic and Paradox: Configurations of the Third in Modernity, Oxford 2013, pp. 81–102.
  • Sociology in Germany (1949 to the present), In: Alexandros Kyrtsis/Sokratis Koniordes (eds.), Routledge Handbook of European Sociology, Routledge, 2014, pp. 342–356.
  • Philosophical Anthropology. A Third Way between Darwinism and Foucaultism, in: Jos de Mul (ed.): Plessner’s Philosophical Anthropology. Perspectives and Prospects. Amsterdam University Press (AUP) 2014, pp. 41-56.

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