Thorsten Botz-Bornstein

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Thorsten Botz-Bornstein (born 1964) is a German philosopher[1] specializing in aesthetics and intercultural philosophy.


Botz-Bornstein was born in Germany in 1964, studied philosophy in Paris from 1985 to 1990, and received his Ph.D. from Oxford University in 1993. As a postdoctoral researcher based in Finland he undertook extensive research on Russian formalism and semiotics in Russia and the Baltic countries. In 2000 he received his 'habilitation' from the EHESS of Paris. He has also been researching in Japan, in particular on the Kyoto School, and worked for the Center of Cognition of Hangzhou University (China) as well as at Tuskegee University in Alabama. He is now Associate Professor of philosophy at Gulf University for Science and Technology in Kuwait.


In his philosophy he attempts to establish conceptual links between style, play, and dream. He does so by borrowing elements from non-Western philosophies (Russian, Japanese, Chinese), architecture, and the aesthetics of cinema. Linked to his central research on the phenomenon of style is his research on Japanese philosophy. One of his early starting points (1992) has been Kuki Shūzō’s notion of 'iki' which Botz-Bornstein interpreted as an idea related to Western elaborations of the term style. He has been interested in comparisons of Nishida Kitaro with Western authors like Bakhtin and Wittgenstein. Other topics are Pan-Asianism, Eurasianism and Pan-Slavism and corresponding reflections on the 'cultural sphere,' international world order, etc. Botz-Bornstein is also working on the idea of the 'virtual' in aesthetics and cultural theory as well as about meta-philosophical questions of 'ethno-philosophy.'


Transcultural Architecture: Limits and Opportunities of Critical Regionalism (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015)

Veils, Nudity, and Tattoos: The New Feminine Aesthetics (Lanham: Lexington-Rowman & Littlefield, 2015)

Virtual Reality: The Last Human Narrative? (Leiden: Brill, 2015)

The Veil in Kuwait: Gender, Fashion, Identity (with Noreen Abdullah-Khan) (New York: Palgrave, Pivot Series, 2014)

La Chine contre l'Amérique. Culture sans civilisation contre civilisation sans culture? (Paris: L'Harmattan, 2012)

Place and Dream: Japan and the Virtual (Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, 2004)

Films and Dreams: Tarkovsky, Sokurov, Bergman, Kubrik, Wong Kar-wai (Lanham: Lexington 2007)

Vasily Sesemann: Experience, Formalism and the Question of Being (Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi 2006)

Aesthetics and Politics of Space in Russia and Japan (Lanham: Lexington 2009)

The Cool-Kawaii: Afro-Japanese Aesthetics and New World Modernity (Lanham: Lexington 2010)

Inception and Philosophy: Ideas to Die For (Editor, Chicago: Open Court, ‘Philosophy and Popular Culture Series’, 2011)

Re-ethnicizing the Minds? Tendencies of Cultural Revival in Contemporary Philosophy (Editor, Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, 2006)

The Philosophy of Viagra: Bioethical Responses to the Viagrification of the Modern World (Editor, Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, 2011)


  1. ^ Wirth, Michael (November 12, 2011). "Wilhelm Sesemann – en spegel av Europas förvirrade situation". Tidningen Kulturen (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 June 2012.  C1 control character in |title= at position 18 (help)

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