Christian Helmut Wenzel

  • Distinguished Professor, National Taiwan University

  • PhD in mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

  • PhD (Dr. phil.) in philosophy, University of Wuppertal, Germany

National Taiwan University, Department of Philosophy, 10617 Taipei, Taiwan.

Born and raised in Germany, Christian Wenzel pursued studies of mathematics, physics, philosophy, and fine arts at the universities of Würzburg, Bonn, and Wuppertal in Germany and, in the United States, at the State University of New York at Albany and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1990 he received his PhD in mathematics, with a dissertation in algebraic geometry, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA). From 1990 to 1991, he was Visiting Professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay, and in Madras, India. While being an Assistant Professor in mathematics at the University of Wuppertal from 1991 to 1998, he at the same time pursued his studies in philosophy. During this time, Wenzel also spent a period as a Visiting Professor at L'École Normale Supérieure, Paris, in 1995. In 1999 he received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Wuppertal with a dissertation on Kant. For the following two years he was an Alexander von Humboldt scholar, first at Harvard University and Boston University from 1999 to 2000, and then at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2000 to 2001. In the Fall of 2001, Dr. Dr. Wenzel joined National Chi Nan University, Taiwan, as Associate Professor. Each summer of 2002 to 2009, he gave a graduate course at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. In 2004 he was awarded the Outstanding Research Award by the National Science Council of Taiwan, and in 2005 he was promoted to Full Professor. The academic year of 2005/6 he spent at Stanford, and since February 2009 he is Professor at National Taiwan University, Department of Philosophy, Taipei, Taiwan. In 2009 he received Taiwan's Ministry of Education Research Award, and since then he is Distinguished Professor at National Taiwan University. In 2012 he spent two terms in Oxford, 2013 another term there, and 2015 one semester at the Goethe University of Frankfurt. In each 2017 and 2018 he again spent one term in Oxford.

Christian Wenzel's fields of research are Kant, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, aesthetics, phenomenology, Chinese philosophy, and philosophy of mathematics. He has lectured in four different languages on mathematics and philosophy in England, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, India, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Canada, and the USA. He plays the piano and enjoys reading literature and riding motorcycle. He is familiar with Latin and Ancient Greek and fluent in German, English, French, and Chinese.

Highlight published by National Taiwan University, February 2021: 'Professor Wenzel's Love of Research and Hiking in Taiwan.'



3. An Introduction to Kant's Aesthetics: Core Concepts and Problems, with foreword by Henry Allison, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers 2005, viii + 183 p. ISBN 978-1-4051-3035-6 (hardcover), 978-1-4051-3036-3 (paperback). Reviewed in: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006.8.14; Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64/4, 2006; British Journal of Aesthetics 47/1, 2007.

3a. An Introduction to Kant's Aesthetics appeared in Chinese translation, 《康德美學》, 李淳玲 Esther Lee Chun Ling (transl.), Taipei: Linking Publishing 2011, ISBN 978-957-08-3212-9.

3b. In Korean translation 2012, ISBN 978-89-7682-385-4.

2. Das Problem der Subjektiven Allgemeingültigkeit des Geschmacksurteils bei Kant, volume 137 in the series Kant-Studien Ergänzungshefte, Walter de Gruyter, 2000, viii + 208 p. ISBN 3-11-016744-1 (hardcover). Reviewed in: British Journal of Aesthetics 41/3, 2001; Kant-Studien 96, 2005.

1. Classification of All Parabolic Subgroup-Schemes of a Semi-Simple Linear Algebraic Group over an Algebraically Closed Field. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dissertation 1990.

Articles in Philosophy

48. 'Can Thoughts Be Read from the Brain? Neuroscience contra Wittgenstein', Synthese (to appear)

47. 'Free Will and Zhuangzi: An Introduction,' in Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings, Ninth Edition, edited by John Perry, Michael Bratman, and John Martin Fischer. Oxford University Press 2021, pp. 460-473.

46. 'How Representational Is the Mind? Introduction and Overview,' Philosophy East and West 71/1 (January 2021), pp. 13-37.

45. 'Wittgenstein über Gedanken und Gehirnprozesse,' in Crisis and Critique: Philosophical Analysis and Current Events. Papers of the 42nd International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 27, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2019, pp. 267-269.

44. 'Aesthetic Education in Confucius, Xunzi, and Kant,' Yearbook for Eastern and Western Philosophy 3/2018. Walter de Gruyter 2019, pp. 59-75.

43. 'Kant über Schönheit und Zweckmäßigkeit in der Mathematik', in Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics. Papers of the 41st International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 26, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2018, pp. 281-284.

42. 'The Art of Doing Mathematics', in Creativity and Philosophy. Matthew Kieran and Berys Gaut (eds.), Routledge 2018, pp. 313-330.

41. 'Phenomenology of Embodied Intersubjectivity. From Zhuangzi to Schmitz', in Yearbook for Eastern and Western Philosophy 2/2017. Embodiment. Phenomenology East and West. Hans Feger and Hilde Landweer (eds.), Walter de Gruyter 2017, pp. 291-303.

40. 'Perception in Kant, McDowell, and Burge', in Philosophy of Perception and Observation. Papers of the 40th International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 25, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2017, pp. 284-287.

39. 'Reasoning with Zhuangzi', Journal of Chinese Philosophy 44/1-2 (March-June 2017), pp. 71-89.

38. 'Chinese Perspectives on Free Will', co-authored with Kai Marchal, in The Routledge Companion to Free Will. Kevin Timpe, Meghan Griffith, and Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge 2017, pp. 374 - 388.

37. 'Mathematics and Aesthetics in Kantian Perspectives', in I, Mathematician II. Further Introspections on the Mathematical Life. Peter Cassaza, Steven G. Krantz, and Randi R. Ruden (eds.), The Consortium of Mathematics and its Applications 2016, pp. 93 - 106.

36. 'Aesthetics and Rule Following', in Aesthetics Today. Papers of the 39th International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 24, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2016, pp. 260 - 262.

35. 'Wittgenstein and Free Will', in Analytic and Continental Philosophy: Methods and Perspectives. Proceedings of the 37th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl and Harald A. Wiltsche (eds.), Walter de Gruyter 2016, pp. 47 - 62.

34. 'Chinese Gestures, Forms of Life, and Relativism', in Realism - Relativism - Constructivism. Papers of the 38th International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 23, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2015, pp. 331 - 333.

33. 'Does Thought Happen In The Brain?', in Mind, Language and Action. Papers of the 36th International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 21, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2013, pp. 453-455.

32. 'Relativismus?', Critique of Marie-Luisa Frick, 'Relativismus und Menschenrechte', Erwägen, Wissen, Ethik 24/2 (2013), pp. 310-312.

31. 'Art and Imagination in Mathematics', in Imagination in Kant's Critical Philosophy. Michael L. Thompson (ed.), Walter de Gruyter 2013, pp. 49-68.

30. 'Das Problem des Freien Willens und die Ausnahmestellung Wittgensteins. Zwei Anmerkungen zu Gottfried Gabriel zu Geltung und Genese', Erwägen, Wissen, Ethik, 23/4 (2012), pp. 581-583.

29. 'Do Negative Judgments of Taste Have a priori Grounds in Kant?', Kant-Studien, vol. 103, no. 4 (December 2012), pp. 472-493.

28. 'Ethics and Relativism in Wittgenstein', in Ethics - Society - Politics. Papers of the 35th International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 20, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2012, pp. 348-350.

27. 'Urteil' (Judgment) in Neues Handbuch philosophischer Grundbegriffe (New Handbook of Basic Concepts in Philosophy), 3 volumes. Petra Kolmer, Armin G. Wildfeuer (eds.), Verlag Karl Alber 2011, pp. 2284-2296.

26. 'On Wittgenstein on Certainty', in Epistemology: Contexts, Values, Disagreement. Papers of the 34th International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 19, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2011, pp. 320-322.

25. 'Isolation and Involvement: Wilhelm von Humboldt, François Jullien, and More', Philosophy East and West, vol. 60, no. 4 (October 2010), pp. 458-475.

24. 'Aesthetics and Morality in Kant and Confucius: A Second Step' in Cultivating Personhood: Kant and Asian Philosophy. Stephen Palmquist (ed.), Walter de Gruyter Verlag 2010, pp. 321-332.

23. 'How Pictorial is Chinese? And Does it Matter?', in Image and Imaging in Philosophy, Science, and the Arts. Papers of the 33rd International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 18, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2010, pp. 317-319.

22. 'On Wittgenstein's Notion of Meaning Blindness: Its Subjective, Objective, and Aesthetic Aspects', Philosophical Investigations, vol. 33, no. 3 (July 2010), pp. 201-219.

21. 'Frege, the Complex Numbers, and the Identity of Indiscernibles,' Logique et Analyse, vol. 53, no. 209 (March 2010), pp. 51-60.

20. 'Sprachphilosophische Bedenken zur Rede von kulturellen Universalien', Critique of Christoph Antweiler, ‘Universalien im Kontext kultureller Vielfalt’, Erwägen, Wissen, Ethik, vol. 20, no. 3 (2009), pp. 395-396.

19. 'Chinese Ways of Words', in Comparative and Intercultural Philosophy, Proceedings of the IIT (Institut International de Philosophie) Conference (Entretiens) Seoul 2008. Hans Lenk (ed.), Berlin: LIT Verlag 2009, pp. 119-126.

18. 'Bedeutungserlebnis and Lebensgefühl in Kant and Wittgenstein: Responsibility and the Future', in Language and World. Papers of the 32nd International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 17, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2009, pp. 451-453.

17. 'Kant’s Aesthetics: Overview and Recent Literature', Philosophy Compass Blackwell 4/3 (2009), pp. 380-406.

17a. For a Chinese translation see here: 康德美學:概要與新近文獻.

16. 'Transcendental Philosophy and Mind-Body Reductionism', in Reductionism and Elimination. Philosophy and the Sciences. Papers of the 31st International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 16, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2008, pp. 390-392.

15. 'Wittgenstein and Kant on Judgments of Taste: Situations versus Faculties', Philosophy of the Information Society. Papers of the 30th International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 15, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2007, pp. 239-241.

14. 'Chinese Language, Chinese Mind?', in Culture. Proceedings of the 29th International Wittgenstein Symposium 2006, Kirchberg am Wechsel, Austria. New Series vol. 3, Ontos Verlag 2007, pp. 295-314.

13. 'Gemeinsinn und das Schöne als Symbol des Sittlichen' (Common Sense and Beauty as Symbol of Morality), in Die Vollendung der Transzendentalphilosophie in Kants „Kritik der Urteilskraft“. Reinhard Hiltscher, Stefan Klingner, David Süß (eds.), Berlin: Duncker & Humblot 2006, pp. 125-139.

12. 'Beauty in Kant and Confucius. A First Step', Journal of Chinese Philosophy, vol. 33, no. 1 (March 2006), pp. 95-107.

12a. 'Beauty in Kant and Confucius. A First Step' appeared in Chinese translation in Kant and Confucianism. International Chinese Philosophy Series, vol. 1. Beijing: Renmin University Press, 2009: 康德与孔子美学比较初探.

11. 'Spielen nach Kant die Kategorien schon bei der Wahrnehmung eine Rolle? Peter Rohs und John McDowell' (Do the Categories Play a Role Already in Perception According to Kant? Peter Rohs and John McDowell), Kant-Studien, vol. 96, no. 4 (December 2005), pp. 407-426.

11a. 'Spielen nach Kant die Kategorien schon bei der Wahrnehmung eine Rolle? Peter Rohs und John McDowell' appeared in Chinese translation 康德哲学中,范畴是否在知觉中即已经扮演了角色?Tsinghua Studies in Western Philosophy 5/1 清华西方哲学研究 (2019), pp. 58-79.

10. 'Meaning and Time: History and the Fregean Third Realm', Time and History. Papers of the 28th International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 13, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2005, pp. 333-335.

9. 'Where after all are the Meanings? A Defense of Internalism. Searle versus Putnam', in Experience and Analysis. Papers of the 27th International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 12, Kirchberg am Wechsel, 2004, pp. 408-409.

8. 'Kripke's Contingent A Priori: The Meter-Stick Example', in Aufklärung durch Kritik: Festschrift für Manfred Baum zum 65. Geburtstag. Dieter Hüning, Karin Michel, Andreas Thomas (eds.), Berlin: Duncker & Humblot 2004, pp. 477-480.

7. 'Knowledge, Belief, and the A Priori', in Knowledge and Belief. Papers of the 26th International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 11, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2003, pp. 369-370.

6. 'Ethics and Zhuangzi: Awareness, Freedom, and Autonomy', Journal of Chinese Philosophy, vol. 30, no. 1 (March 2003), pp. 115-126.

5. 'Aesthetic Aspects on Persons in Kant, Schiller, and Wittgenstein', in Persons. An Interdisciplinary Approach. Papers of the 25th International Wittgenstein Symposium, vol. 10, Kirchberg am Wechsel 2002, pp. 282-283.

5a. 'Aesthetic Aspects' also appeared in The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy, vol. 9, Philosophical Anthropology, pp. 35-39, Stephen Voss (ed.), Philosophical Society of Turkey, Ankara 2006.

4. 'Beauty, Genius, and Mathematics: Why did Kant Change his Mind?' History of Philosophy Quarterly, vol. 18, no. 4 (October 2001), pp. 415-432.

4a. 'Beauty, Genius, and Mathematics' appeared in Chinese translation in 世界哲學 , no. 1 (2004), pp. 67-74: 美、天才和数学:为什么康德改了主意? and 美、天才和數學:為什麼康德改了主意?

3. 'Kann aus einem Urteil über das Angenehme ein Geschmacksurteil ähnlich wie aus dem Wahrnehmungsurteil ein Erfahrungsurteil werden?' (Can a Judgment About the Agreeable Become a Judgment of Taste, As a Judgment of Perception Can Become a Judgment of Experience?), Kant und die Berliner Aufklärung. Akten des IX. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses, vol. 3, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin - New York 2001, pp. 468-476.

2. 'Kant Finds Nothing Ugly?', The British Journal of Aesthetics, vol. 39, no. 4 (October 1999), pp. 416-422.

2a. 'Kant Finds Nothing Ugly' appeared in Chinese translation in 美學與藝術評論, no. 10 (2012), pp. 265-272: 康德認為沒有什麼東西是醜的嗎?

1. 'The Jump of a Frog. An Interpretation of a Haiku by Basho', Komparative Philosophie. Begegnungen zwischen östlichen und westlichen Denkwegen. R. Elberfeld, J. Kreuzer, J. Minford, G. Wohlfart (eds.), München: Fink Verlag 1998, pp. 271-280.


Minerva Podcast: Beauty of Mathematics, 24'44'', January 2013. (MP3)

Articles in Mathematics

4. 'On the Chow Ring of a Flag', Mathematische Nachrichten, vols, 188, 187, (1997), pp. 293-310.

3. 'On the Structure of Non-Reduced Parabolic Subgroup-Schemes', Proceedings of Symposia in Pure Mathematics, vol. 56.1, 1994, pp. 291-297.

2. 'Rationality of G/P for a Non-Reduced Parabolic Subgroup Scheme P', Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, vol. 117, no. 4, (April 1993), pp. 899-904.

1. 'Classification of All Parabolic Subgroup Schemes of a Reductive Linear Algebraic Group over an Algebraically Closed Field', Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, vol. 337, no. 1, (May 1993), pp. 211-218.


16. Manipulated Agents: A Window to Moral Responsibility, Alfred Mele, Oxford University Press 2019, 192 pp. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2019.10.05.

15. Egocentricity and Mysticism: An Anthropological Study, Ernst Tugendhat, Alexei Procyshyn and Mario Wenning (trs.), Columbia University Press, 2016, 163pp. Philosophy East and West 2018/4, pp. 1-7.

14. An Anatomy of Chinese: Rhythm, Metaphor, Politics, Perry Link, Harvard University Press 2013, 367 pp. Études chinoises, vol 33, no. 1, 2014, pp. 174-181.

13. Inspirations from Kant. Essays, Leslie Stevenson, Oxford University Press 2011, 181 pp. Mind, vol. 123, 2014, pp. 644-649.

12. The Kantian Sublime and the Revelation of Freedom, Robert R. Clewis, Cambridge University Press 2009, 258 pp. The Review of Metaphysics, vol. 64, no.1, September 2010, pp. 135-137.

11. The Ethics of Confucius and Aristotle. Mirrors of Virtue, Jiyuan Yu, Routledge 2007, 276 pp. Philosophy East and West, vol.60, no. 2, April 2010, pp. 303-306.

10. Ethics Vindicated. Kant's Transcendental Legitimation of Moral Discourse, Ermanno Bencivenga, Oxford University Press 2007, 193 pp. Mind, vol. 118, no. 471, July 2009, pp. 811-815.

9. The Impossible Nude. Chinese Art and Western Aesthetics, François Jullien, The University of Chicago Press 2007, 136 pp. Philosophy East and West, vol. 59, no. 2, April 2009, pp. 240-243.

8. Philosophical Perspectives on Art, Stephen Davies, Oxford University Press 2007, 279 pp. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2008.07.25.

7. Kant and the Historical Turn. Philosophy as Critical Interpretation, Karl Ameriks, Oxford University Press 2006, 335 pp. Mind, vol. 117, no. 467, July 2008, pp. 669-674.

6. Thinking about Knowing, Jay Rosenberg, Oxford University Press, 2002, viii + 257 pp. European Journal of Philosophy, vol. 14, no. 3, December 2006, pp. 453-456.

5. On Clear and Confused Ideas: An Essay about Substance Concepts, Ruth Garrett Millikan, Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. xiii + 258. European Journal of Philosophy, vol. 12, no. 1, 2004, pp. 157-161.

4. Kant's Theory of A Priori Knowledge, Robert Greenberg, Penn State Press, 2001, 278 p. Philosophy in Review, vol. 22, no. 3, June 2002, pp. 188-190.

3. Philosophy of Art: A Contemporary Introduction, Noël Carroll, Routledge 1999, pp. IX + 273. British Journal of Aesthetics, vol. 42, no. 2, April 2002, pp. 211-214.

2. Kant's Theory of Taste, A Reading of the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment, Henry E. Allison, Cambridge University Press 2001, pp. XVI + 424. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2002.01.01.

1. Ästhetische Erfahrung und Moralisches Urteil: Eine Rehabilitation, Joseph Früchtl, Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp 1996, 516p. Sozialwissenschaftliche Literatur Rundschau, 1998 no.2, pp. 99-102.

Wenzel's Hometown: Würzburg