People at Parmenides Foundation  Albrecht von Müller


Director, member of Board of Trustees


Short CV

Albrecht von Müller is director of the Parmenides Center for the Study of Thinking and teaches philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich (LMU). His two main fields of interest are the concept of time and the phenomenon of thinking. Regarding time he developed the theory of an "autogenetic universe" in which the linear-sequential structure of time emerges out of a primordial, non-logical time-space of the present. Regarding thinking he developed the "logic of constellations" (LoC) as describing a crucial, complementary mode of human reasoning. As ratiomorphic thinking is needed to address the factual aspect of reality, LoC is needed to address the actual unfolding of reality, as it occurs in the time-space of the present. After a PhD on “Time and Logic” at the LMU in 1982 he worked for many years at the Max Planck Society and taught in parallel philosophy at the LMU University of Munich. Still in the 80s he got involved in international security and arms control, served as co-chairman of the Pugwash Study Group on Conventional Arms Control, and was director of EUCIS (European Center for International Security). He developed the theory of structural defense dominance as a new paradigm for conventional arms control which later became a leitmotiv of the CFE treaty. In order to better support complex thinking and decision making processes, von Müller developed the visual reasoning methodology “Eidos” with which he served as scientific advisor to several governments, supranational institutions and large corporations. After a brief, eventually disappointing excursion into the world of business at the end of the 90s, he established in 2001 the Parmenides Foundation as a new interdisciplinary research center with the task “to study the foundations and frontiers of human thinking”. Together with other faculty members of the foundation he developed and teaches the MCA (magister cogitationis artium) and its executive version, the CEP (cognitive  excellence program). Both offer an alternative to traditional MBAs for times of permanent structural change in which standard recipes no longer work and authentic thinking skills become the essential success factor. Von Müller is external member of two multi-disciplinary research centers at the University of Munich, the Human Science Center and the Munich Center for Neuroscience, and he serves as member of the Board of Trustees of the Max Planck Institutes of Neurobiology and Biochemistry. Together with Ernst Pöppel he edits the Springer book series “On Thinking”.



3 books and about 100 publications (articles, book chapters, radio lectures etc.) on the concept of time, the theory of thinking and applied strategic thinking, especially in the field of international security.

Some recent publications:

  • Danek, A.H., Fraps, T., von Müller, A., Grothe, B., Öllinger, M. (2013): Working wonders? Investigating insight with magic tricks. In: ?Cognition 130, pp. 174-185, doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2013.11.003
  • Danek, A.H., Fraps, T., von Müller, A., Grothe, B., Öllinger, M. (2013): Aha! experiences leave a mark: facilitated recall of insight solutions. In: Psychological Research, 77(5), pp. 659–669, doi:doi:10.1007/s00426-012-0454-8
  • von Müller, A. (2010): Thought and Reality. In: Toward a Theory of Thinking, ed. B. M. Glatzeder, V. Goel, A. von Müller, pp. 59-70. Heidelberg: Springer