People at Parmenides Foundation  Dr. Irina Spiegel


Born in Omsk, Russia



1998–2000 Carl-von-Ossietzky University Oldenburg: courses in philosophy, logic and Russian studies.
2001–2003 University Bremen: M.A. in Philosophy.
2006–2010 PhD thesis “Urteilskraft bei Hannah Arendt” (“The Power of Judgment in the Works of Hannah Arendt”). Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Christina Schües, Prof. Dr. Lothar Knatz (magna cum laude).


2012–2018 Research assistant at the chair of philosophy and political theory, Department of Philosophy, LMU Munich.
2013–2014 Middle-level Vice Dean, Department of Philosophy, LMU Munich.
since 2019 Research scientist at the Parmenides Center for the Study of Thinking Strategy


My work is focused on the following questions: What are the criteria (necessary and sufficient conditions) of a genuine democracy? How and why is real existing democracy not a form of genuine “democracy”? How “democracy” depends on truth, or what are the criteria of so-called “epistemic democracy”? These questions will be tackled with a normative and formal approach of “judgment aggregation”. And last but not least: How can the new form of “democracy” be constituted in the real world (“democracy design”). And how important is anthropology here? In my earlier work, I gleaned many facts from anthropological research (cooperation, prosociality, rationality, self-deception), and this will implicitly be integrated in the formal approach of democracy.



  • Die Urteilskraft bei Hannah Arendt (Power of Judgment in the works of Hannah Arendt), Lit-Verlag, Münster 2011.
  • Handbuch Philosophie und Ethik (Handbook of Philosophy and Ethics), Edited with Julian Nida-Rümelin and Markus Tiedemann, UTB (Schönigh), Stuttgart 2015 (Second Edition 2017).
  • Articles and Papers:
  • Evolutionäre Anthropologie: Kooperation im Wir-Modus, (Evolutionary Anthropology: Cooperation in the We-Mode, with Michael Tomasello. In: Handbuch Philosophie und Ethik (in Handbook of Philosophy and Ethics), Stuttgart 2015.
  • Physik, Dompteurin der Freiheit? (Physics as a Tamer of Free Will), with Detlef Dürr. In: Handbuch Philosophie und Ethik (Handbook of Philosophy and Ethics), Stuttgart 2015.
  • Zivilgesellschaft: Die Macht der Bürger (Civil Society: The Power of Citizens) In: Handbuch Philosophie und Ethik (in Handbook of Philosophy and Ethics), Stuttgart 2015.
  • Empathie und Compassion (Empathy and Compassion) In: Handbuch Philosophie und Ethik (in Handbook of Philosophy and Ethics), Stuttgart 2015.
  • Hannah Arendt: Politische Urteilskraft (Hannah Arendt: Political Power of Judgement). In Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Ethik (Jourmal of Philosophy and Ethics), 1/2017.
  • Der Mensch zwischen Natur und Norm. Zur Notwendigkeit einer genuin interdisziplinären Anthropologie (Nature and Norm - On the necessity of a genuine interdisciplinary anthropology). In: Jahrbuch Interdisziplinäre Anthropologie 2018, Yearbook of Interdisciplinary Anthropology 2018, peer-reviewed).


  • At LMU Munich 2012-2018 (selected)
  • Empathy and Cognition (Empathie und Kognition)
  • Wie ist der Mensch? Wie soll er werden? (How is the human being? How should it be?)
  • Zivilgesellschaft: Theorien und Praktiken des bürgerschaftlichen Engagements (Civil Society: Theories and Practices of Civic Engagement)
  • Bewusstsein – Ich – Gehirn (Consciousness – Mind – Brain), Research Seminar.
  • Praktiken des Selbstdenkens (Practices of Thinking Independently)
  • Adaptive Rationalität (Adaptive Rationality)
  • Pragmatische Anthropologie (Pragmatical Anthropology)
  • Tomasello: The Natural History of Human Morality
  • Selbsttäuschung (Self-Deception)
  • Gesellschaftliche Neuordnung durch „Formative Childhood“? (Civic Refoundation by means of “Formative Childhood”)
  • Einführung in Logik kollektiver Entscheidungen (Introduction to Social Choice Theory)
  • What is Judgement Aggregation? Research Seminar.

Talks and Conference Presentations


13–19 October 2013: Participation on Ernst Strüngmann Forum „Formative Childhoods: A Path to Peace?“ (Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies – FIAS).

25 March 2014: Workshop at LMU Teacher Education Centre: “Empathy in Education”

25 June 2015: Talk, together with Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Wikileaks) “Commitment in the Digital Age”, LMU Munich.

15–20 November 2015: Talk and Workshop “Lying in Politics” (in Russian), International Conference “Communication and Commitment – Reflections to Ukraine Crisis”, at University of Kiev (Organized by DAAD).

27 November 2017: Talk on “Self-Deception”, Conference “Construction of Man” (PI Munich).

13–14 September 2018: Talk “Cooperation in the We-Mode”, Congress of German Academia Berlin, Urania.