Dr. David Espinet
David Espinet is currently “Privatdozent” at the Freiburg University. He received his “Licence” in Philosophy at the University of Paris VIII in 2001, his Magister Artium in Philology and Philosophy in 2004, as well as his Doctoral degree in Philosophy in 2008 both from the Freiburg University where, in 2016, he habilitatitated in Philosophy. From 2008 to 2015 David Espinet was an Assistant Professor in the Freiburg Department for Philosophy. He has teaching experience in Germany, Switzerland (Basel University), France (Strasbourg University), and in the US where he was a visiting scholar at The Pennsylvania State University during the fall semester 2011. He has received research grants including a DAAD visiting scholarship for the University of Paris VIII, a PhD stipend of the Cusanuswerk, and a Junior-Fellowship at the FRIAS in 2013/14. His areas of research are Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Philosophical Anthropology and Kantian Philosophy both in continental and analytical approaches. In his available publications David Espinet often examines epistemic, ethical and aesthetical theories of the Event, often in their conceptual interrelation with the Kantian framework. Currently he is focusing on a wide range of theories of happiness both in Philosophy and Economic Theory.
Books and Edition
- Ereigniskritik. Zu einer Grundfigur der Moderne bei Kant, Reihe: Sonderbände der Deutschen Zeitschrift für Philosophie, De Gruyter: Berlin / Boston 2017.
- Phänomenologie des Hörens. Eine Untersuchung im Ausgang von Martin Heidegger, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2009, second Edition 2016.
- "Justice, amitié, bonheur. Derrida et l'éthique kantienne", in: Les Cahiers philosophiques de Strasbourg 39/1 (2016), 25–41.
- "Lust, die glücklich macht. Kant über das höchste Gut", in: Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 63/5 (2015), 824–854.
- "In the Shadow of Light. Listening, the Practical Turn of Phenomenology, and Metaphysics of Sight", in: Antonio Cimino, Pavlos Kontos (Hrsg.): Metaphysics of Sight and Phenomenology, Reihe: Studies in Contemporary Phenomenology, Leiden: Brill 2015, 184–207.
Always Happier? Approaching the Easterlin-Paradox From a Kantian Point of View
The project aims at a dialogue between Kantian Ethics and Economic Theory. More precisely, it proposes to intervene from the standpoint of Kantian Ethics and of post-Kantian contemporary Critical Theory into the debate around the so-called “Easterlin-Paradox”, which points to the assumed contradictory fact that individual happiness is not fully correlative to the degree of material wealth. Whereas the standard solutions in Economic Theory (treadmill-hypothesis, relative-consumption-hypothesis or set-point-theory) as well as the Aristotelian/communitarian solution both relay on the premise that happiness consists in the hedonic consumption of objective and relational goods, that is, in the hetero-relational satisfaction of material and intersubjective needs and desires, the Kantian concept of moral autonomy, in contrast, introduces the good of moral self-acceptance. Such an individual form of self-relational good is, in the Kantian happiness-argument, also constitutive for the well-being of rational agents but, at the same time, not directly dependent on the increase of the hedonic consumption of objective and relational goods. If such a more inclusive understanding of happiness is coherent, (at least part of) the happiness-paradox seems obsolete. Moreover, such a conceptual reframing of the problem seems compatible with the assumption that individual happiness is correlative to the degree of modernization of the respective societies – if by “modernization” is meant, that individual moral autonomy is a constitutive element in the social fabric of norms and institutions.