About me


From Being a post-communist, east-German child in the early 90ies.

Born in the lonely valleys of communist East-Germany, my childhood was dominated by the early communist education and the transition into a Western social market economy. With the crumbling wall, I also saw many biographies falling apart. My parents had to adjust to a new economic reality while having three little children. Their education was, of course, not really suitable for the new system. While we were all adjusting, politically extremist positions were thriving in the country. Living in a standard communist housing block, our doors were simple and unlocked most of the time. From one day to the other, we replaced the old pressed paper-door with a stable wooden door and also installed a “safe” lock. From that moment, we had to ask through the door when somebody was knocking: “Who is there?”

After the reunification, we soon learned that capitalism was the joke in which East-Germans were the butt. So when the first Burger King opened its doors, we were inspired by shiny commercials to have our first-in-a-lifetime burger. The commercials promised golden slices of toasted bread sandwiching fresh salad, fresh tomatoes and perfectly bbqed meat. Arriving in the newly-built mall, there was a line that came out of the store and went all the way through the hallway. After hours of waiting, we got two sponges with a lump of meat and a slice of cucumber inside, while paying an east-German child’s fortune for it (had I just invested it in McDonald’s back then). The burger was created with the magical, secret ingredient: “no love”. For real, I never ate a burger before, but I immediately learned that also capitalism was about its message not about its content. The East-German cantinas had that ingredient too, but we didn’t turn it into a secret and hid it behind commercials. As school kids we got every Friday a meal that everybody even the cooks called “dead grandmother” (Tote Oma). It was disgusting. Luckily the tables in the dining hall had drawers, in which I intended to dump my meals. Once, I opened one of them, it was already filled with this sort of dead grandmother. It was kind of okay that we buried the GDR there.

When I was born, America was a far-away country. Not only it was far, it occurred like an impossible fantasy island, a world that only existed on TV. I remember how my parents were watching Dallas barely recognizing the picture on TV since the signal was disturbed by the East-German government. Western TV was forbidden in the east and so everybody installed little antenna on his balcony to reach out to the unfiltered world of commercials. America was like a myth during my childhood, mostly a paradise of toys and cartoons. Had somebody told my grandmother that I would be teaching in the US one day, let alone receive my PhD from an American university, she would have talked about what she would do if she won in the lottery.

With the reeducation after the fall of the wall, I have learned that there is no political position that cannot shift in the blink of an eye. Suddenly, Neo-Nazis and punks were roaming the streets, youngsters exploring the freedom of ideas, dangerous and less evil-eyed than Americans usually imagine the evil Nazi-villain of their own mythological culture. Born into the left-leaning lower middle-class, we were usually afraid of skinheads and sometimes beaten up by children “performing” ideology. I became sensitive to all ideologies. At school, we still performed German Vergangenheitsbewältigung, dealing with the past in order to understand German crime in the aftermath of WWII. Yet, on the playground, football fields and in the shopping malls where teenagers hung out, it was mixed with a fashionable economical mind-set of free ideas. Who was one day on the right could be easily on the left the next and vice versa. More as an ideology it became the desperate question of East-German identity.

After my civil-service at the age of 19, and long periods of dealing with psychologically ill people, born with East-German shyness and German Angst, I studied in Halle, a beautiful but small city. It was the city of Händel when he was not famous and also of Husserl before his success. Halle was the city were people lived but had no success. Only later, I transitioned to West-Germany, Cologne. The east-German complexes remained.

21 years after the fall of the wall, my father was visiting me by train. During his train ride, he sat at the window watching carefully the landscape. At some point, he said to himself: “This must be West-Germany”. For East-Germans, not only America but also West-Germany had been a far away place. His former French girlfriend that he met in one of the East-German summer-camps spiked his dream to go to Paris one day. But since his mind was far away, he never made it. For East-Germans, the world itself was far and the world began 40 minutes away from their small city.

I lived in Cologne for maybe 5 years in total.

My English remained poor but with some travels through France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal I improved. Finally, I applied in the US for a PhD and was luckily accepted.

Pittsburgh was a life-changing experience. I studied Continental philosophy with an American perspective, yet, at the same time, I could take seminars at Pittsburgh University that was considered to be the number 1 address for philosophy at that time. Finally, I wrote my dissertation about Robert Brandom (back then, the most renowned philosopher in the world).

After having studied philosophy from an East-German, Continental and American perspective, I decided to learn Chinese. Right now, I am lecturer for British and American Literature, as well as for Western Civilization in China.


  • Persönlichkeiten entwickeln, für mich selbst an und für sich, Grenzen ausloten, Berge in die Nähe von Propheten versetzen, Bäume ausreißen, Urwälder anpflanzen, Ethik bedenken, Warnen, Lehrer belehren, Warnschilder aufstellen, Steinlabyrinthe einreißen, Systematizität, Nachsitzen, späte Rache durch Erfolg (?), die Eule der Minerva in der Dämmerung zähmen, fliegen lernen
  • Genaue Prüfung verschiedener Lerntheorien
  • Analyse von Bildungsideen


I have held more than 20 Seminars in the Bereich Philosophie, unzählige Tutorien:

  • formale Logik, transzendentale Logik
  • Wissenschaftstheorie
  • Ethik (über das Teilen und Herrschen in Platons Staat, dem Hobbeschen Krieger bis zur Gesprächsethik)
  • Übergroße Portionen an Kant serviert, mit Hegel ausgehegelt und existenziale Abgründe von Heidegger in mich blicken lassen
  • Mal ehrlich: Meine Studenten glaubten einem Chemieprofessor, dass es wissenschaftlich möglich wäre, dass „Big Foot“ existiert. Die seltenen Sichtungen wurden dadurch erklärt, dass er durch Wurmlöcher reisen würde. Der Professor hatte dies mit angeblicher Quantentheorie erklärt und einige Physikhobbysportler haben sich dann damit unnötiger Weise auseinangergesetzt
  • Im Gegensatz interessiert mich vorrangig, was wir wirklich wissen können, dabei ist die Pseudowissenschaftlichkeit auch unter Leuten, die an der Universität arbeiten, erschreckend
  • British Literature



Ich denke gerne über das Lernen nach und möchte mich selbst gerne noch weiterentwickeln.Meine „Karriere“

Meine Lernerfolge habe ich leider nicht im schulischen Bereich sammeln können. Ich bin in Englisch sitzen geblieben, im Folgejahr knapp mit 4,45 versetzt worden. Knapp hätte ich das Abitur verpasst. Englisch in der Schule ergab für mich wenig Sinn. Im Abi habe ich mich dann angestrengt und mit Mathe und Musik (Klavierspiel), einen doch guten Abischnitt hingelegt (1,8). Von da an habe ich mehr und mehr verstanden, worum es eigentlich geht.

Obwohl mich also Schule dennoch niemals so wirklich interessierte, war ich immer interessiert, zu lernen. „Lernen“ habe ich versucht, auszubauen, bin allerdings an viele Grenzen, vor allem an institutionelle und soziale Grenzen gestoßen. Auch meine Motivation war immer eines der Hauptprobleme.


Dieser Blog soll sich mit diesen Grenzen bei allen Phänomenen und Themen rund ums Lernen auseinandersetzen und vor allem die Grenze des Lernens erweitern. Dabei möchte ich nicht irgendwelche Plausibilitätsargumente in den Mittelpunkt stellen. Es soll nicht allgemein darum gehen, dass ich unbewiesene Behauptungen so wie etwa die Lerntypentheorie von Vesters anführe, sondern darum einen Zugang zum Lernen zu schaffen, wobei wir dabei schon lernen. Es geht also auch darum herauszufinden, was wir überhaupt über das Lernen wissen können.

Ich habe in Köln Philosophie, Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Soziologie und Musikwissenschaft studiert. Ich fotografiere in meiner Freizeit.

Es geht jedoch auch um prinzipielle Methodenfragen, wie wir schneller bestimmte Inhalte lernen können. In diesem Sinne geht es um eine doppelte Bewusstmachung: Sowohl das Lernen als auch die Frage, was wir über das Lernen wissen können stehen im Mittelpunkt.

Natürlich stellt sich die Frage, warum ich befähigt bin, über das Lernen nachzudenken. Ich glaube, dass ich mit dem breiten Studium, was Wissen sein kann (Philosophie), einiges an Kompetenzen erworben habe, um die Frage nach dem Lernen überhaupt zu stellen. Selbst habe ich darüber hinaus meinen Magister mit Auszeichnung abgeschlossen und promoviere mit Stipendium an einer englischsprachigen Universität. Ich glaube daher, einiges an Selbsterfahrung mit einbringen zu dürfen, auch wenn ich angesichts anderer Größen wie Tim Ferriss oder Steve Pavlina eher schüchtern sein sollte.

Soviel erstmal dazu. Ich hoffe Sie begleiten mich und abonnieren meinen Blog per E-mail, RSS oder Facebook.

Norman Schultz

Meine anderen Blogs:

www.pusteblumenbaby.de (zusammen mit Maja, wo es um Erziehung ohne Gewalt geht)

www.entgrenzen.de (ein popularphilosophischer Blog)

www.kunst-und-gedanke.de (Kunstblog mit Veronika)

www.fibonaccie.blogspot.de (mein philosophischer Blog, auf dem ich Argumente ausprobiere)

Ich habe noch viele andere Blogs zu kleineren Themen, aber dies sind wohl die ausgereiftesten.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.