Currently accepting graduate students - yes

  • Master's


  • PHIL 1420 - Philosophy as Way of Life 
  • PHIL 2710 - Twentieth Century Philosophy: Existentialism
  • PHIL 3800/7100 - Aesthetics as Epistemology 
  • PHIL 3780/7120 - Phenomenology 
  • PHIL 4460/7180 - Philosophical Theories of Creativity 


I am Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Prior to arriving in 2011, I taught and did research at Freie Universität Berlin as well as University of Europe for Applied Sciences, Berlin (then BTK). – Before switching to academia, I studied professionally the concert piano at HMTMH (Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien, Hannover). 

Research-wise, my specializations include the relationship between epistemology and aesthetics, philosophy of music, philosophy of creativity, the arts with regard to knowledge and truth, and concepts of cognition and rationality in non-propositional media. Further research and teaching interests include the relation between continental and analytic philosophy, media studies, and philosophy of film. 

I published two authored monographs on the relationship between epistemology and aesthetics, co-edited three edited volumes, and authored roughly 40 book chapters and journal articles: topics include epistemology, general theories of symbols, aesthetics, philosophy of music, film studies, media theory, picture theory, rhythm- and time-theories, non-propositional cognition, New Music, analyses of contemporary composers, and topics in meta-philosophy. 

Additional research stations: Visiting researcher at Department of Philosophy, University of California Berkeley; Visiting researcher at the Cohn-Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel Aviv University, Israel, Senior research fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Budapest, Hungary (Collegium Budapest, IAS). 


  • Habilitation (Philosophy), Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • PhD (Philosophy), Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
  • MA (Philosophy and Ancient History), Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
  • BA (Philosophy, History), Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany


Research interests

  • Relation between epistemology and aesthetics 
  • Philosophy of music 
  • Philosophy of creativity 
  • History of the continental/analytic split from a systematic and political perspective
  • History of philosophy under systematic aspects 

Research summary

The guiding questions of my research include: What are the diverse ways of acquiring and articulating knowledge? What roles do the arts play in this, and how do sciences and arts differ and relate to one another in pursuing cognition and ‘truth’? What consequences do philosophical analyses of creativity in the sciences and arts have for concepts of ‘rationality’ and ‘thinking'? This question includes the relation between epistemology and aesthetics via analyzing language, forms of reference and the structures of different symbol systems in general, as addressed for instance by Wittgenstein, Nelson Goodman, and others. Methodologically, I wish to combine the virtues of both continental and analytic philosophy. I am further interested in the history of philosophy under systematic aspects: with an emphasis on authors such as Leibniz, Kant, Husserl, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Sartre, Carnap, Langer, Goodman, and others. I further specialized in the philosophy of music, including the meta-philosophical consequences of this field. 

Selected publications

Authored books

  • Kreativität Eine philosophische Analyse. (Creativity – A Philosophical Analysis), Akademie-Verlag Berlin 2011 (Habilitationsschrift), 291 pp. 
  • Musik und Erkenntnis. Eine Studie im Ausgang von Nelson Goodmans Symboltheorie (Music and Cognition. A Study departing from Nelson Goodman’s Theory of Symbols) Stuttgart-Weimar (Metzler Press), 2nd edition 2000, also Dissertation at Technical University Berlin, 1997, 386 pp.

Edited volumes

  • Special: „Reflexivität in den Künsten - Zum Selbst- und Fremdbezug des Symbolischen in ästhetischen Medien" (Reflexivity in the Arts), in: Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft (ZÄK), 55,2: Guest Editorship Simone Mahrenholz, together with Frank Ruda and Georg Bertram. 2010, 324 pp.
  • Geteilte Zeit. Zur Kritik des Rhythmus in den Künsten (Divided Time. Critiquing Rhythm in the Arts). Schriftenreihe des Graduiertenkollegs „Zeiterfahrung und ästhetische Wahrnehmung“ (Experience of Time and Aesthetic Perception) Bd 1, Schliengen (Edition Argus); ed. Simone Mahrenholz, Patrick Primavesi, 2005, 312 pp.

Journal articles and book chapters (selection)

  • Mahrenholz, Simone. "Künste als Technologien der Selbst-Transformation" Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 71, no. 5 (2023): 731-751.
  • Kreativität und Präzision. Eine Neubestimmung kreativen Denkens und Handelns (Creativity and Precision. Towards a Reconception of Creative Thought and Action), Imago, Zeitschrift für Kunstpädadogik, Vol. 13, 2021, special issue: Kreativität, pp. 13-23
  • „Musik und Begriff – How to do Things with Music” (Music and Concept – How to do Things with Music). Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft (Journal for Aesthetics and General Theory of Art), 2021, Vol. 66,2. pp. 43-54 
  • Composers as New Philosophers. In: The White Room, London, 2020, pp. 44-51, Hg. Marthe Lisson
  • Dieter Henrich – Der Philosoph als Mensch. In: Philosophie und Leben. Dieter Henrich zum 90. Geburtstag. Ed. Friedrich Vollhardt, Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen, 2018, pp. 112-120 
  • ’We do not make gestures – we are gestures of the environment’ – Flusser’s Aesthetico-Logical Critique of Contemporary Epistemology. In: Marshall McLuhan and Vilém Flusser’s Communication and Aesthetic Theories Revisited, eds. Melentje Pandilowski and Tom Kohut, Video Pool Media Arts Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 2015, pp. 203-215
  • The Copernican Turn in Musicology, or: Musico-logica and the hidden knowledge in music. Amsterdam. In: Cultural Musicology IZine, 2014 


In 2021, I founded the UMIH Interdisciplinary Research Cluster 'Death as Transformative Experience'. It had fifteen members from nine disciplines and five different institutions (four universities). It ran during the academic year 2021-22 and is currently paused. See past events here: 

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