Main areas of interest: phenomenology, philosophic anthropology, ethics, religious science, anthropology of law.

Courses taught at the CU: Introduction to philosophic thinking; Power, money and law; Man as a person; Man and religion.


  • 2008: In fall semester as Senior Fellow at the Harvard University, CSWR.
  • 2008: Commandeur de la Légion d’honneur
  • 2004: Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, CU Prague (2 nd . term).
  • 2003: Government coalition candidate to the presidency of the Czech Republic.
  • 2001: Commandeur des Palmes académiques of the French government.
  • 2000: Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, CU Prague.
  • 2000: Full professor (Prof.) of Philosophy of education, CU Prague.
  • 1998 – 2002: Vice-chairman of the Board of Intl. Bureau of Education, Geneva.
  • 1998: Minister of Education of the Czech Republic.
  • 1997: Assistant professor (Doc.) of Philosophy and Philosophical anthropology, CU Prague (habilitation thesis: Time and rhythm ).
  • 1995: PhD in Philosophy, CU Prague (thesis: A small philosophy of man ).
  • 1993: Assistant professor of Philosophy, Faculty of Pedagogy, CU Prague.
  • 1993: M. A. in General Anthropology, CU Prague.
  • 1992 – 93: Editor, monthly Pritomnost , Prague.
  • 1990 – 92: MP, Vice-chairman of the Chamber of Nations, Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia, speaker of the Civic Forum caucass, leader of the Permanent delegation to the Council of Europe.
  • 1976: Signed the Charta 77 manifesto for human rights.
  • 1965 – 79: Collaborated on the Czech ecumenical Bible translation.
  • 1964 – 90: Leading research fellow in software development (operating systems), Institute of Mathematical Machines, Prague.
  • 1963 – 67: B. A. in Mathematics (evening courses, CU Prague).
  • 1961: Married Františka Patočková
  • 1951 – 64: Worked as goldsmith and precision mechanic.
  • 1936: Born in Prague.

Numerous translations of French and German philosophy (Lévinas, Blondel, Foucault, Teilhard, Derrida, Landsberg, Rosenzweig, Gadamer, Weizsaecker etc.), from Greek and Latin. More than 300 articles,  lectures in the US, in France, Germany, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, Roumania and Bulgaria.

Former adviser to the Minister of Education, member of various societies and NGO’s, vice-chairman of the Czech Grant Agency, member of the Scientific Councils at the Faculty of Pedagogy and at the Center for Theoretical Studies, CU Prague, at the Faculty of Humanities, Pardubice, and at the Masaryk University, Brno. Member of the Czech branch of International PEN-Club. Former chairman of the Education Comitee of the Czech Unesco, former vice-chairman of the Board of IBE Geneva.

Married, three children, nine grandchildren.

Books (in English):

  • Thinking about Ordinary Things. 236 p. 2th ed. Karolinum, Prague 2017. ISBN 978-80-246-2229-3
  •  Ethics, life and institutions. 258 str. Karolinum, Praha 2016. ISBN 978-80-246-3429-6

Books (in German):

  • Mensch und Religion. Ursprünge – Wege – Orientierungen. 320 S. Karl Alber, Freiburg – München 2007. ISBN 978-3-495-48264-3
  • Philosophie als Verpflichtung. Heidelberg: Manutius 2014. ISBN 978-3-944512-02-0

Books (in Czech):

  • Ethics, Life, Institutions. 362 p. Vyšehrad, Prague 2014. ISBN 978-80-7429-223-1
  • Master Eckhart and Medieval Mystics. 4th ed. 357 p. Vyšehrad, Prague 2013. ISBN: 978-80-7429-397-9
  • Ethics and Life. 240 p. Vyšehrad, Prague 2010. ISBN 978-80-7429-063-3
  • A Small Philosophy of Man; Vocabulary of Philosophical Terms. 6th ed. 363 p. Vyšehrad, Prague 2010. ISBN 978-80-7429-056-5
  • Power, Money and Law. 288 p. Aleš Čeněk, Plzeň 2007. ISBN 978-80-7360-066-6
  • Time and Rythm. 2nd ed. 332 p. Oikumene, Prague 2004, ISBN 80-7298-123-4
  • Man and Religion. 246 p. Portál, Prague 2004. ISBN 80-7178-886-4
  • Philosophic Anthropology. Man as a Person. 2nd ed. 222 p. Portál, Prague 2002. ISBN 80-7178-627-6