Profile Page Prof. Dr. Martin Kolmar

Profile Picture
Name Martin Kolmar
Title Prof. Dr.
Institute/School IWE - Institute for Business Ethics
Address IWE-HSG
Büro 54-207
Girtannerstrasse 6
9010 St. Gallen
Email address
Phone +41 71 224 2535
Main Focuses Martin Kolmar’s recent research interests cover three interrelated areas. First, he develops a comprehensive critique of the epistemic, ontological, and normative foundations of mainstream economics. The purpose of this critique is second to develop alternative normative foundations that are based on research from evolutionary psychology, psychology, neuroscience, and narratology. The findings from these areas reveal patterns of human behavior, perception, development, and wellbeing that are closely related to concepts from virtue ethics and that give rise to perceptions of individual wellbeing, the role of the individual and society, and economic policies that are radically different from mainstream economics. His third main focus is the development of a theory of the sublime in modern society. From its very beginning there have been two competing narratives regarding secular (post-) modernity, a positive story of success and a negative story of alienation and disenchantment. Whereas mainstream economics short circuits questions regarding meaning of life and purpose with the maximization of preferences, virtue ethics has to address these questions more directly. Interestingly, meaning seems to be very closely related to experiences of the sublime, and these experiences can also be used as a unifying concept to interpret several important processes in modern, western societies. The purpose of this project is to develop a theory of the societal and individual consequences of sublime experiences. His research brings together research from economics, philosophy (epistemology, ontology, aesthetics, and ethics), evolutionary psychology, psychology, neuroscience, and narratology.
Further fields of research Narratology, Economics and happiness, The sublime and the foundations of modern society
Professional Career
Teaching Activities

Latest Additions (all)

  1. Item Kolmar, Martin: Pandemie und die radikale Freiheit. In: NZZ (2020),
  2. Item Serafini, Sarah & Kolmar, Martin: Warum 60 Ökonomen finden, dass es jetzt einen Lockdown braucht – sie aber ungehört bleiben [Blog]. URL:!277241024 . (12 November 2020).
  3. Item Kolmar, Martin & u.a., .: Die Schweiz braucht einen zweiten Lockdown. In: FAZ (2020),
  4. Item Kolmar, Martin: Der Pandemie klug trotzen – warum die Idee eines Zielkonflikts zwischen Gesundheit und Wirtschaft falsch ist. In: NZZ (2020),
  5. Item Kolmar, Martin & Rommeswinkel, Hendrik (2020) Group size and group success in conflicts. Social Choice and Welfare, (55). 777-822.
  6. Item Kolmar, Martin; Benati, Luca; Bilbiie, Florin; Baldwin, Richard; Küng, Lorenz; Lambertini, Luisa & Scheuer, Florian: Offener Brief: Die Rettung der Wirtschaft bedarf einer Kontrolle der Pandemie. In: Ökonomenstimme (2020),
  7. Item Kolmar, Martin: Für den Erhalt der Lebensgrundlagen: Klimakapitalismus jetzt! In: Wirtschaftswoche (2019),
  8. Item Kolmar, Martin & Wagener, Andreas (2019) Group Identities in Conflicts. Homo oeconomicus, ISSN 0943-0180
  9. Item Kolmar, Martin: HR2 Der Tag - Kollaps Klima: Von der Unfähigkeit umzudenken [Blog]. (8 August 2019).
  10. Item Kolmar, Martin & Binswanger, Johannes: Algorithmen: Sie entscheiden über unsere Leben. In: Die Zeit Online (2019),