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Department of Geography


Maximilian Gregor Hepach MA

PhD Candidate

Maximilian’s main interests lie in the history and philosophy of geography. His current research focuses on how we come to understand and know climate(-change) as real, drawing on geographical theory, science & technology studies, phenomenology, Ancient Greek and Japanese environmental philosophy.


  • MA in Philosophy, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, 2017.
  • BA in Philosophy, Universität Wien, 2015.


  • Cambridge AHRC Studentship, October 2018.
  • Cambridge European Scholarship, October 2018.


External website:

What does it mean to experience climate change, for “evidence of global warming” to be “hanging visibly in the air”?

In my doctoral research, I approach this question by analysing the contradictory ways in which the concept of ‘climate’ is employed across the Natural and Social Sciences as well as the Humanities to better understand what is changing with climate change. I focus on both past and present climate-concepts, such as in the history of geography or in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Assessment Reports across the three Working Groups from the 1990s till today. Drawing from a range of disciplines, I develop a phenomenological account of climate and its changes which amends the contradictions previously identified.




Other publications

Select conference presentations

  • “On sensing: an aesthetics of weather and climate.” Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for Media Studies (GfM). University of Innsbruck. Innsbruck, Austria, September 2021.
  • “Is climate real? The phenomenological givenness of climate.” Paper presented at the 25. Congress of the German Philosophical Society. University of Nürnberg. Nürnberg, Germany, September 2021.
  • “Is climate real? A phenomenological account of climate and its changes.” Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society, Royal Geographical Society. London, UK, August–September 2021.
  • “Waking up from climate dreams. A return to phenomenology for a better understanding of climate and its changes.” Paper presented at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting. Online, April 2021.
  • “Realities of climate: a phenomenological account.” Paper presented at AAA/CASCA, Vancouver Convention Center. Vancouver, Canada, November 2019.
  • “Identity as mnemonic dialectic. The (dis-)entanglement of enlightenment.” Paper presented at the Warwick Continental Philosophy Conference, University of Warwick. Coventry, United Kingdom, June 2018.
  • “Feeling, seeing, breathing air? Experiencing the (in-)conspicuousness of air.” Paper presented at the Cultural Histories of Air and Illness Conference, University of Warwick. Coventry, United Kingdom, June 2018.
  • “A phenomenology of weather and ki.” Paper presented at the European Network of Japanese Philosophy Conference, Université Libre de Bruxelles. Brussels, Belgium, December 2016.
  • “Attempting a philosophy of climate.” Paper presented at the East-West Philosophers’ Conference, University of Hawaii’i at Manoa. Honolulu, United States, May 2016.


  • Seminars, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
    • What changes with climate change? Indigenous, feminist, and phenomenological approaches to climate(-change) (MPhil in Anthropocene Studies)
    • Getting a feel for the Anthropocene: on technology and shame (MPhil in Anthropocene Studies)
  • Supervisions, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
    • Living with Global Change
    • Understanding Cultural Geographies
    • Environmental Knowledges & the Politics of Expertise (EKPE)
  • Teaching assistant, Department of Philosophy, State University of New York at Stony Brook
    • Logical and Critical Reasoning, Spring 2018
    • Introduction to Ancient Philosophy, Fall 2017

External activities