THE INSTITUTE FOR
Dr. Louis G. Herman
Director, Founder, Editorial Board
Louis Herman is a professor of political science and Chair of the Division of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu. He grew up in a traditional Jewish community in neo-Nazi, racist South Africa in the aftermath of the Holocaust. The two poles of his formative political experiences were outrage at human-inflicted suffering and the healing beauty of southern Africaʻs rugged wilderness. He obtained degrees in medicine and the history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University in England, then emigrated to Israel where he lived out his Jewish connection to the Biblical homeland working on a kibbutz. His participation in the Yom Kippur War as a paratrooper confronted him with Palestinian indigeneity in a way that impelled him to return to big questions of life and philosophy: How do we know what is true and good? How should we live together?
After three years of graduate work in political philosophy at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, he was invited to complete his Ph.D. at the University of Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiian Islands offered a privileged vantage for developing a global philosophy on the human condition. He formulated this vision in Future Primal: How our Wilderness Origins Show us a Way Forward (2013). This work outlined a model of a truth-seeking politics based on the new evolutionary understanding of the emergence of human consciousness, the politics of early hunting-gathering societies and Indigenous society's like the San Bushmen and a comparative history of civilization. He founded The Institute for a New Political Cosmology in 2018 to promote an educational and political culture with truth-questing as the central practice of a new political cosmology.