Rudolf zur Lippe was born in Berlin in 1937. He studied law and economics in Bonn and Göttingen and then middle and newer history in Heidelberg and Paris. He is a disciple of Karlfried Dürckheim since 1960.
He earned his studies as a free assistant of the Heidelberg dailies. Meanwhile and later he was a painter, learned theater management and made stage sets.
He conferred 1965 a doctorate with the thesis to the French German policy opposite the Weimar republic.
Since 1965 editor in the Prophylaen publishing house, later in the institute for the non-European music cultures. He started with his philosophical work on a history of the body under the guidance of Theodor W. Adorno in 1969. 1973 venia legendi for social philosophy and esthetics at the philosophical faculty of the University of Frankfurt. He taught philosophy from 1971 to 1976 in Frankfurt, later also sociology on the chair in culture theory. Since 1974 he is owner of the chair of esthetics at the University of Oldenburg.
He founded the institute for practical Anthropologie e.V. in 1982. Furthermore he is publisher of the magazine “POIESIS for practical and theoretical ways for esthetic self-discipline”.
He initiated "Karl Jaspers Vorlesungen” carried by Niedersachsen-foundation in 1989.
He is a professor for the philosophy of the life-forms at the university of Witten-Herdecke since 1997. Since 2002 Prof. Emeritus of the University of Oldenburg.