Since my undergraduate studies in physics, where I gained valuable insights into the field of “neuro-physics”, I have been fascinated by the scientific study of the mind. But I have also remained skeptical about a simple correlation of brain states observed from a third-person perspective with mental states reported from a first-person perspective or inferred from a person’s behaviour. Turning to the history of the human sciences in the 18th century, I examined Kant’s account of empirical psychology in my dissertation, ‘Psychological Knowledge in Kant’s Critical Thinking’ (Cambridge, 2014). For this work, I was awarded the Dissertation Prize at the XII. International Kant Congress in 2015. A number of essays have emerged from this work, dealing, among other things, with the problems of quantification and concept formation in psychology. In my key paper, I argue that Kant – despite his own methodological doubts about the scientific status of psychology – paves the way for psychology to be conceived as a well-founded theoretical science that follows the scientific ideals of objectivity and systematicity while recognizing the specific first-person perspective of the self-conscious subjects it studies.
“The Soul as the ‘Guiding Idea’ of Psychology: Kant on Scientific Psychology, Systematicity, and the Idea of the Soul”. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 71 (2018): 77-88.