My research is primarily concerned with the history of modern philosophy, focusing especially on Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) and the German tradition of transcendental philosophy in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

In my book Kant on Self-Knowledge and Self-Formation, published by Cambridge University Press in 2020, I present a new interpretation of Kant’s theories of self-consciousness, self-knowledge, and the self-formation of human individuals. I am currently working on a short monograph on Kant’s Ideas of Reason (Cambridge Elements Series), which explores the regulative function of these ideas for the acquisition of cognition and knowledge from the distinctively human perspective.

In systematic respects, I examine issues in philosophy of mind, such as self-consciousness, self-knowledge, and personhood, as well as in epistemology and philosophy of science, such as the contextuality of knowledge and methodological issues of psychology.

A major goal of my research is to combine textually accurate interpretations of historical works with systematic analyses of the underlying philosophical positions. In particular, I apply methods and concepts from analytic philosophy of language to the study of historical positions (e.g., expressivism and contextualism). In turn, the classical texts also serve me as important sources of ideas for developing answers to current questions in philosophy of mind, epistemology, and philosophy of science.

In my current research project The Life of the Mind, I am examining theories of mental development and personal growth in the tradition of transcendental philosophy and of philosophy of life in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that model the mind on a conception of life and place a particular emphasis on mental (or spiritual) life (“geistiges Leben”) and its significance for bodily-organic, inner-psychological, and interpersonal processes. It is particularly fascinating for me to see how the way of thinking about the relationship between mind and body and what makes us human persons has fundamentally changed with the rise and success of the natural sciences in recent centuries, and yet how the philosophical tradition I study remains vitally important for a more holistic understanding of human life.

More recently, I have developed a strong interest in the work of women philosophers in the German tradition during the long nineteenth century, and have been particularly interested in the works of Lou Andreas-Salomé (1861–1937) and Edith Stein (1891–1942) – especially with regard to their theories of the “life of the mind”.

Research Projects