Research

I research Kant’s theory of the highest good and how idealizations connect to reality in the German Idealist tradition.  My current projects fall along two general tracks, which I explore historically but also situate within contemporary debates.

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The Highest Good and Ideals

The highest good is a puzzling doctrine in Kant’s ethics. Many think it adds nothing above and beyond the moral law. And many think that it declines in importance (perhaps even vanishes) from Kant’s later works. I think the contrary. I argue that it evolves to become a life-orienting ideal. Questions I am actively investigating surround its relation to nature, it status as an ideal, and how (if at all) it relates to moral psychology. Read more.

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God & the Body in the Opus postumum

Kant’s last, unpublished work, the Opus postumum, remains understudied because of its disorganized state and neglect after Kant’s death. One new feature in this work is the notion of “self-positing,” in which one’s awareness of one’s own body takes center stage in Kant’s philosophy. What does this embodiment entail for Kant’s practical philosophy? And what does Kant mean when he asserts that “God is in us”? Read more.

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