MA in Philosophy, University of Chicago, 2019
BA in Philosophy with Distinction, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 2016
Areas of Specialization: Kant, Early Modern Philosophy
Areas of Competence: Philosophy of Mind, Aesthetics, Ethics (especially Metaethics and Kantian Ethics)
Kant and the Origin of the Concept of Mind
Committee: Matthew Boyle (chair), Michael Kremer, Tobias Rosefeldt (HU Berlin), Eric Watkins (UCSD)
The concept of mind has a central significance for Kant’s entire philosophical project, since it underlies Kant’s claims about mental faculties. I articulate and defend a new interpretation of this concept, according to which it is to be understood in terms of the transcendental idea of the soul (an immaterial thinking substance) in its regulative, non-descriptive function. This offers an alternative to previous accounts, which construe Kant’s claims about the mind either as metaphysically neutral, as epistemic claims about the mind’s empirical character, or as epistemic claims about its noumenal character. On my reading, although the concept of mind is metaphysically substantive, its use is not grounded in objective knowledge of an independently existing entity but in reason’s demand for explanatory understanding that cannot be met by our capacity for knowledge.