top of page
About me

About me

I was born in a small town in Germany called "Wehrda," which is now part of Marburg an der Lahn. I grew up in Kirchzarten, a yet smaller town in the Black Forest close to Freiburg, which almost nobody has ever heard of. When I was 15, my family moved to Aachen, which, some might say, functioned as the capital of the western world around 800 AD. Needless to say, those days are over. There were some brief to medium length interludes in Bonn, which used to be the not very spectacular, temporary capital of (West-)Germany before the re-unification, where I studied philosophy, physics, and psychology as an undergraduate, and in Oxford, where I was a visiting student for a year. A good chunk of the waking hours of the first two decades of my life were spent in chlorinated water, which is still a preferred environment for me.

notre dame.jpg

I moved to the US in 1997 to pursue a PhD. in philosophy at Princeton, but really arrived in America only when I accepted a job at Notre Dame in Indiana in 2002. After almost a decade in the heartland, I decided that it was time to move a little bit closer to Europe again, and so I made my way back east, first to Pittsburgh where I stayed for 3 1/2 years, and eventually to New York City where I have been living happily ever since. 

Academic CV

Academic CV

Higher Education       

1997–2004      Princeton University, Ph.D. in Philosophy, January 2004; dissertation: Leibniz freed from every flaw: a Kantian

                        reads Leibnizian metaphysics; advisors: Béatrice Longuenesse and Bas van Fraassen

                        Princeton; M.A. in Philosophy, 1999

1995–1996      University of Oxford, St. Hilda’s College, Visiting Student, Physics and Philosophy

1992–1997      Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, M.A. (Magister Artium) in Philosophy (major), Physics and                                  Psychology (minors); M.A. thesis: Einbildungskraft bei Kant



♦ Primary Academic Appointments

2022–                           New York University, Professor of Philosophy

Spring of 2015–2022     New York University, Associate Professor of Philosophy

2011–Fall of 2014         University of Pittsburgh, Associate Professor of Philosophy

2004–2011                   University of Notre Dame, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

2002–2004                   University of Notre Dame, Instructor in Philosophy

♦ Other Appointments

2022–                        Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophy, Co-Editor

2019–2020                Director of Graduate Studies, NYU Department of Philosophy

2016–2018                Director of Graduate Studies, NYU Department of Philosophy

2011–2014                Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, Secondary Faculty

2011–2014                Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, Resident Fellow

2005–2011                Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values, University of Notre Dame, Faculty Fellow

2004–2011                Nanovic Institute for European Studies, University of Notre Dame, Faculty Fellow

1998–2000                Princeton University, Student Assistant in Instruction

1993–1995                University of Bonn, Student Assistant



What Do We Owe Other Animals? A Debate, with Bob Fisher, in the Routledge series Little Debates about Big Questions, edited by Tyron Goldschmidt and Dustin Crummett (release date: Dec. 15, 2023)

The World according to Kant —Appearances and Things in Themselves in Critical Idealism, Oxford University Press (2021)

Reviewed (in chronological order) in:

                 Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 103 (4):764-769 (2021) by Ekin Erkan

                 Metascience 1 (1):33-36 (2022) by Jessica Wilson

                 European Journal of Philosophy 30 (2):858-861 (2022) by Tim Jankowiak

                 Philosophical Quarterly 73 (3):847-849 (2022) by David Gordon

                 Con-Textos Kantianos 16:257-261 (2022) by Lara Scaglia

                 The Philosophical Review 131 (4):511-514 (2022) by Markus Kohl

                 Journal of the History of Philosophy 61 (1):160-162 (2023) by Pat Kitcher

(Thanks much to the reviewers for taking the time to read and write about my work!)

Articles and Chapters

• “The Labyrinth of the Continuum: Leibniz, the Wolffians, and Kant on Matter and Monads,” in Karl Schafer and Nicholas Stang (editors), The Sensible and Intelligible Worlds: New Essays on Kant’s Metaphysics and Epistemology, Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press (2022), 185–216

• “Kant on the (Alleged) Leibnizian Misconception of the Difference between Sensible and Intellectual Representations,” in Brandon Look (editor), Leibniz and Kant, Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press (2021), 177−210

• “Finite Minds and Their Representations in Leibniz and Kant,” in Sally Sedgwick and Dina Edmundts (editors), Internationales Jahrbuch des Deutschen Idealismus/International Yearbook of German Idealism (2019), 47−80

• “The Synthetic Nature of Geometry, and the Role of Construction in Intuition,” in Stefano Bacin, Alfredo Ferrarin, Claudio La Rocca, and Margit Ruffing (eds.), Kant und die Philosophie in weltbürgerlicher Absicht: Akten des XI. Internationalen Kant Kongresses 2010 in Pisa, Volume V, Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter Verlag (2013), 89–100

• “Kant, the Leibnizians, and Leibniz,” in Brandon Look (editor), The Continuum Companion to Leibniz, London/New York: Thoemmes Continuum Press (2011), 289–309

• “Disentangling Leibniz’s Views on Relations and Extrinsic Denominations,” Journal of the History of Philosophy 48.2 (2010): 171–205

• “Leibniz on Motion—Reply to Slowik,” The Leibniz Review XIX (2009): 139–147

• “Leibniz on Motion and the Equivalence of Hypotheses,” The Leibniz Review XVIII (2008): 1–40

• “The Modal Strength of Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles,” in Dan Garber and Steven Nadler (editors), Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy IV, Oxford/New York City: Oxford University Press (2008), 191–225

• “Kant’s Critique of the Leibnizian philosophy: contra the Leibnizians, but pro Leibniz,” in Dan Garber and Béatrice Longuenesse (editors), Kant and the Early Moderns, Princeton: Princeton University Press (2008), 41–63 (and 214–223 notes)

• “Must Empiricism Be a Stance, and Could it Be One? How to Be an Empiricist and a Philosopher at the Same Time,” in Bradley Monton (editor), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply from Bas van Fraassen, Oxford/New York City: Oxford University Press (2007), 271–318

Other Publications

• Entries on ‘Amphiboly’ and ‘Receptivity’, in The Cambridge Kant Lexicon, edited by Julian Wuerth, Cambridge University Press (2021)

• Entries on ‘Anschauung a priori’, ‘Anschauung, formale’, ‘Rechnen’, ‘formal’, ‘Anzahl’, ‘Algebra’, ‘Addition’, ‘Erkenntnis, mathematische’, ‘Gerade’, ‘Linie’, ‘Anzeige des Lambertischen Briefwechsels’, ‘Lambert, Johann Heinrich’, in Kant-Lexikon, edited by Markus Willaschek, Jürgen Stolzenberg, Georg Mohr, and Stefano Bacin, Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter (2015)

• “Review of Kant’s Moral Metaphysics, edited by Benjamin Lipscomb and James Krueger, de Gruyter, 2010,” in The Philosophical Review 122 (4) (2013): 651–657


♦ In Preparation

Cognition according to Kant—Our Cognitive Access to Things in Themselves and Appearances in Kant’s Critical Philosophy (companion volume to The World According to Kant)

• Critical Comments on Ian Proops’s The Fiery Test of Critique: A Reading of Kant's Dialectic for Kantian Review

• “Schopenhauer’s Pessimism,” for the new Cambridge Companion on Schopenhauer, edited by Sandra Shapshay and Colin Marshall

• “Précis of The World According to Kant, and Reply to Critics,” for Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 

• “Does Post/Kantian Science Refute Kant’s Theoretical Philosophy? The Case of Kant’s Account of Space” for a Festschrift for Béatrice Longuenesse, edited by Stefanie Grüne and Colin Marshall, Routledge Press

• “Schopenhauer and Kant on the Structural Similarity between Aesthetic and Moral Experience” 


(All presentations and talks are invited unless noted otherwise. Due to climate concerns, I have significantly cut down on air travel for purposes of talks and conferences in recent years.) 

• TBA, Workshop on Early Modern Philosophy and German Idealism, Syracuse University, March 30–31, 2024

• Response to critics (Andrew Chignell, Desmond Hogan, and Pat Kitcher), Author Meets Critics Workshop at the New School for Social Research, NYC, October 5, 2023

• “Does Post/Kantian Science Refute Kant’s Theoretical Philosophy? The Case of Kant’s Account of Space,” Philosophy Colloquium, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, July 19, 2023

• Critical Comments on Ian Proops's The Fiery Test of Critique: A Reading of Kant's Dialectic, Author Meets Critics Workshop, Princeton University, April 22, 2023

• "Against Human Exceptionalism," PACE Program, Poly High School, Long Beach, California, February 21, 2023, over Zoom 

• Discussion of The World According to Kant with the Pittsburgh Kant Reading Group, December 9, 2022, over Zoom

• Comments on Tyler Burge, “Kant on Primacy of Practical Reason,” The 17th Annual NYU Conference on Issues in Modern Philosophy Special Edition: Nature, Mind, Freedom — A Conference in Celebration of Béatrice Longuenesse, NYU, May 14–15, 2022

• Response to critics (Lucy Allais, Marcus Kohl, and Nick Stang), Author Meets Critics Session on The World According to Kant, organized by the North American Kant Society, American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting, Baltimore, January 14, 2022

• Comments on Nick Stang, “The Meta-Critique of Pure Reason: Why Kant Does Not Merely Assume the Possibility of Transcendental Philosophy,” asynchronous online conference on Kant’s fundamental assumptions, organized by Colin Marshall and Colin McLear, first week of August, 2021

• “How to Be Both a Realist and an Idealist Kantian style” (different evolving versions):

- NYU Philosophy Forum, NYU, April 29, 2021

- Philosophy Colloquium, Cornell University, November 30, 2018

- Keynote Address, Creighton Club Meeting, Syracuse, November 3, 2018

- Philosophy Colloquium, Brown University, February 23, 2018

- Philosophy Colloquium, Wake Forest University, November 30, 2017

- Philosophy Thursday Night Workshop, The New School for Social Research, December 3, 2015

• Comments on Thomas Hofweber, “Idealism and the Harmony of Thought and reality,” Conference on Kant and Contemporary Metaphysics, University of Toronto, April 21–22, 2018

• “Finite Minds, Cognition, and Idealism in Leibniz, Kant, and beyond” (different evolving versions):

- Joint Conference of the North American Kant Society and the Society for German Idealism and Romanticism, Stanford University, October 14–15, 2017

- Philosophy Colloquium, Boston University, March 18, 2016

- New York City German Idealism Workshop, Columbia University, April 24, 2015

- Philosophy Colloquium and History of Philosophy Workshop, Johns Hopkins University, March 12, 2015

• “The Labyrinth of the Continuum: Leibniz, the Wolffians, and Kant on the Composition of Matter” (different versions):

- Keynote Address, 7th Annual New York City Workshop in Early Modern Philosophy, Fordham University, May 13–14, 2017

- Philosophy Colloquium, Indiana University at Bloomington, February 24, 2017

- (in German) Workshop in honor of Gerold Prauss, Universität Bonn, Germany, October 14–15, 2016

• “What Am I Doing? And why? A Dialogue Between Philosophy & English,” participant in a panel discussion moderated by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, New York University, March 1, 2017

• “The Next Big Step in Humanity’s Moral Progress: Animal Liberation,” Second Night of Philosophy and Ideas, Brooklyn Library, New York, January 28, 2017

• Comments on Robinson and Grey’s “Tracing Reason’s Arc: The Principle of Sufficient Reason from Leibniz to Kant,” Ninth Annual Conference of the Leibniz Society of North America, The Ohio State University, October 23–25, 2015

• “A Place for Monads in Kant’s Theoretical Philosophy” (different evolving versions):

- Philosophy Colloquium, New York University, September 13, 2013

- Early Modern Philosophy Workshop and German Philosophy Workshop, University of Chicago, May 17, 2013

- Philosophy Colloquium, University of California at Berkeley, April 11, 2013

• “The Synthetic Nature of Geometry—Prolegomena to A(ny) Future Interpretation of Kant’s Philosophy of Mathematics,” Conference at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh ‘Mathematics, Logic, and Method in Kant's Transcendental Philosophy’, April 13–14, 2012

• “Kant’s Fictionalism and Realism about Things in Themselves” (different evolving versions):

- History of Philosophy Workshop, Harvard University, February 24, 2012

- Session of the North American Kant Society, Eastern APA, Washington D.C., December 27–30, 2011

- 45th Chapel Hill Colloquium in Philosophy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, November 4–6, 2011

- Oxford University, January 31st, 2011

• “Kant’s Conception of Things in Themselves: The Two-entities View,” Workshop on Recent Work on Kant’s philosophy, University of Miami, Miami Beach, Florida, December 9–10, 2011

• “The Synthetic Nature of Geometry, and the Role of Construction in Intuition,” Eleventh International Kant Congress, Pisa, Italy, May 22–26, 2010 (submitted)

• “How to Think about Things in Themselves” (different evolving versions):

- Philosophy Colloquium, University of Pittsburgh, March 26, 2010

- Philosophy Colloquium, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, December 4, 2009

- Philosophy Colloquium, Yale University, New Haven, December 4, 2008

• “Kant on the Significance of Leibniz’s (alleged) Misconception of the Difference between Sensible and Intellectual Representations" (different versions):

- Oxford Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy, Oxford, UK, October 17–18, 2009

- Joint meeting of the North American Kant Society and the Leibniz Society of North America, University of Kentucky, Lexington, September 25–27, 2009


• “Despite Appearances to the Contrary, Leibniz is Not Confused about Motion” (different versions):

- Symposium in honor of Paul Teller, University of California at Davis, October 17–18, 2008.

- New England Colloquium for Early Modern Philosophy, Harvard University, June 2005. (submitted)


• “A Last Shot at Leibniz’s doctrine of the Ideality and Reducibility of Relations,” Second Annual Conference of the Leibniz Society of North America, Princeton University, September 26–28, 2008

• “What Is Philosophy? Taking a Stance between Art, Science, and Religion,” Symposium in honor of Bas van Fraassen, Princeton University, May 16–18, 2008


• “The Modal strength of Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles,” Midwest Seminar for Early Modern Philosophy, University of Chicago, March 2007. (submitted)

• Comments on Dan Garber, “In What Sense are Leibnizian Bodies Extended?,” The Third NYU Conference on Issues in Modern Philosophy “Understanding Space and Time,” New York University, November 10–11, 2006.

• Comments on Andrew Chignell, “Kant and the Kinds of Knowledge,” North American Kant Society, Central APA, Chicago, April 2006.

• “Kant’s Critique of Leibniz,” Conference on Kant and the Early Moderns, Princeton University, May 2004

• “Kant on Space” (different versions):

- Philosophy Colloquium, University of Kentucky, April 2004

- Philosophy Colloquium, University of Illinois at Chicago, March 2004


• “Can a Philosophical Position Consist in a Stance?”, Symposium on Bas van Fraassen, The Empirical Stance, Pacific APA, Pasadena, March 2004

• “Chirality and Transcendental Idealism,” Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science, Boston University Center for Philosophy and History of Science, November 2003

• “The Many Functions of Intuition in Kant and What to Do with Them,” Symposium on Kant’s philosophy of mathematics sponsored by the Association of Symbolic Logic, Eastern APA, Philadelphia, December 2002

• “The Solitary Hand–Kant on Incongruent Counterparts and the Nature of Space”:

- Columbia University, February 2002

- Duke University, February 2002

- New York University, February 2002

- Yale University, January 2002

- University of Notre Dame, January 2002

- University of Wisconsin at Madison, January 2002


• “Kant’s Philosophy of Space and Time and Modern Science (up to the 1920s),” History of Philosophy of Science (HOPOS) 2000 Conference, Vienna, Austria, July 2000 (submitted)

Scholarships, Grants, and Honors

2022–2023    NYU Center for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship

2019–            Fellow of the NYU Society of Fellows

2010              Travel grant from the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts at the University of Notre Dame to attend the XI.                          International Kant Congress in Italy

2001–2002    Mrs. Giles Whiting Honorific Fellowship in the Humanities

1999–2001    Dissertation Fellowship, Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (German National Merit Foundation)

1998–1999    Fellowship for Studies Abroad (USA), Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD – German Academic                              Exchange Service)

1998              Santa Fe Institute Summer School for Complex Systems

1997–1998     Fellowship for Studies Abroad (USA), Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes

1997–2001     Graduate Tuition Fellowship, Princeton University

1995–1996     Fellowship for Studies Abroad (UK), DAAD

1993–1998     Fellow of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes

Other Professional Activities

• Co-Editor of Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophy, 2022

• Co-Director of SWIP-NYC (Society for Women in Philosophy-New York City), 2020–

• Member of the program committee for the Eastern APA meetings in 2020 in Philadelphia, and 2021 over Zoom

• Member of the program committee for the Central APA meeting in 2012 in Chicago

• Member of the Executive Board of the Leibniz Society of North America (2010–2014)

• Referee for Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, Epoché, Journal of the History of Philosophy, Kantian Review, Leibniz Review, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy of Science, Oxford University Press, Atlantic Canada Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy, the German National Merit Foundation, and the National Science Foundation


Undergraduate Courses

Introductory: Introduction to Philosophy; Honors Introduction to Philosophy; Honors Humanities Seminar I, from the Greeks to the Renaissance; Honors Humanities Seminar II, from the Renaissance to the Present; Texts and Ideas: ‘What is a good human life?’; Great Works in Philosophy

Intermediate: A Brief History of Space, Time, and Motion; History of Modern Philosophy; Existentialism and Phenomenology.

Advanced: Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art; Kant, Critique of Pure Reason; Rationalism (Descartes, Malebranche, Spinoza, Leibniz); Animal Ethics; Kant and Environmental Ethics (directed study)

Graduate Courses

History of the Philosophy of Science; Kant’s Philosophy of the Supersensible; Kant’s Early Critics; Kant and the Exact Sciences; Locke and Leibniz; Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation; Advanced Introduction to Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason; Kant’s Critique of Judgment; Leibniz’s Metaphysics; Compassion in the History of Ethics; Advanced Introduction to Aesthetics; Kant on Erkenntnis; Nietzsche (directed study); Wittgenstein and Idealism (directed study)

Doctoral Thesis Supervision

Carl Christian Abrahamsen, Project on the role of the representation of infinity in the representation of finite objects in Descartes, Leibniz, and Hegel, NYU ongoing

Banafsheh Beizaei, The Epistemological Reading of Transcendental Idealism: A New Outline and Defense, NYU 2023

Brian Watkins, Good Taste: Pleasure and Practice in Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgment, Notre Dame, 2010 (co-director with Karl Ameriks)

Joseph Zapeda, The Problem of the Vacuum in the Rationalist Tradition, Notre Dame, 2009 (co-director with Karl Ameriks)

Dissertation Committee Member

Iliana Gioulatou, Project in Aesthetics, on Susanne Langer and kinetic sculpture, NYU, ongoing

Ariel Melamedoff, Project on Mary Shepherd’s metaphysics of causation, NYU, ongoing

Alan Barat, Project on Nietzsche and will to power, NYU, ongoing

Caroline Bowman, Hegel on Internal and External Freedom―A Reading of the Philosophy of Right, NYU, 2023

Jenny Judge, Pictures of Feeling: Music, Meaning, and Social Life, NYU, 2022

Jake McNulty, Logic and Metaphysics in Hegel's Mature Theoretical Philosophy, Columbia University, 2019 (external reader)

Vera Flocke, Ontological Expressivism, NYU, 2019

Tyke Nunez, Kant’s Formal Idealism, the Synthetic a priori, and the Constitution of Objects of Experience, Pittsburgh, 2015

Brandon Fogel, Epistemolgy of a Theory of Everything: Weyl, Einstein, and the Unification of Physics, Notre Dame, 2008

Brian Pitts, General Covariance, Artificial Gauge Freedom, and Empirical Equivalence, Notre Dame, 2008

Daniel McKaughan, Toward a Richer Vocabulary for Epistemic Attitudes, Notre Dame, 2007


German (native), English, Latin, French (reading), Ancient Greek (a bit rusty)


                                                                                                                                           Last updated: Summer 2023

bottom of page