As an undergraduate student, I had just experienced the economic crisis and its aftermath. I studied Marx and Marxist thinkers who provided me with valuable theories to make sense of these events. However, I was irritated by their radical rejection of normative theory. When I encountered the history of neo-Kantianism (which is taught in Vienna as a predecessor of the Vienna Circle), I realized that the critique of capitalism in the history of German philosophy is much richer. The left-Hegelian tradition is typically seen as a philosophical current that provided the tools to understand the mechanics of capitalism in the nineteenth century. It is lesser known that this century (including the late 18th revolutionary years and the beginning of the 20th century) saw various influential Kantians questioning capitalism from a normative point of view. The neglection of these philosophers is surprising: not only because they had a significant impact on a left-liberal understanding of social democracy that shaped Western-European societies, but also because they provided interesting Kant interpretations that were later unknowingly rediscovered in the (post-)Rawlsian era.
This gap in the history of German philosophy has motivated my research ever since. In my Ph.D. thesis, I argued that at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, an independent Kantian philosophical current I call ‘Left Kantianism’ emerged. My dissertation is only a small study of a larger project designed to explore “Left-Kantianism” in its different forms and variations throughout the long nineteenth century.
In my current research, I focus on the immediate followers of Kant who worked out socio-democratic theories on a Kantian foundation, showing that the new sense of justice that emerged during the French Revolution provoked novel approaches to socio-economic justice. These proto-socialist positions appeared way before the radical opposites of classical liberalism and Marxist socialism shaped our current view on this era.
During my research, I realized that some left-Kantians were forgotten not due to a lack of philosophical merit but due to the antisemitic climate at the beginning of the twentieth century. I have developed a “contextualist approach” to counteract an exclusive canon prone to perpetuate biases by focusing on debates that include the voices of the oppressed.
I was recently awarded a 3-year research grant (FWF Erwin-Schrödinger-grant, 180.000 EUR). From 2024 to 2027, I will investigate left-Kantian approaches in the Long Nineteenth Century as an Erwin Schroedinger fellow at LSE and Virginia Tech.
08/2022-present: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo.
12/2017-07/2022: University Assistant (PraeDoc), Philosophy Department, University of Vienna.
11/2015-11/2017: Student Assistant, Philosophy Department, University of Vienna.
2022 Doctorate in Philosophy with honors, University of Vienna. Supervisors: Prof. Martin Kusch and Prof. Lydia Patton; review committee: Prof. Sebastian Luft and Prof. Ursula Renz.
2017 Magister Diploma (equivalent to Master of education) in Philosophy, German Studies, and Psychology, University of Vienna.
2015 Bachelor in German Philology, University of Vienna.