Karin A. Nisenbaum

Renée Crown Professor in the Humanities and Assistant Professor
Syracuse University

I am the Renée Crown Professor in the Humanities and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University.  Before coming to Syracuse University in 2021, I taught at Boston College, Colgate University, and the University of Denver.  I was also a Mandel postdoctoral fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

My book, For the Love of Metaphysics: Nihilism and the Conflict of Reason from Kant to  Rosenzweig (Oxford University Press, 2018), offers a new perspective on the history of German Idealism that focuses on the role of the principle of sufficient reason and the idea of a primacy of practical reason.  I am also the author of a number of articles on topics at the intersection of ethics and metaphysics in Kant, post-Kantian German Idealism, and modern Jewish thought in journals such as Journal of the History of Philosophy, European Journal of Philosophy, and Journal of Philosophical Research. 

I am currently at work on two monographs.  The first is on Kantian and post-Kantian conceptions of the highest good; the second defends a post-Kantian form of moral perfectionism.  In addition, I am finishing papers on moral development, moral transformation, and the duty of truthfulness in Kant and Fichte.  For further details on these projects, see my research page.

Much of my effort to promote diversity and inclusion in the discipline has focused on creating a support network for women working on Kant and post-Kantian philosophy.  Together with Katharina Kaiser (UC Berkeley) and Samantha Matherne (Harvard), I organize a yearly summer colloquium in Berlin for women working in these areas.

Research Projects

Current Courses

Self-Knowledge and Identity (PHIL 30304)

Who am I? How did I become the person I am now? Who am I trying to be? – These are fundamental questions that we all ask ourselves from time to time, such as in moments of decision, reflection, or crisis. This seminar invites all participants to think through these...

History Of Modern Philosophy (PHIL 30302)

This course explores central figures and themes in modern philosophy, including such issue as the human mind and its relationship to the body, nature and knowledge of God, skepticism and knowledge of the external world, causality and freedom.

The Soul (PHIL 93268)

This course explores conceptions of the soul as a principle of unity, drawing from contemporary sources as well as from selected thinkers from the Ancient and the Modern periods.

North American Kant Society (NAKS)
Gesellschaft für analytische Philosophie e.V. (GAP)
American Philosophical Association (APA)