Rachel Zuckert Associate Professor

My research focuses on Kant and his philosophical context, broadly understood:  both his eighteenth-century contemporaries, and post-Kantian, nineteenth-century philosophy.  I am interested in practically every aspect of Kant’s philosophy, but so far my research has primarily concerned Kant’s Critique of Judgment, including work on Kant’s aesthetics, philosophy of biology, and questions concerning the possibility of empirical knowledge. Recently, I have been working on topics in Kant’s philosophy of religion and philosophy of history as well. My other current research projects include a book project on Johann Gottfried Herder’s aesthetic theory and a collection of essays on eighteenth-century Scottish aesthetics. 

I have offered upper-level undergraduate courses on Kant, nineteenth-century philosophy, philosophy of the Enlightenment, philosophy of history, aesthetics (on a number of different topics), and feminist philosophy, and graduate seminars on Kant, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century aesthetics, eighteenth-century  philosophy of history, and Kierkegaard. Future courses might focus in addition on evil, other figures in eighteenth-century philosophy (Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Adam Smith), as well as further topics in aesthetics such as imitation or the aesthetics of critical theory.

Selected work

  • Kant on Beauty and Biology:  An Interpretation of the Critique of Judgment, Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • “Kant on Practical Fanaticism” in Benjamin Lipscomb and James Krueger, eds., Kant’s Moral Metaphysics (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010), pp. 291-318.
  • “Kantian Ideas of Reason and Empirical Scientific Investigation” in Michela Massimi and Angela Breitenbach, eds., Kant and the Laws of Nature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp. 89-107.
  • “Purposiveness and Projection:  Kant and Heidegger on the Temporality of Judgment,” in Transcendental Heidegger, Steven Crowell and Jeffrey Malpas, eds. (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2007), 251-231.
  • “Sculpture and Touch: Herder’s Aesthetics of Sculpture” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67:3 Summer 2009, 285-299.
  • “Adaptive Naturalism in Herder’s Aesthetics: An Interpretation of the “Shakespeare” essay ”Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 36:2, 2015, 269-93.
  • “Kames’ Naturalist Aesthetics, and the Case of Tragedy,” Journal of Scottish Philosophy September 2009 7:2, 147-162.
  • “Reid’s Expressivist Aesthetics,” in Rebecca Copenhaver and Todd Buras, eds., Mind, Knowledge, and Action:  Essays in Honor of Thomas Reid’s Tercentenary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 139-60.