My research focuses on the history of modern German philosophy (from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries). My dissertation, Being and the Good: Natural Teleology in Early Modern German Philosophy, studies three attempts in Enlightenment Germany to account for purpose and order in a mechanistic worldview: those of Leibniz, Wolff, and Kant. I frame these attempts by showing how the reception of the Scientific Revolution in Germany was conditioned by the metaphysics of Protestant scholasticism. I argue that Leibniz, Wolff, and Kant inherit from neo-scholasticism the assumptions that 1) whatever exists by nature manifests goodness in some measure; and 2) that goal-directed processes require a capacity for intelligence. With that background, I show how, between Leibniz and Kant, the concept of natural ends shifts from being a metaphysical to an epistemological principle rooted in human subjectivity, and yet indispensable for the study of nature.
I also have an active research project in post-Kantian German philosophy, centered around topics in the philosophy of mind and epistemology in figures such as Fichte, Helmholtz, and Dilthey. I am especially interested in Wilhelm Dilthey's philosophical psychology and philosophy of history as developments of Kantian themes.
I have further research interests in the Islamic intellectual tradition. I am interested particularly in theories of causation (Aristotelian and anti-Aristotelian) in the classical period, including figures such as ibn Sina, ibn Rushd, al-Ashari, and al-Ghazali. I am also interested in understanding the shifts in perceptions of Islam in early modern Europe, and the subsequent reconstructions of Islamic identities in response to European modernity.