Four Causes. 2016. pdf

Conscientia bei Descartes. Alber Verlag, Freiburg 2006. 

Gibt es eine Rehabilitation der Cartesischen Psychologie? Master Thesis, Leipzig 2000.  pdf

Journal Articles

"The Man Without Properties". Synthese 194(6), 2017, 1989–2006.

"Plato's Ingredient Principle". Ancient Philosophy 35(2), 2015, 303-316.

"Instance is the Converse of Aspect". Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93(1), 2015, 3-20.

"'Insofar as' in Descartes' Definition of Thought". Studia Leibnitiana 43(2), 2011, 145-159.

"Kants Modell kausaler Verhältnisse". Kant Studien 102(3), 2011, 367-384.  pdf

"Eine Verteidigung des typologischen Artbegriffs". Philosophia Naturalis 46(2), 2009, 251-278.  pdf

"The Four Causes". The Journal of Philosophy 106(3), 2009, 137-60. pdf

"Cartesian Conscientia". British Journal for the History of Philosophy 15(3), 2007, 455-484. pdf


Book Contributions

"Über die 'Ursachen' von Texten". In: Verena Klappstein, Thomas Heiß, eds., "... als bis wir sein Warum erfasst haben". Franz Steiner Verlag, 2017. 

"Kategorien" / "Konkrete Einzeldinge". In: Markus Schrenk, ed., Handbuch Metaphysik, Metzler Verlag 2017, 86-89 / 128-134. 

"Aristoteles' Beschreibung der ethischen Tugenden". In: Jan Müller & Jens Kertscher, Lebensform und Praxisform. Paderborn: Mentis Verlag 2015, 173-189. 

"Descartes". In: Tina-Louise Eissa & Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, eds., Geschichte der Bioethik. Paderborn: Mentis Verlag 2011, 137-148.

"Is Causation a Relation?" In: Keith Allen & Tom Stoneham, eds., Causation and Modern Philosophy. Routledge 2011, 188-200. pdf



Christopher Moore, "Socrates and Self-Knowledge". Philosophical Quarterly, 2017.

Frank Lewis, "How Aristotle Gets By in Metaphysics Zeta". Philosophical Quarterly, 2016.

Stephen Mumford and Rani Lil Anjum, "Getting Causes from Powers". Philosophical Quarterly, 2015.


Dictionary entries

"Disposition". Hans Jörg Sandkühler et al., ed., Enzyklopädie Philosophie. Hamburg: Meiner Verlag 2010.  pdf


Research Projects

Conscientia in Descartes

In Gibt es eine Rehabilitation der Cartesischen Psychologie? I argue that Descartes' distinction between mind and body amounts to a distinction between subjects of moral and epistemic responsibility, and subjects of physical determinations. This way of putting it makes it conceivable that the same entity is subject to both. I show that Descartes indeed describes humans as a mixture of these two kinds of subject, which can, as such, only be understood in an obscure and confused way.

In Conscientia in Descartes, I trace the history of the notion of consciousness (conscientia), which Descartes uses in oder to demarcate the mental. I show that this word, conscientia, has predominantly ethical connotations in the tradition (St. Paul, Augustine, medieval authors), and I argue that Descartes still uses it with these connotations in mind.

Causality, Teleology, and Classification in Aristotle

In Four Causes, I argue that Aristotle's four causes (the material, formal, efficient, and final cause) form a system, so that the final cause of a natural phenomenon stands to its efficient cause as its formal cause stands to its material cause. The formal cause of a natural thing is the actuality of what its material cause is potentially, and the final cause of a natural thing or process is the actuality of what its efficient cause is potentially. This also means that the formal cause is not necessarily the form that a thing actually realizes, but rather the form that it would realize if it were a fully typical specimen of its type.

Plato's Forms

I argue that Plato's forms are not properties but paradigmatic instances of kinds (cf. "Plato's Ingredient Principle"). The form of beauty, for instance, is the generic beautiful thing, and particular things participate in it insofar as they approximate what this form is: a beautiful thing. I further argue that Aristotle still operates with the notion of a generic thing (cf. "The Man Without Properties").


In my work on Descartes, I argue that the distinction between thinking and extended things can be understood to be a distinction of respects, such that the same entity is two different substances, because it can be seen in two different respects (as a subject of ethical and epistemic norms, or as a subject of physical determinations). In my work on Plato and Aristotle, I argue that forms and essences are things in respects: the form of beauty is a beautiful thing exclusively insofar as it is beauty, and other things participate in it insofar as they are what this form is. The locution "insofar as", and with it the notion of an aspect, is therefore central to several of my philosophical interests. I examine it in "'Insofar as' in Descartes' Definition of Thought" and "Instance is the Converse of Aspect".


I am exploring the possibility of practical self-knowledge, that is, a kind of self-knowledge that does not reduce to one's awareness of one's inner states or character traits. If there is practical self-knowledge, it will be constitutive of the self that it knows, in some way to be explained. In a couple of papers on self-knowledge in Hugh of St. Victor, I argue that self-knowledge, according to Hugh, is the knowledge that rational beings have of the proper objects of their distinctive capacities, and that this is knowledge by participation, rather than knowledge by representation.

I am currently exploring the notion of self-knowledge in Hegel and Marx. For Hegel, self-knowledge is the ultimate aim of philosophy: it is distinctively human, and it will be perfect knowledge where it succeeds, in that subject and object are strictly identical. Hegel also argues that human self-knowledge is possible only within a politically organized community, so that when humans know themselves, they know themselves as members of such a community. Marx brings this down to earth by considering the material basis of self-knowledge, which is self-maintenance and reproduction, or, in general: metabolism. This explains Marx's focus on political economy (= social metabolism), labour (= the metabolism between humans and nature), and alienation (= a distortion of social metabolism, which is reflected in a lack of self-knowledge).


Abstracts, Drafts, Manuscripts

Some of the papers in this section are also published in print, some are not.



Areas of Interest
Master thesis
PhD thesis