About my current research project:
My current research project integrates Émilie du Châtelet into the Early Modern Era in the first part and separates the concept of philosophy as a logical inquiry into our representations in the Early Modern Period from Kant's concept of philosophy as metaphysics in the second part. In the first part, I investigate Émilie du Châtelet's references to her immediate rational predecessors and contemporaries, especially to Descartes, Leibniz and Wolff, as well as her own theory on the concept of knowledge. My aim is to show that her ideas do not fall into the dominant divide between rationalism and empiricism, which marked this era, but that her work is nevertheless subject to the same concept of philosophy as a logical enquiry into the representation of sense objects as her predecessors. In the second part, I aim to show that Kant based philosophy on an entirely different principle by questioning ideas which originate in reason and analysing them with a view to nature in our understanding thereof.
About my last research project:
In their quest to establish indubitable and scientific knowledge, the rationalists of the Early Modern Era departed from a principle independent of an external world related to the senses. The principle of knowledge in Descartes is a thinking thing, res cogitans, which possesses the certainty (of consciousness) that the external world, to which perceptions relate, does not possess. For Leibniz and Du Châtelet specific principles, namely the principle of contradiction and the principle of sufficient reason, as raisonnements, are the foundation of knowledge, - the generality of which allows for their respective universal application. All three have in common that a rational principle is posited independent of physical existence, i.e. the object of perceptions and representations. In other words, their principle of knowledge is not derived from or constituted through its relationship to the object of the senses, but instead is established as an inner principle (of reason or of consciousness), which I refer to as rational principle. In my research project I showed that the rational principle in the Early Modern Era is indeed nothing more than the form of (sense) representation in absence of the content. I aim to show how this approach to philosophy initiated by Descartes shaped an entire Era and I ask how it, in turn, influenced Kant’s philosophical foundation.