Anja Jauernig (Pittsburgh) to NYU

Anja Jauernig, currently associate professor of philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, has accepted a senior offer from New York University, starting in January, 2015 (via Leiter). One could say she works on Kant and early modern philosophy, or one could just defer to her own words, which include a brief defense of the history of philosophy:

My main interests in philosophy lie in an area that one might call ‘historically informed and inspired philosophy’ by which I mean a kind of philosophy that is grounded in the ideas and questions of philosophers of the past but also contributes to the contemporary philosophical debate. My motivation to engage in a dialogue with these historical figures is not mere historical curiosity but primarily the belief that such a dialogue is an invaluable tool for gaining a better understanding of central philosophical problems that are as gripping and difficult today as they were back then. Philosophy does not happen in a vacuum, it is a discipline with a rich history. To my mind, the presuppositions and implicit assumptions that are built into many philosophical questions and problems can only be adequately understood if their historical lineage is sufficiently appreciated. And since understanding the presuppositions of a problem is a necessary condition for understanding the problem itself, and since understanding a problem is a necessary condition for solving it, I take a certain amount of historical work to be an essential component of any kind of responsible philosophical research…. The historical period that I feel most at home in ranges from the mid-17th to the early 20th century. Within this period I am especially interested in all things rationalist and idealist. My favorite dead interlocutors are Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Immanuel Kant.

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