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Karin Nisenbaum

Karin Nisenbaum

Assistant Professor
Philosophy , 102 Hascall Hall
p 315-228-6002


BA, University of Chicago, 2003; MA, University College Dublin, 2006; PhD, University of Toronto, 2014

Teaching Experience

Mandel Postdoctoral Fellow, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2014–2016; Visiting Scholar, University of Denver, 2013–2014; Visiting Instructor, Colorado College, Fall 2013 and Spring 2014.


Kant, German Idealism, 19th & 20th Century Continental Philosophy (including Existentialism, Phenomenology, and Critical Theory), and Modern Jewish Thought.


Much of my research focuses on issues of metaphysics and practical reason in Kant’s critical philosophy, as developed by post-Kantian thinkers such as Fichte and Schelling and by Jewish philosophers such as Maimon and Rosenzweig.

I am currently finishing a book titled For the Love of Metaphysics: Nihilism and the Conflict of Reason from Kant to Rosenzweig, which argues that the development of German philosophy from Kant, through post-Kantian German Idealism, to the thought of Franz Rosenzweig, was largely motivated by the perceived promise of Kant’s philosophy for solving the conflict between theoretical and practical reason, but also by the perceived shortcomings of Kant’s philosophy for solving this conflict. 

In my future work, I plan to work on two book projects: one will develop a conception of selfhood, and provide an account of moral judgment, informed by Kant, Schelling, and Rosenzweig; the other will draw on German Idealism, phenomenology, and existentialism to offer a response to recent Anglophone objections to Kantian or transcendental arguments.  I am also working on a collection of essays exploring different philosophical conceptions of what is required in order to affirm the value and meaning of the world.


Book Manuscript

For the Love of Metaphysics: Nihilism and the Conflict of Reason from Kant to Rosenzweig (complete manuscript under contract with Oxford University Press.)

Refereed Journal Articles

“The Legacy of Salomon Maimon: Philosophy as a System Actualized in Freedom,” forthcoming in the Journal of Philosophical Research 41(2016).

“Transcendental Arguments for the Actualization of God in Schelling and Rosenzweig,”
Proceedings of the International Rosenzweig Gesellschaft 1(2014): 96–107.

“Understanding the Body’s Critique,” Perspectives: International Postgraduate Journal of Philosophy 1(2008): 12–21.

Chapters in Edited Volumes

 “From the Revolution in Thinking to the Renewal of Thinking: The Systematic Task of The Star of Redemption,” in After the Postsecular and the Postmodern: New Essays in Continental Philosophy of Religion, edited by D. Whistler and A.P. Smith, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010. 105–127.

“F.W.J. Schelling,” co-authored with Daniel Whistler, in Religion and European Philosophy: Key Thinkers from Kant to the Present, edited by P. Goodchild and H. Phelps, Routledge, forthcoming in December 2016.


Scholion Interdisciplinary Research Center in the Humanities and Jewish Studies

Mandel Postdoctoral Fellowship 2014–2017

Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation

Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers 2014–2016 (declined)

Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes

Leo Baeck Fellowship Programme, October 2012–September 2013

University of Toronto

Martha Lile Love Essay Award, 2009
George Paxton Young Memorial Prize in Philosophy, 2008
Cheesbrough Fellowship in Philosophy, 2007 & 2008
Connaught Tuition Scholarship, 2007

University College Dublin

Professor Magennis Memorial Prize in Philosophy, 2006