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Jochen Bojanowski

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

My main areas of research are moral and political philosophy. My first book on Kant’s theory of free will articulates and defends Kant’s incompatibilist account of free will as a capacity for moral autonomy. This capacity is foundational for the uncompromising nature of our human rights and their correlative duties. Preserving the notion of moral autonomy is critical if we want to hold on to the particular kind of moral respect that we owe one another.

In my most recent book, "Fraternal Justice" (Geschwisterliche Gerechtigkeit), I attempt to interpret the value of sorority or fraternity in light of the contingency of our human lives. The central question of distributive justice is how our social institutions ought to reflect the contingent differences between us. No one is responsible for their social, biological, or circumstantial luck. From the point of view of justice, social institutions are problematic if distributive disadvantage reflects bad brute luck differences. Taking a sororal or fraternal attitude towards other people means rejecting distributive advantages based on brute luck differences. Living in a fraternally just society means that this luck-neutralizing idea guides our institutions. In my view, sorority and fraternity (Geschwisterlichkeit) are the realization conditions of our human freedom. They don’t go beyond justice but are constitutive of it.

My current book project, “Kant’s Moral Idealism,” consists of three parts: In the first part, I show that Kant’s metaethical view can be seen as a genuine alternative to “moral realism” and to “anti-realism” as they are construed in the current metaethical debate. The second part will bring this metaethical background to bear on Kant’s universalist normative principle of morality. In the final part, I show why our moral life is more complex than Kant assumed. However, his principle of morality still operates as the fundamental interpretative principle that constitutes the high bar of our moral life.  

I have published numerous articles that are, for the most part, concerned with core topics of these three monographs.


Recent Publications

I. Books
     In Progress:
  • “Moral Idealism. A Kantian Alternative” (book proposal currently under review)
  • “Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason. A Commentary.” (in German, incomplete, accepted for publication at De Gruyter)
II. Peer-Reviewed Articles
  1. “Just Economy. Rescuing the Camping Trip." In: The Journal of Value Inquiry, 2023 
  2. "Bad Facts and Principles. Finding the Right Kind of Fact-Insensitivity." In: Moral Philosophy and Politics, 2022.
  3. “The Value of Freedom” In: Proceedings of the XIII. International Kant Congress Oslo, 2021, 431-438.
  4. “Thinking about Cases: Applying Kant’s Universal Law Formula.” In: European Journal of Philosophy, 26:4, 2018, 1-16.
  5. “Is Applied Ethics Possible?” In: Proceedings of the XII. International Kant Congress Vienna. 2018, 1745-1752.
  6. “Naturalism and Realism in Kant’s Ethics” In: Kantian Review, 22:3, 2017, 463–474.
  7. “Kant’s Solution to the Euthyphro Dilemma.” In: Philosophia 44:4, 2016, 1209-1228.
  8. “Categories of Freedom as Concepts of Practical Cognition.” In: Kantian Review 20:2, 2015, 211-234.
  9. “Kant on the Justification of Moral Principles.” In: Kant-Studien 108:1, 2017, 1-34.
  10. “Kant on Human Dignity.” In: Kant-Studien 106:1, 2015, 78-87.
  11. “Evil by Nature: Does Kant Owe Us Yet Another Transcendental Deduction?” In: Proceedings of the XI. International Kant Congress. 2013, 63-74.
  12. “Is Kant a Moral Realist?” In: Kant-Yearbook 4, 2012, 1-22.
  13. “Kant and the Problem of Accountability”. In: Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung, 61:2, 2007, 207-228 (in German).
III. Articles in Anthologies
  1. “Reinhold on Free Will and Moral Obligation” In: Freedom after Kant. J. Saunders (ed.) London; New York: Bloomsbury 2021, 27-44. 10.5040/
  2. “Are Moral Obligations to Oneself Possible?” In: Immanuel Kant: Tugendlehre. O. Höffe (ed.). Berlin; New York: De Gruyter 2019, 79-100.
  3. “Why Kant is not a Moral Intuitionist” In: Kant’s Moral Anti-/Realism. E. Schmidt, D. Schönecker (eds.). Berlin; New York: De Gruyter 2017, 179-196.
  4. “Practical Relations to Objects”. In: Kants Kategorien der Freiheit. S. Zimmermann (ed.). Berlin: De Gruyter 2016, 107-128. (in German)
  5. Head, Jonathan; Tomaszewska, Anna; Bojanowski, Jochen; Vanzo, Alberto; and Baiasu, Sorin. “Kant and Sartre: Existentialism and Critical Philosophy.” In: Comparing Kant and Sartre. Sorin Baiasu (ed.), Palgrave MacMillan 2016, 3-17.
  6. “Life without Death: Why Kantian Agents Are Committed to the Belief in Their Own Immortality.” In: The Highest Good in Kant’s Philosophy. T. Höwing (ed.). Berlin; New York: De Gruyter 2016, 181-197.
  7. “The Deduction of the Categorical Imperative”. In: Kants Begründung von Freiheit und Moral in Grundlegung III, D. Schönecker (ed.). Münster: Mentis 2015, 83-108. (in German)
  8. “Kant’s Disjunctivism in GMS 446 f.” In: Kants Rechtfertigung des Sittengesetzes in Grundlegung III. Deduktion oder Faktum? H. Puls (ed.). Berlin: De Gruyter 2014, 189–208. (in German)http/
  9. “Kants Anthropology from a Pragmatical Point of View”. In: Grundriß der Geschichte der Philosophie, H. Holzhey (ed.). Basel, 2014. (in German)
  10. “Rational Volition – On the Relation of the Categorical Imperative to the Golden Rule”. In: Philosophie nach Kant. Neue Wege zum Verständnis von Kants Transzendental- und Moralphilosophie, M. Egger (ed.) Berlin; New York: De Gruyter 2014, 211-221. (in German)
  11. “Is Kant a Compatiblist?” In: Sind wir Bürger zweier Welten? M. Branhorst, A. Hahmann, B. Ludwig (eds.). Hamburg: Meiner 2012, 59-76. (in German)
  12. “Moral Perfection”. In: Immanuel Kant: Die Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der bloßen Vernunft. O. Höffe (ed.). Berlin: De Gruyter 2010, 91-110.
  13. “Kant on the Unity of Theoretical and Practical Philosophy”. In: Immanuel Kant: Kritik der Urteilskraft. O. Höffe (ed.). Berlin: De Gruyter 2008, 23-40. 
IV. Works in Progress
  1. “Luck Egalitarianism and the Limits of Desert” (currently under review)
  2. “Does Equality Trump Desert?” (not currently under review)
  3. “The Dignity of Autonomy” (not currently under review)
  4. “Kant on Rational Faith” (not currently under review)
  5. "Fraternal Justice" (currently under review)
V. Reviews
  1. “A Deduction of the Categorical Imperative” A Reply to Bernd Ludwig’s Proposal. In: Information Philosophie 3, 2019. (in German)
  2. “Andrews Reath; Jens Timmermann: Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason: A Critical Guide. In: Studi Kantiani 27, 2015, 139-158.
  3. “Dieter Schönecker: Kants Begriff transzendentaler und praktischer Freiheit”. In: Kant-Studien, 100:3, 2009, 401-407. (in German)
VI. Encyclopedia Articles
  1. “Ideal Theory”. In: Rawls-Handbuch. J. Frühbauer, M. Reder und T. S. Schmidt. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler Verlag, 2023.
  2. “Genus”. In: Kant-Lexikon. G. Mohr, J. Stolzenberg, M. Willaschek (eds.). Berlin; New York: De Gruyter, 2015.
  3. “Material Laws ”. In: Kant-Lexikon. G. Mohr, J. Stolzenberg, M. Willaschek (eds.). Berlin; New York: De Gruyter, 2015.
  4. “Induction”. In: Kant-Lexikon. G. Mohr, J. Stolzenberg, M. Willaschek (eds.). Berlin; New York: De Gruyter, 2015.
  5. “Lichtenberg”. In: Kant-Lexikon. G. Mohr, J. Stolzenberg, M. Willaschek (eds.). Berlin; New York: De Gruyter, 2015.
  6. “Good”. In: Westliche Philosophie der Gegenwart. Ein enzyklopädisches Lexikon. O. Höffe, Vladimir Malakhov, Vladimir Philatov (eds.). 2008.
  7. “Action Theory”. In: Westliche Philosophie der Gegenwart. Ein enzyklopädisches Lexikon, O. Höffe, Vladimir Malakhov, Vladimir Philatov (eds.). 2008.
  8. “Existentialism”. In: Westliche Philosophie der Gegenwart. Ein enzyklopädisches Lexikon, O. Höffe, Vladimir Malakhov, Vladimir Philatov (eds.). 2008.