Welcome to the website for the DFG funded Emmy Noether Research Group ‘Practical Reasons Before Kant (1720-1780)’. The project is hosted by the Institut für Philosophie at the University of Würzburg and is also in cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Centre for European Enlightenment Studies (IZEA) at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg.

On this site you’ll find information about the group’s Research, its Members, Events, and Reading Groups, as well as News about the group, i.e. its recent research outputs, job announcements, and calls for papers. See also the Links page for affiliated institutions and and research centres.

If you’d like to get in touch, please also feel free to Contact us.

New Team Member

We warmly welcome Dr. Gabriel Rivero as a new Research Associate with the project. Dr Rivero has research and teaching interests across various areas of Kantian and other modern philosophy, Marx/Marxism, legal and political philosophy of the 18th and 19th centuries, and German Idealism. Furthermore, his broader experience includes editorial roles and translation work. See our Members page for further details . . .

Current and upcoming news

NEWS: Lecture series announcement! “Reasons, Causes, and Moral Agents

The third speaker in our lecture series, Prof. Maria Alvarez (KCL), will be giving her presentation to us in-person in the Toscana Hall here in Würzburg and online via Zoom on Thursday 8th December at 8pm-10pm (CET). The title of this talk is: Agency and Responsibility: the (Dual) Significance of Alternative Possibilities. See our events list for details of the Zoom link and registration details for in-person attendance. Registration for in-person attendance is essential.



News Archive


NEWS: Lecture series announcement! “Reasons, Causes, and Moral Agents

The second speaker in our lecture series, Prof. Gregory Sadler (MIAD), will be giving his presentation to us online via Zoom on Wednesday 2nd November at 18:00 (CET). The title of this talk is: How We Shape Our Character: Epictetus On Reason, Reasons, and Prohairesis. See our events list for registration details. Details of the third lecture in this series on 8th December will follow in short order….


The first act in the six-part Invited speaker series, ‘Reasons, Causes, and Moral Agents‘, was held at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg in the magnificent Toscana Hall on Thursday 9th June 2022 at 8pm-10pm CET. We warmly thank Prof. G. F. R. Ellis of Cape Town University, who gave a fascinating and challenging talk entitled: “Complexity, Emergence, and Downward Causation: An updated version of Aristotle’s forms of causation“. Please see our Events pages above for further information.


Workshop announcement!

The workshop “Die Rechte und Pflichten des Bürgers gegen den Staat” is co-organised by Sonja Schierbaum of Universität Würzburg and leader of our own Emmy Noether project and Dietrich Schotte of Universität Leipzig. The workshops will be hosted at J-M-Universität Würzburg, Neubaustraße 11, Raum 60 over the 25th-26th March 2022. Spaces are limited, so registration is essential. See our Events pages for further details and contacts for registration. We hope to see you there!


We’re Hiring!

The project is currently looking for a doctoral research associate! Application deadline is December 1st, with an expected start date of March 1st, 2021. (Start date is negotiable). Please see here for the ad:


Event Announcement

On Nov. 26th, 2020, Sonja Schierbaum will give an online-talk in the Leuven Seminar in Classical German Philosophy:


Event Announcement

On Sept. 29th, 2020, the project is sponsoring the following online event:

“International Online-Workshop: The Good and The Just: Meta- philosophical Issues in the German Enlightenment”


Postdoctoral Research Associate Michael Walschots has been awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers. Starting sometime in 2021, he’ll join the Seminar für Philosophie at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, where he’ll be working on a book project entitled Kant and the British Moralists.

We’re Hiring!

The project is currently looking for a doctoral research associate! Application deadline is June 30th, with an expected start date of October 1st. Please see here for the ad: https://praktischegruendevorkant.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/aus_wiss.dienst_philosophie.pdf


Feel free to Contact us if you have questions about the position.

Call for Applications

Affective Intentionality in Medieval Philosophy & Phenomenology
International Summer School, Aug. 24-28, 2020 – University of Würzburg

Due to the pandemic, the Summer School had to be postponed to July 2021

Call for Papers

We’ve issued a called for papers for the conference we’re organizing on Wolff’s ‘Deutsche Ethik’: Call for Papers


Sonja Schierbaum will be discussing a draft of her paper : ‘Christian Wolff über motivierende Gründe und handlungsrelevante Irrtümer‘ – 13:00, Forster Zimmer, IZEA


John Walsh will be presenting a draft of his translation of Reinhold’s “Some Remarks on the Concept of the Freedom of the Will, posed by I. Kant in the Introduction to the »Metaphysical Foundations of the Doctrine of Right«” – 14:00 Uhr, Forster Zimmer, IZEA


Research Associate Michael Walschots will be presenting an informal ‘works on progress’ paper entitled: ‘Achtung in Kant and Smith.’ – 14:00 Uhr, Forster Zimmer, IZEA