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06 December 2023

Professor Mark Textor awarded AHRC-DFG research grant

Professor Mark Textor's project in collaboration with Professor Dolf Rami (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) will be funded by the AHRC-DFG grant.

Cityscape of Bochum, Germany

Professor Mark Textor has been awarded a research grant funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the German Research Foundation for his project ‘Positing or Predicating? Existence after Kant’ in collaboration with Professor Dolf Rami (Ruhr-Universität Bochum).

Important German philosophers in the 19th century from Herbart to Lotze wrestled with Kant’s idea that existence is positing. Their work has not received the attention it deserves. The project provides a great opportunity to change this situation. We hope, on the one hand, to learn more about existence and our conception of it from these philosophers, and on the other hand, we hope to learn more about these philosophers by examining their views of existence.

Professor Mark Textor, Professor of Philosophy

The grant worth £335,811 will provide three years of funding for the project and will involve the recruitment of two PDRAs (one at King’s, one at Bochum). Collaboration is also planned with colleagues at Göttingen, Jena, Siegen, Paderborn, Bochum, Dartmouth College and Oldenburg.

‘Kant’s take on existence is generally seen as a paradigm change in the history of thinking about this concept. The discussion of Kant’s innovation focused so far almost exclusively on Frege, Russell, Quine and their followers and ignored 19th-century contributions that worked out Kant’s thought in radically different and fruitful ways. Our project intends to change this situation. We will explore the most important 19th-century constructive responses to Kant’s view of existence and thereby provide a better understanding of the Kantian paradigm change as well as gain new insights into existence. We will argue that the 19th-century engagement with Kant adds something new to contemporary work on existence and can be compared and contrasted in fruitful ways with it,’ the grant application states.

‘Positing or Predicating? Existence after Kant’ is one of the eighteen collaborative projects supported by the funding programme this year. The AHRC is investing more than £6 million in the projects, while the DFG is providing match funding of over €8 million. Now in its fifth year, the AHRC-DFG funding programme has been foundational in developing research relations between the UK and Germany.

The sixth funding opportunity is open for applications until 20 February 2024.

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Mark  Textor

Professor of Philosophy