profile picture of Catherine Wilson

Catherine Wilson

Visiting Scholar (Feb 2019)

PhD, Philosophy, Princeton University

Catherine Wilson studied philosophy at Yale, Oxford, and Princeton and has held fellowships in the history and philosophy of science in Konstanz; Cambridge, UK; and, most recently, at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. After teaching in the USA and Canada, she was appointed as Regius Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen in 2009 and as Anniversary Professor of Philosophy at the University of York in 2012.  She was President of the Mind Association of Great Britain in 2015-2016.

She is currently Visiting Presidential Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Her project, “Futility and Transcendence,” continues her research into the naturalistic, anti-metaphysical turn of eighteenth-century philosophy. Her aim is to show how Kant’s metaphysical idealism and his a priori moral theory constituted a conservative reaction to the determinism, sentimental theories of ethics, and historical and biological pessimism of the mid to late eighteenth century.  

Wilson has published widely on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century natural philosophy as well as on ethics and aesthetics from a naturalistic perspective. Her books include Leibniz’s Metaphysics (1989/2015); The Invisible World: Philosophers and the Microscope (1995/2009); and Epicureanism at the Origins of Modernity (2008).  She is the editor, with Stephen Gaukroger, of the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe (2011).


No current projects were found for this scholar.

Futility and Transcendence: An Interpretation of Kant’s Philosophy


Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

“The Veil of Perception and the Veil of Agency”

Brian O'Neil Memorial Lectures, University of New Mexico

“Kant's Almost Complete Rejection of British Moral Philosophy”

Brian O'Neil Memorial Lectures, University of New Mexico

“The Image of the Human Being in the Comte de Buffon”

Seminar in Intellectual History, Oxford University

"Experimental and Speculative Revisited; What was Behind the Rejection of Hypotheses?"

Plenary, Integrated History and Philosophy of Science Conference, Durham University

"Managing Expectations:Locke on Moral Motivation"

Royal Institute of Philosophy