Béatrice Longuenesse

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Béatrice Longuenesse
Born September 6, 1950 (1950-09-06) (age 71)
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Continental philosophy
Institutions New York University, Princeton University, la Sorbonne, Université de Clermont-Ferrand, Université de Franche-Comté, École Normale Supérieure
Main interests
Immanuel Kant, Georg Hegel, philosophy of mind

Béatrice Longuenesse (born September 6, 1950) is a French philosopher and academic, who is the Silver Professor of Philosophy Emerita at New York University.[1] Her work focuses on Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and the philosophy of mind.[2][3] She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[4] Longuenesse is one of the most prominent living Kant scholars, and her works have generated significant discussion around parts of Kant's corpus that were previously largely overlooked.[5]


She studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris), the University of Paris 1 (Sorbonne), and (as a visiting student) at Princeton University. She received her PhD ("doctorat de troisième cycle") in 1981 and her Doctorat d'Etat in 1992 from the Sorbonne. She taught at la Sorbonne (1978–79), the École Normale Supérieure (1980-82), the Université de Franche-Comté (1983–85) and the Université de Clermont-Ferrand (1985–93) before joining Princeton University as an Associate Professor (1993–96) then full Professor (1996-2004). In 2004 she left Princeton for New York University (NYU). In 2011 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[3]

In 1979–80, Longuenesse was a Jane Eliza Procter fellow at Princeton, and from 1981-1983 she served as a research fellow in the department of music at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. In 2005 she was appointed as a fellow at NYU's Institute for the Humanities, a position she still holds. Starting in 2006 she held a fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin), and in 2010 she was appointed Silver Professor of Philosophy at New York University. In 2011 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[4] In 2012 and 2013 she received two different Berlin Prizes from the American Academy in Berlin, a Siemens fellowship and John Birkelund fellowship, respectively.[3] At Princeton Lachlan Murdoch was a student of Longuenesse.[6]


Longuenesse has written five books, edited two volumes, and published numerous refereed papers. Her books have been described as major contributions to Kantian and Hegelian scholarship.[7] Her first book, Kant and the Capacity to Judge. Sensibility and Discursivity in the Transcendental Analytic of the Critique of Pure Reason, focused on Kant's "Table of Judgements," arguing that it in fact formed the backbone of the rest of Kant's work.[8]

Her second book, Kant on the Human Standpoint, began by attempting to rebut some of the critiques of her first book, and went on to analyze other aspects of Kant's work, including his views on freedom, reason, and causality.[7] Her third book, Hegel's Critique of Metaphysics, starts by providing a close reading of some of Hegel's works that have traditionally been considered difficult to analyze, and goes on to make an argument that Hegel's work represents a novel reworking of Kant's ideas, and that the Hegelian corpus could be used as a base upon which to build a plausible alternative to Lockean empiricism.[9] The volume Longuenesse edited, Kant and the Early Moderns, was a collection of essays focusing on how Kant understood the work of philosophers that came before him, and how that shaped his own work.[10]

  • Hegel et la Critique de la métaphysique (Vrin, 1981). Appears in English as Hegel's Critique of Metaphysics (Cambridge University Press, 2007), with two new chapters and a new preface.
  • Kant at le Pouvoir de juger. Sensibilité et discursivité dans l'Analytique Transcendantale de la Critique de la Raison Pure (Presses Universitaires de France, 1993). A revised and expanded English version appears as Kant and the Capacity to Judge. Sensibility and Discursivity in the Transcendental Analytic of the Critique of Pure Reason (Princeton University Press, 2000).
  • Kant on the Human Standpoint (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
  • I, Me, Mine: Back to Kant, and Back Again (Oxford University Press, 2017)
  • The First Person in Cognition and Morality (Oxford University Press, 2019)

Kant's critical philosophy

Longuenesse is well known for her work on Kant's theory of judgment, which, she argues, provides the crucial backbone for central arguments in Kant's critical system. Her first Kant book was originally published in French (Kant et le Pouvoir de Juger),[11] then translated into English in a revised and expanded version (Kant and the Capacity to Judge).[12] The book was broadly discussed [13] and was especially influential in generating a new interest in Kant's logic[14] and Kant's views on the role of imagination in perception and cognition, and Kant's explanation of concept acquisition.[15] Longuenesse's work connects Kant's view to contemporary debates in philosophy of mind, for instance around the question of the conceptual or non-conceptual content of perception and the nature of rule following.[16] Longuenesse's responses to the discussions elicited by her book have appeared in numerous articles, some of which were included in her second Kant book, Kant on the Human Standpoint (2005).[17] This book expands her interpretation of Kant's theory of judgment to consideration of its role in Kant's philosophy of nature, moral philosophy and aesthetic theory.

Hegel's Science of Logic

Before beginning her systematic work on Kant, Longuenesse wrote and published on Hegel. In Hegel et la Critique de la Métaphysique,[18] she argued that Hegel's Science of Logic should be read as a radicalization of Kant's transcendental logic. For Hegel just as for Kant, the categories of traditional metaphysics are universal forms of thinking rather than representations of intrinsic properties of things supposed to be independent of the activity of thinking. Contra Kant, however, Hegel argues that this characterization of the categories of metaphysics does not entail that we have no knowledge of things as they are in themselves. In more recent articles, some of which are gathered in the English version of her Hegel book,[19] Longuenesse further explores the differences between Hegel's and Kant's respective views of the nature of concepts, judgments, and inferences. She lays out the consequences of those views for an assessment of the possibility and limits of metaphysics.

Philosophy of mind and self-consciousness

Longuenesse's recent work has expanded beyond the history of modern philosophy into contemporary philosophy of mind and language, in connection with psychology and neuroscience. Her work focuses on the nature of self-consciousness and its relation to the use of the first person pronoun in language and in thought. She argues that our uses of 'I' depend on two fundamental kinds of self-consciousness: consciousness of oneself as engaged in a mental activity apt to generate and assess reasons for our beliefs and actions; and consciousness of oneself as an embodied entity. An important aspect of Kant's legacy, she claims, is to have clearly distinguished these two kinds of self-consciousness and taken the first to be fundamental to any use of 'I'. She draws on resources from both the "analytic" and the "continental" traditions of philosophy to offer an original contribution to contemporary debates on self-consciousness. Her work in this area has appeared in interdisciplinary venues alongside that of linguists, philosophers of language,[20] and neuroscientists.[21]


  • Kant and the Capacity to Judge (Princeton University Press, 1998)
  • Kant on the Human Standpoint (Cambridge University Press, 2005)
  • Hegel’s Critique of Metaphysics (Cambridge University Press, 2007)


  1. "Béatrice Longuenesse | Professor Emerita Of Philosophy; Silver Professor". NYU, Arts & Science.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "AN INTERVIEW WITH BÉATRICE LONGUENESSE" (PDF). The Dualist. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Béatrice Longuenesse, Faculty of Philosophy | NYU.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Béatrice Longuenesse Curriculum Vitae (February 2018)" (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Janiak, Andrew (27 October 2010). "The Kantian spirit: how to resist realism in the philosophy of science". Metascience. 20 (1): 153–157. doi:10.1007/s11016-010-9469-1. S2CID 170290618.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Maass, Peter. "How Lachlan Murdoch Went From Studying Philosophy at Princeton to Exploiting White Nationalism at Fox News". The Intercept. Retrieved 15 March 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 Wilson, R. (1 October 2006). "Kant on the Human Standpoint". The British Journal of Aesthetics. 46 (4): 433–435. doi:10.1093/aesthj/ayl027.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Westphal, K. R. (1 October 2000). "Kant and the Capacity to Judge". Philosophical Review. 109 (4): 645–648. doi:10.1215/00318108-109-4-645.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Schlitt, Dale M. (December 2009). "LONGUENESS, BWatrice. Hegel's Critique of Metaphysics. Translated by Nicole J. Simek. Modern European Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. xxi + 246 pp. Hardback, $92.99". The Review of Metaphysics. 63 (2 (250)): 486–488.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Domski, M. (29 April 2010). "Kant and the Early Moderns, edited by Daniel Garber and Beatrice Longuenesse". Mind. 119 (474): 478–481. doi:10.1093/mind/fzq022.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Longuenesse, Béatrice (1993). Kant et le pouvoir de juger : sensibilité et discursivité dans l'analytique transcendantale de la Critique de la raison pure (in français). Paris: Presses universitaires de France. ISBN 2-13-045607-3. OCLC 29988181.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Longuenesse, Béatrice (1998). Kant and the capacity to judge : sensibility and discursivity in the transcendental analytic of the Critique of pure reason. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-04348-7. OCLC 36922746.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> 2nd edition ISBN 0-691-07451-8.
  13. Reviews and discussion essays include: Journal of Philosophy 94 (6):318–324 (1997); Philosophical Review 109 (4): 645–648 (2000); Inquiry 43 (1): 67–110; Kantian Review, Vol. 5, March 2001; Journal of the History of Philosophy, Vol. 37, No. 2, April 1999; International Studies in Philosophy 35 (4):341–342; The Review of Metaphysics 52 (3):699-701; Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 83 (2):199–212; Journal of the History of Philosophy 37 (2):372–374. Discussed also in Henry Allison, Kant's Transcendental Idealism, 2nd edn (2004), ISBN 0-300-10266-6; Patricia Kitcher, Kant's Thinker (2013), ISBN 978-0-19-975482-3; Hannah Ginsborg, The Normativity of Nature (2014), ISBN 978-0-19-954798-2; T. Achourioti & M. Van Lambalgen, "A Formalization of Kant's Transcendental Logic," in Journal of Symbolic Logic, 2011, http://philpapers.org/s/T.20Achourioti.
  14. T. Achourioti and M. van Lambalgen, "A Formalization of Kant's Transcendental Logic", in Journal of Symbolic Logic, 4 (2):254–289 (2011). Clinton Tolley, "The Generality of Kant's Transcendental Logic", Journal of the History of Philosophy, Vol. 50, No. 3, July 2012, pp. 417–446.
  15. Discussion of Longuenesse's views in Patricia Kitcher, Kant's Thinker (2013), ISBN 978-0-19-975482-3'; Hannah Ginsborg, The Normativity of Nature (2014), ISBN 978-0-19-954798-2. Stefanie Grüne, Blinde Anschauung (2009), ISBN 3-465-03634-4'.
  16. Stefanie Grüne, Blinde Anschauung, ISBN 3-465-03634-4. Hannah Ginsborg, The Normativity of Nature (2014), ISBN 978-0-19-954798-2.
  17. Kant on the Human Standpoint, ISBN 978-0-521-83478-0 hardback; 2nd edn ISBN 978-0-521-11218-5.
  18. Longuenesse, Béatrice, Hegel et la Critique de la Métaphysique, Paris : Librairie Philosophique Vrin, 1981 Revised English version, Hegel's Critique of Metaphysics, Cambridge University Press 2007, ISBN 0-521-84466-5.
  19. Longuenesse, Béatrice (3 May 2007). Hegel's Critique of Metaphysics. ISBN 978-0-521-84466-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Wishon, Donovan (15 April 2013), "Immunity to Error through Misidentification: New Essays | Simon Prosser and François Recanati (eds.), Immunity to Error through Misidentification: New Essays, Cambridge University Press, 2012, 304pp., $95.00 (hbk), 9780521198301" (review), Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, University of Notre Dame.
  21. "Neurone vergeistigen. Philosophie und Neurowissenschaft in Gespräch," with Frank Rösler, in Jahrbuch des Wissenschaftskollegs zu Berlin (2008), pp. 241–258. " 'I' and the Brain," in Psychological Research, vol. 76, Issue 2 (2012), pp. 220–228.

External links

Cornell University faculty page of Béatrice Longuenesse