Professor Sorin Baiasu

Title: Professor of Philosophy
Phone: 0044(0)1782-733591
Email:
Location: Philosophy Programme
SPIRE (School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and the Environment)
Keele University
Keele ST5 5BG
UK
Role: Philosophy Programme Director
Director of the Keele-Oxford-St Andrews Research Centre for Kantian Studies (KOSAK)
Secretary of the UK Kant Society
Co-convenor: ECPR Kantian Standing Group
Contacting me: By email please
Baiasu_Sorin

BSc and BA (Bucharest); MA and PhD (Manchester)

I joined the Philosophy Programme in SPIRE in August 2007, after having taught and researched for several years at Manchester University (in Philosophy and the Centre for Political Theory).

My research agenda includes the completion of a monograph on Kant's guarantee for perpetual peace and work on a monograph on justice and desert. I continue to work on issues in metaphysics (in particular the nature of transcendental idealism), epistemology (the ethics of belief and the nature of justification) and history of philosophy (phenomenology and existentialism).

I held visiting positions at the University of Sheffield (Visiting Researcher: Fall 2019/10), University of Vienna (Senior Postdoctoral Researcher: 2013/14, and Non-stipendiary Guest Research Professor at the ERC "Distortions of Normativity" Advanced Grant: 2013/15) and Oxford University - the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics (Non-stipendiary Academic Research Scholar: Summer 2014).

Main areas of research interest:

  • Kantian Philosophy (Kant's philosophy, all areas, and contemporary Kantians)
  • Normativity (in ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy and epistemology)
  • Metaphysics (especially personal identity, space and time)
  • Justice and Desert (debates between egalitarians, desert theorists, need theorists and supporters of other accounts of justice)
  • Phenomenology (history of phenomenology, Sartre)

I welcome inquiries about potential supervision of postgraduate research in any of these areas. For information on topics I currently supervise, please click here.

Selected Publications

  • Baiasu S. 2017. Constitutivism and Transcendental Practical Philosophy: How to Pull the Rabbit Out of the Hat. Philosophia. doi> full text>
  • Baiasu S. 2016. Is Kant’s Metaphysics Profoundly Unsatisfactory? Critical Discussion of A. W. Moore’s Critique of Kant. Kantian Review, vol. 21(3), 465-481. doi> full text>
  • Baiasu S. 2016. Right's Complex Relation to Ethics in Kant. Kant Studien: philosophische Zeitschrift der Kant-Gesellschaft, vol. 107(1), 2-33. doi> full text>
  • Baiasu S. 2015. Existential Freedom, Distorted Normativity and Emancipation. Oñati Socio-Legal Studies, vol. 5(3), 874-894. link> full text>
  • Baiasu S. 2015. Transcendental Unity of Apperception and Non-reflective Consciousness of Self. In Comparing Kant and Sartre. Palgrave Macmillan.

Full Publications List show

Books

  • Timmons M and Baiasu S. 2013. Kant on Practical Justification Interpretive Essays. Oxford University Press.
  • 2011. Politics and Metaphysics in Kant. University of Wales Press.
  • Baiasu S. 2011. Kant and Sartre: Rediscovering Critical Ethics. Palgrave MacMillan. link>

Journal Articles

  • Baiasu S. 2017. Constitutivism and Transcendental Practical Philosophy: How to Pull the Rabbit Out of the Hat. Philosophia. doi> full text>
  • Baiasu S. 2016. Is Kant’s Metaphysics Profoundly Unsatisfactory? Critical Discussion of A. W. Moore’s Critique of Kant. Kantian Review, vol. 21(3), 465-481. doi> full text>
  • Baiasu S. 2016. Right's Complex Relation to Ethics in Kant. Kant Studien: philosophische Zeitschrift der Kant-Gesellschaft, vol. 107(1), 2-33. doi> full text>
  • Baiasu S. 2015. Existential Freedom, Distorted Normativity and Emancipation. Oñati Socio-Legal Studies, vol. 5(3), 874-894. link> full text>
  • Baiasu S. 2014. Kant's Justification of Welfare. Diametros, vol. 39(1), 1-28. doi>
  • Baiasu S. 2013. Edward Caird on Kant’s Idealism: Revolutionary or Traditionalist?. Collingwood and British Idealism Studies: incorporating Bradley Studies, vol. 19(1), 19-45.
  • Baiasu S. 2013. Kant and the British Idealists. Collingwood and British Idealism Studies: incorporating Bradley Studies, vol. 19(1), 1-18.
  • BAIASU S and GRIER M. 2011. Revolutionary versus Traditionalist Approaches to Kant: Some Aspects of the Debate. Kantian Review, vol. 2(16), 161-173. link> doi>
  • BAIASU S. 2011. Space, Time and Mind-dependance. Kantian Review, vol. 2(16), 175-190. link> doi>
  • BAIASU S. 2010. Kant's Account of Motivation: A Sartrean Response to Some Hegelian Objections. Hegel Bulletin, vol. 31(1), 86-106. link> doi>
  • BAIASU S. 2007. Institutions and the Normativity of Desert. Contemporary Political Theory, vol. 6(2), 175–195. doi>
  • BAIASU S. 2007. Introduction: Kantian Aspects of Practical Normativity. Journal of International Political Theory, vol. 3, 1-7. doi>
  • BAIASU S. 2007. Kantian Metaphysics and the Normative Force of Practical Principles. Journal of International Political Theory, vol. 3, 37-56. doi>
  • BAIASU S. 2006. Debate: The Normative Pluralism of Desert. Journal of Political Philosophy, vol. 14(2), 226-237. doi>
  • BAIASU S. 2004. Phenomenology and the Ethical Possibility of Differences. International Journal of Philosophical Studies, vol. 12(2), 204-218. doi>
  • BAIASU S. 2003. The Anxiety of Influence: Sartre's Search for an Ethics and Kant's Moral Theory. Sartre Studies International, vol. 9(1), 21-53. doi>
  • Baiasu S. 2000. Ethics, coexistence and meaning. POLIT STUD-LONDON, vol. 48(3), 594-595.

Chapters

  • Baiasu S. 2015. Transcendental Unity of Apperception and Non-reflective Consciousness of Self. In Comparing Kant and Sartre. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Baiasu S. 2014. Normative Theory. In The Encyclopaedia of Political Thought. Wiley Blackwell. doi>
  • Baiasu S. 2013. Kant’s Rechtfertigung and the Epistemic Nature of Practical Justification. In Practical Justification on Kant: Interpretative Essays. Baiasu S and Timmons M (Eds.). Oxford University Press.
  • Baiasu S. 2012. Practical Justification in Kant. In Practical Justification in Kant: Interpretative Essays. Baiasu S and Timmons M (Eds.). Oxford University Press. link>
  • Baiasu S. 2011. Dealing Morally with Religious Differences. In Democracy, Religious Pluralism and the Liberal Dilemma of Accommodation. Mookherjee M (Ed.). Springer. doi>
  • Baiasu S. 2011. Metaphysics and Moral Judgement. In Politics and Metaphysics in Kant. Baiasu S, Pihlstroem S, Williams H (Eds.). University of Wales Press. link>
  • Baiasu S, Pihlstroem S, Williams H. 2011. Metaphysics and Politics in the Wake of Kant: The Project of a Critical Practical Philosophy. In Politics and Metaphysics in Kant. Baiasu S, Pihlstroem S, Williams H (Eds.). University of Wales Press. link>
  • Baiasu S. 2002. Equality and Difference: Two Aspects of the Dilemma (Egalitate si Diferenta: doua versiuni ale dilemei si libertatea de a o rezolva). In Itinerarii contestatare. Toderean O (Ed.). Bucharest: Politeia-SNSPA. link>

Other

  • BAIASU S. 2004. The Practical Relevance of Phenomenology. In M. Reicher & J. Marek (Eds.). Experience and Analysis: Contributions of the Austrian Wittgenstein Society (vol. 12). Kirchberg am Wechsel: Österreichische Ludwig Wittgenstein Gesellschaft. link>
  • BAIASU S. 2000. Kant’s Practical Reason: The Possibility of Action-guiding Principles. In B. Brogaard (Ed.). Contributions of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. Kirchberg am Wechsel: Österreichische Ludwig Wittgenstein Gesellschaft.
  • BAIASU S. The Deontic Force of the Formula of Universal Law. In S. Bacin, A. Ferrarin, C. La Rocca & M. Ruffing (Eds.). Proceedings of the XIth Kant Congress. Berlin: De Gruyter. link> full text>

2015/16:

FY: Critical Thinking

Year 1: How to Think

Year 2: Pursuit of the Good; Philosophy of Religion

Year 3: Philosophy of Art

PG: Philosophy of Social Sciences

Books

Monograph

"...teeming with intellectual originality and philosophical insights... it will doubtlessly stimulate the reader into looking into aspects of these authors' thought in a different light. (Christian Onof, book review in Kantian Review 18(2):323-28)

A “clear, forcefully argued work” of “considerable originality… the first study to attempt to show flaws in Sartre's understanding of Kant, which will be of great interest – and possibly controversy – among Sartre scholars". (Anonymous Reviewer from the Press)

The book was launched by the Forum for European Philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy, the University of Oxford, in May 2012. Click here to listen to the event.

"Starting from an original comparative methodology this first book-length comparative study challenges the standard view of the relationship between Kant's and Sartre's ethical theories. While their works in moral philosophy are usually contrasted, this book makes a case for regarding Kant as one of Sartre's most important predecessors and for reading Sartre's ethical writings as offering a practical philosophy which is closer to Kant than more recent Kantian moral theories are. On the basis of the similarities between their practical philosophies, the author argues that several aspects of Kant's critical ethics, which have been overlooked or explicitly avoided by contemporary Kantians, can be retrieved and are essential for an appropriate approach to currently urgent normative problems, such as the problem of the justification of ethical and political norms in conditions of pluralism". (Palgrave Press Release)

Edited Collections

Comparing Kant and Sartre For a long time, commentators viewed Sartre simply as one of Kant's significant twentieth-century critics. Recent research of their philosophies has discovered that Sartre's relation to Kant's work manifests an 'anxiety of influence', which masks more profound similarities. This volume of newly written comparative essays is the first edited collection on the philosophies of Kant and Sartre. The volume focuses on issues in metaphysics, metaethics and metaphilosophy, and explores the similarities and differences between the two authors, as well as the complementarity of some of their views, particularly on autonomy, happiness, self-consciousness, evil, temporality, imagination and the nature of philosophy.

 

Contributors: Justin Alam, Richard Aquila, Sorin Baiasu, Jochen Bojanovschy, Michelle Darnell, Thomas Flynn, Jonathan Head, Daniel Herbert,  Katherine Morris, Christian Onof, Peter Poellner, Leslie Stevenson, Anna Tomaszewska and Alberto Vanzo.

 

This volume of new essays provides a comprehensive and structured examination of Kantian accounts of practical justification. This examination serves as a starting point for a focused investigation of the Kantian approach to justification in practical disciplines (ethics, legal and political philosophy or philosophy of religion).

The recent growth of literature on this subject is not surprising given that Kant's approach seems so promising: he claims to be able to justify unconditional normative claims without recourse to assumptions, views or doctrines, which are not in their turn justifiable. Within the context of modern pluralism, this is exactly what the field needs: an approach which can demonstrably show why certain normative claims are valid, and why the grounds of these claims are valid in their turn, and why the freedom to question them should not be stifled.

Although this has been a growth area in philosophy, no systematic and sustained study of the topic of practical justification in Kantian philosophy has been undertaken so far. With fourteen original chapters and an introduction from leading researchers in the field, this volume addresses this neglected topic. The starting point is the still-dominant view that a successful account of justification of normative claims has to be non-metaphysical. The essays engage with this dominant view and pursue further implications in ethics, legal and political philosophy, as well as philosophy of religion.

Throughout the essays, the contributors bring into contact with contemporary debates key interpretive questions about Kant's views on practical justification. (OUP Presentation)

 

"This excellent volume is a welcome and quite distinctive addition to political philosophy generally as well as to our understanding of Kant and Kantian approaches to political problems. The book's thirteen essays, including a substantive editors' introduction, collectively serve to probe the importance of metaphysics for grounding political principles and applying those principles to concrete political and moral issues in the contemporary context of pluralism and diversity". (Mark Timmons, University of Arizona)

 "The past three decades have witnessed the emergence, at the forefront of political thought, of several Kantian theories. Both the critical reaction to consequentialism inspired by Rawlsian constructivism and the universalism of more recent theories informed by Habermasian discourse ethics trace their main sources of inspiration back to Kant's writings. Yet much of what is Kantian in contemporary theory is formulated with more or less strict caveats concerning Kant's metaphysics. These range from radical claims that theories of justice must be political, not metaphysical, to more cautious calls for replacing Kant's metaphysics with a more modest ontology, for instance, one informed by the relatively recent linguistic turn in philosophy. The volume will consist of thirteen state-of-the-art essays which explore the relationship between politics and metaphysics in Kant and Kantian political philosophy. All essays will be published for the first time in this volume and will be preceded by an Introduction from the editors. Given the current legitimation crisis of modern liberal democracies, the purpose of the collection as a whole is to revisit the question concerning the role of metaphysics in moral and political philosophy and to suggest new perspectives on the question of legitimation." (UW Press Release)

For further information (for instance, access to some papers), go to:

http://keele.academia.edu/SorinBaiasu

Current (as lead supervisor):

  • PhD:
    • Gabriel Skordilis: The Ethical Implications of Aristotle's Cosmology (partly funded by the KOSAK Research Centre)
    • Amy Kings: An Alternative Conception of the Kantian Sublime (AHRC Studentship)
    • Aaran Burns: De Jure Objections (AHRC Studentship - co-supervision with Manchester University)
    • Sebastian Orlander: The Concept of World in Kant and Post-Kantian Philosophy (APRA Foundation & Faculty Studentship)
    • (beginning of Sept. '16) Christopher Murphy: The Normativity of Emotions (AHRC Studentship -co-supervision with Manchester)
  • MPhil:

    • Marsejl Dhima: Nietzsche's Existential Social Engineering and Popper's Open Society
    • Richard Burnham: Critical Examination of Popper's Account of Scientific Theory

Completed (as lead supervisor):

  • PhD:
    • Jonathan Head: The Religious Framework of Kant's Philosophy: Practical Knowledge, Evil and Religious Faith
  • MPhil:
    • Aaran Burns: The Appearance of God:A Defence of the Argument from Religious Experience
    • Christopher Murphy: Max Scheler's Ethics and the Problem of Normativity
  • MRes:
    Arran Goodfellow: Metaphysical Assumptions of Natural Law

Further information is available about studying in SPIRE, including funding available for pursuing a doctoral research degree.