Paul Tulipana

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Hi, I'm Paul. I'm a PhD candidate in Philosophy at Stanford University.

I mainly work on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, but I'm also interested in other parts of early modern philosophy, in ethics, and in questions having to do with the self.

My dissertation is a monograph-length treatment of Kant's anti-skeptical aspirations, method, and metaphysics in the Critique of Practical Reason. I am also actively working on a longer piece of writing that offers a new interpretation of the Transcendental Deduction in the Critique of Pure Reason (co-authored with Dustin King), and I have paper-length treatments of Kant's account of personal identity (complete) and his account of moral objectivity (nearly complete).

I am the de facto organizer of the excellent Stanford Kant Studies Workshop, and have been since its inception four years ago.

You can find me at Stanford Philosophy, Academia, Facebook, Twitter, or email me .


Kant on personal identity and moral obligation

In this essay, I offer a new reading of Kant's theory of personal identity according to which he argues that in their awareness of being morally obligated, human agents are also aware of themselves as worldly free and responsible creatures with careers involving moral vocations pursued more or less successfully over time, and hence as cross-temporally numerically identical.

Download a draft of this essay here.

Kant on the objectivity of the moral law

Many of Kant's interpreters think that in his final accounting, the claim that the moral law provides an objective standard of conduct does not stand in need of justification. His presentation of it as a "fact of reason" is most often supposed to amount to its bare assertion. In this essay, I argue that one of the main aims of the Critique of Practical Reason is in fact to justify the moral law's objectivity. It does so, I argue, by explicating the complete catalog of a priori concepts that apply to an agent's ends in contexts of deliberation and choice. The applicability of the concepts in this table of practical categories explains, in turn, how it is possible that the moral law applies universally and necessarily to all actions in practical life. In this anti-skeptical context, such an explanation amounts to a justification.

This one’s nearly ready. Email me if you're interested in seeing a draft.


Kant's Practical Philosophy

Kant's Practical Philosophy is a split-level grad/undergrad class. In it, students are offered a detailed look at Kant's two major critical works on the foundations of morality: the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and the Critique of Practical Reason. Special care is taken to emphasize continuities—in methodology, metaphysics, and anti-skeptical aspiration—between Kant's project in the moral philosophy and his project in the theoretical philosophy. Effort is expended in the attempt to demystify Kant's account of freedom through the clarification of the connections between his moral metaphysics and his moral psychology.

I last taught this course in the in the Fall of 2017. Here's the most recent syllabus.

Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is is either an upper-level undergraduate class or a split-level grad/undergrad class. It puts a special emphasis on the following themes:

I haven't taught this one yet, but here's a prospective syllabus.

Early Modern Ethics

Early Modern Ethics is an undergraduate introduction to moral thought in the modern period—roughly the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. During this period, established conceptions of morality as obedience to external authority came increasingly to be contested by and ultimately gave way to newly-emerging conceptions of morality as self-governance. The course is organized around understanding this shift in detail. Students read excerpts from Montaigne, Hobbes, Pufendorf, Leibniz, Hutcheson, Butler, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, and Nietzsche.

I last taught this course in the Winter of 2018. Here's the most recent syllabus.


Selves is either an upper-level undergraduate class or a split-level grad/undergrad class, taught in seminar style, which focuses on the historical development of the concept of the self. It presents and contextualizes various historical strategies for responding to the tensions generated by the complex array of theoretical roles that the notion of the self has been supposed at various times to play: subject of consciousness, particular temporally extended object, free and responsible agent, source of value, and so on.

I last taught this course in the Winter of 2016. Here's the most recent syllabus, slightly updated.

Self, World, Freedom

Self, World, Freedom is a topical introduction to philosophy, intended to function as a first philosophy class. In the course of presenting students with a first look at a variety of persistent philosophical problems—personal identity, knowledge of the external world, the nature of value, free will—it

I last taught this course in the Summer of 2016. Here's the most recent syllabus, slightly updated.


You can find me at Stanford Philosophy, Academia, or email me . If for some reason you need to send me paper mail, write this on the envelope:

Paul Tulipana
Stanford University Philosophy Department
450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305