ABOUT

I was born in Dundee, Scotland, but lost my Scottish accent when my family moved to the Chicago area. 
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So far my research has focused mostly on 17th and 18th century European philosophy with the occasional piece on 19th century and contemporary philosophy. Topically, I tend to concentrate on epistemology/ethics of belief, moral psychology, philosophy of religion, and aesthetics.

My main focus at the moment is a set of related topics in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant: belief, faith, hope and other propositional attitudes, justification, modality, moral arguments, the relationship to Cartesian (as opposed to Humean) skepticism, and the role played in Kant's thinking by rationalists like Spinoza and Leibniz.  Some of this work has been published in a series of papers, but the goal is to bring it together with new material in a monograph called Knowledge, Possibility, and Belief in Kant.  
I am also working on a second, shorter manuscript called Kant's Agnostic Religion that will focus more directly on what we nowadays might call Kant's ethics of belief, as well as a multi-author volume on Evil for the Oxford Philosophical Concepts series.
Finally, I am revising a draft of an introductory-level book called What May I Hope? Answers to a Kantian Question as part of the Kant's Five Questions series at Routledge.  This involves looking at not just moral psychology but also Kantian social-political thought, the philosophy of history, and the philosophy of religion.  
Further down the road, one idea is to bring some historical and contemporary ideas in aesthetics/ethics together into a book titled The Ethics of Taste.  Another is to write a book or series of papers exploring the idea of a “moral” or “practical” argument for a theoretical conclusion – i.e. the kind of thinking that moves from a recognition of what one needs or ought to do, to a claim about what exists.  Kant explicitly develops arguments like this in his ethics, of course, and William James uses them in “The Will to Believe” and elsewhere.  These sorts of pragmatic/moral arguments have been neglected recently, but with the recent revival of the ethics of belief in general it might be fruitful to return to them now. 
On the teaching front, I have recently offered seminars on Kant's first and third Critiques as well as various aspects of early modern rationalism, empiricism, philosophy of religion, and aesthetics.  At the introductory level, I've taught courses on evil, moral psychology (hope/despair), and ethics. 
I've also become interested in philosophical questions related to food, and am teaching a course called "The Ethics of Eating" (I first developed this with Will Starr at Cornell, where it was also offered as a MOOC).  At first it was just a teaching (and cooking) interest; later I co-edited a book called Philosophy Comes to Dinner (eds. Cuneo, Halteman, Chignell) and wrote an essay on "Religion and Food Ethics" for the Oxford Handbook to Food Ethics (eds. Barnhill, Doggett, and Egan).
Other interests include motorcycling and foster parenting for a local dog rescue, though never yet at the same time


Andrew Chignell