Portrait of Dr Edward Kanterian

Dr Edward Kanterian

Reader in Philosophy


Dr Edward Kanterian completed his MA in Philosophy, History and Sociology at the University of Leipzig in Germany, with a thesis on Frege and Husserl on sense and meaning, before undertaking a DPhil on the semantics of descriptive singular terms at the University of Oxford, completed in 2006. 

After finishing his DPhil, Edward spent five years at Trinity College and Jesus College at Oxford as a Lecturer in Philosophy. He joined the Department of Philosophy at the University of Kent in 2011. 

He is a member of the Steering Committee of the project Later German Philosophy a member of the UK Kant Society and the Aristotelian Society, and a reviewer for the AHRC, OUP, Routledge, Columbia University Press and Bloomsbury, as well as for the journals MindPhilosophical QuarterlyKantian ReviewPhilosophical StudiesJournal for the History of Analytical Philosophy, and Theoria.

Research interests

Edward's current research extends from the foundations of language and logic to the nature of the world. His book Kant, God and Metaphyics was published by Routledge in 2017. 

He has an interest in the history of liberalism and its enemies in Europe, the study of totalitarianism (Nazism and Communism), the history of mass crimes (such as the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust and the crimes of Communism) and the ethics of memory. He also has an interest in the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, and the relation between philosophy and poetry.  


Dr Edward Kanterian teaches metaphysics, Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.


Showing 50 of 81 total publications in the Kent Academic Repository. View all publications.


  • Kanterian, E. (2018). Die Idee einer mathematischen Philosophie: Von Descartes bis zur funktionalen Semantik. Siegener Beiträge zur Geschichte und Philosophie der Mathematik [Online] 8:73-98. Available at: http://www.universi.uni-siegen.de/katalog/reihen/sieb/806735.html.
  • Kanterian, E. (2016). Reason’s Disunity with Itself: Comments on Adrian Moore on Kant’s Dialectic of Human Reason. Kantian Review [Online] 21:483-493. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1369415416000224.
    Adrian Moore develops a helpful distinction between good and bad metaphysics. Employing this distinction, I argue, first, that some contemporary metaphysical theories might be ‘bad’, insofar as they employ, unreflectively, concepts akin to Kant’s Ideas of reason. Second, I investigate the difficulty Kant himself has with explaining our craving for bad metaphysics. Third, I raise some problems for Kant’s doctrine of ‘transcendental cognition’, which rests on the difficult assumption that Ideas have objective reality. I conclude that, while Kant has given us means to combat certain bad metaphysics, his own philosophy is not entirely free of it either.
  • Kanterian, E. (2016). Funktionalismus, Realismus, Humanismus [obituary on Hilary Putnam]. Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
  • Kanterian, E. (2015). Hitler, Atatürk and the German-Turkish relations [interview with Stefan Ihrig]. Armenian Weekly.
    interview with Stefan Ihrig
  • Kanterian, E. (2015). Satul f?r? nume [The village without a name; on the Armenian genocide]. Observator Cultural [Online]:12-13. Available at: http://www.observatorcultural.ro/Satul-fara-nume*articleID_31766-articles_details.html.
  • Kanterian, E. (2015). Der erste Völkermord im 20. Jahrhundert: Neue Forschungsliteratur über den Genozid an den Armeniern. Neue Zücher Zeitung [Online]:25-25. Available at: http://www.nzz.ch/feuilleton/buecher/der-erste-voelkermord-im-20-jahrhundert-1.18531669.
  • Kanterian, E. (2015). Das namenlose Dorf. Tachles - Das jüdische Monatsmagazin [Online]:10-12. Available at: http://tachles.ch.
  • Kanterian, E. (2014). Cazul Heidegger – o retrospectiv?. Observator Cultural [Online] 719:10-11. Available at: http://www.observatorcultural.ro/Cazul-Heidegger-o-retrospectiva*articleID_30102-articles_details.html.
  • Kanterian, E. (2014). Biegen und brechen. Aufarbeitung des Kommunismus in Rumänien [On the prosecution of Communist crimes in Romania]. Neue Zücher Zeitung [Online]:51-51. Available at: http://www.nzz.ch.
  • Kanterian, E. (2014). Communism: The Shadows of a Utopia. Baltic Worlds [Online] VII:4-11. Available at: http://balticworlds.com/.
  • Kanterian, E. and Ben-Yami, H. (2014). We are witnessing a conflict between two peoples or societies on the same piece of land over which each of them thinks it has rights. Observator Cultural [Online] 733:10-11. Available at: http://www.observatorcultural.ro/We-are-witnessing-a-conflict-between-two-peoples-or-societies-on-the-same-piece-of-land-over-which-each-of-them-thinks-it-has-rights*articleID_30594-articles_details.html.
    On the Gaza conflict 2014. Interview with Hanoch Ben-Yami, Professor in Philosophy at CEU, Budapest
  • Kanterian, E. and Arion, C. (2013). How the Romanian Government Wants to ’Improve’ the Constitution. Verfassungsblog.
    co-authored with Cristina Arion (European Parliament)
  • Kanterian, E. (2013). The Ideality of Space and Time: Trendelenburg versus Kant, Fischer and Bird. Kantian Review [Online] 18:263-288. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1369415413000022.
    Trendelenburg argued that Kant's arguments in support of transcendental idealism ignored the possibility that space and time are both ideal and real. Recently, Graham Bird has claimed that Trendelenburg (unlike his contemporary Kuno Fischer) misrepresented Kant, confusing two senses of ‘subjective/objective’. I defend Trendelenburg's ‘neglected alternative’: the ideas of space and time, as a priori and necessary, are ideal, but this does not exclude their validity in the noumenal realm. This undermines transcendental idealism. Bird's attempt to show that the Analytic considers, but rejects, the alternative fails: an epistemological reading makes Kant accept the alternative, while an ontological reading makes him incoherent. As I demonstrate, Trendelenburg acknowledged the ambiguity of ‘subjective/objective’, focusing on the transcendental, not the empirical sense. Unlike Fischer, Bird denies Kant's commitment to things-in-themselves in favour of a descriptivist, non-ontological reading of transcendental idealism as an inventory of ‘immanent experience’. But neither Bird's descriptivism, nor Fischer's commitment to things-in-themselves, answers Trendelenburg's sceptical worry about transcendental idealism.
  • Kanterian, E. (2013). The Crisis of Democracy in Hungary and Romania – Learning from Weimar?. Verfassungsblog.
  • Kanterian, E. (2013). Bodies in Prolegomena §13: Noumena or Phenomena?. Hegel Bulletin [Online] 34:181-202. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/hgl.2013.11.
    This article discusses Kant's transcendental idealism in relation to his perplexing use of ‘body’ and related terms in Prolegomena §13. Here Kant admits the existence of bodies external to us, although unknown as what they might be in themselves. It is argued that we need to distinguish between a phenomenal and a noumenal use of ‘body’ to make sense of Kant's argument. The most important recent discussions of this passage, i.e., Prauss (1977), Langton (1998) and Bird (2006), are presented and shown to suffer from both systematic and exegetical shortcomings. The article is a contribution to understanding the nature of Kant's transcendental idealism, defending the view, especially against Prauss and Bird, that Kant is committed to the existence of things in themselves.
  • Kanterian, E. (2012). Philosophy as Poetry? Reflections on Wittgenstein’s Style. Wittgenstein-Studien 3:95-132.
  • Kanterian, E. (2012). Das Gespenst des Autoritarismus. Neue Zücher Zeitung.
  • Piranio, C. and Kanterian, E. (2011). Memory, Justice and the Court: On the Dimensions of Memory-Justice under the Rome Statute. Cambridge Review of International Affairs [Online] 24:425-447. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09557571.2011.616999.
    This article explores the possibility of locating an ‘ethics of memory’ respecting commission of mass atrocities via the link between justice, truth and memory. First, it suggests a typology for memory in relation to justice in its retributive and restorative aspects. Second, it explores how so-called ‘memory-justice’ arises in the course of international proceedings—and particularly given its significance under the Rome Statute—by considering, critically, the international community's ability to repair or restitute injury by engaging in memory in ‘the right way’. Lastly, it suggests limitations of memory-justice of which only some can be overcome. The challenges and arguments for a ‘categorical imperative’ for memory are left for a subsequent treatment, but arguments in law and practical ethics will be suggested in favour of properly approaching memory in pursuit of justice, with profound consequences for the nascent Court and sister tribunals, in their efforts to break the cycle of conflict in affected regions, and rid the world of the worst crimes known to humanity.
  • Kanterian, E. (2011). Recenzie la o recenzie [on the memory and denial of the Holocaust in Romania and Germany]. Observator Cultural.
  • Kanterian, E. (2011). Bede Rundle obituary. Philosopher in the tradition of Aristotle, Kant and Wittgenstein. The Guardian [Online]. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/31/bede-rundle.
  • Kanterian, E. (2011). Kripke’s Metalinguistic Apparatus and the Analysis of Definite Descriptions. Philosophical Studies [Online] 156:363-387. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11098-010-9608-y.
  • Kanterian, E. (2010). Frege’s Definition of Number: No Ontological Agenda?. Hungarian Philosophical Review 54:76-92.
    Joan Weiner (2007) has argued that Frege’s definitions of numbers
    constitute linguistic stipulations that carry no ontological commitment: they
    don’t present numbers as pre-existing objects. This paper offers a critical
    discussion of this view, showing that it is vitiated by serious exegetical
    errors and that it saddles Frege’s project with insuperable substantive
    difficulties. It is first demonstrated that Weiner misrepresents the Fregean
    notions of so-called Foundations-content, and of sense, reference, and truth.
    The discussion then focuses on the role of definitions in Frege’s work,
    demonstrating that they cannot be understood as mere linguistic stipulations,
    since they have an ontological aim. The paper concludes with stressing both
    the epistemological and the ontological aspects of Frege’s project, and their
    crucial interdependence.
  • Kanterian, E. (2009). Puzzles about Descriptive Names. Linguistics and Philosophy [Online] 32:409-428. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10988-010-9066-1.


  • Kanterian, E. and Manea, N. (2017). Corriere dell’Est [Italian Translation of Curierul De Est]. Italy: Il Saggiatore.
    Norman Manea è la voce errante di tre grandi drammi collettivi: l’Olocausto, il totalitarismo comunista, l’esilio. Ha vissuto sulla sua pelle la deportazione in un Lager in Transnistria, la Romania staliniana e la dittatura di Ceausescu. Infine, stanco della censura e di una tragedia civile sempre pronta a capovolgersi in tragicommedia umana, ha trovato rifugio a New York, dove vive e insegna.

    Se attraverso la scrittura ha saputo condensare i fantasmi di un’epoca rovinosa e violenta, è perché non ha mai cessato di considerare la letteratura come un rifugio, una fortezza di parole entro cui «coltivare qualcosa che non sapesse di stereotipo». Esiliato nel suo stesso paese, costretto alla farsesca, deformata quotidianità della dittatura, e infi ne esule negli Stati Uniti, ha eletto a patria la lingua romena, scrivendo opere indimenticabili come Il ritorno dell’huligano e Varianti di un autoritratto.

    Corriere dell’Est è il risultato degli undici anni di profondo scambio intellettuale e umano tra Manea e Edward Kanterian. Dal loro dialogo nasce un libro che oltrepassa i generi, sfiorando il mémoir, il saggio letterario, l’autobiografia, e attraversa il tempo e lo spazio in un viaggio che da Bucarest, passando per Berlino, giunge fino a New York. Qui Manea stringe rapporti con Saul Bellow e Philip Roth, con cui dà vita a un’amicizia nutrita di profonde differenze e sorprendenti affinità, che dura ormai da trent’anni.

    In queste pagine, Manea instaura un confronto serrato con i maggiori letterati romeni, come Emil Cioran e Paul Celan; o come Mircea Eliade, letto, ammirato e insieme criticato per l’antisemitismo e il sostegno al regime. Attorno al pensiero di Hannah Arendt coagula le proprie rifl essioni sull’identità e il futuro del popolo ebraico. Lascia spaziare il suo sguardo sulle minacce e le trasformazioni del presente: l’elezione di Donald Trump, il terrorismo islamico, il confl itto in Medio Oriente. E osserva con gli occhi dell’esule e del poeta un’America vorace, burlesca e infinitamente contraddittoria, capace di sprofondare chiunque nella solitudine della folla, di accecare con la luminescente immaturità della metropoli. Un’America approdo di una democrazia impura, fatta di monotoni e deludenti compromessi che sono il «volto che le persone le imprimono»: la traccia di un’imperfetta e fragile libertà.
  • Kanterian, E. (2017). Kant, God and Metaphysics: The Secret Thorn. [Online]. UK: Routledge. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/Kant-God-and-Metaphysics-The-Secret-Thorn/Kanterian/p/book/9781138908581.
    Kant is widely acknowledged as the greatest philosopher of modern times. He undertook his famous critical turn to save human freedom and morality from the challenge of determinism and materialism. Intertwined with his metaphysical interests, however, he also had theological commitments, which have received insufficient attention. He believed that man is a fallen creature and in need of ‘redemption’. He intended to provide a fortress protecting religious faith from the failure of rationalist metaphysics, from the atheistic strands of the Enlightenment, from the new mathematical science of nature, and from the dilemmas of Christian theology itself. Kant was an epistemologist, a philosopher of mind, a metaphysician of experience, an ethicist and a philosopher of religion. But all this was sustained by his religious faith. This book aims to recover the focal point and inner contradictions of his thought, the ‘secret thorn’ of his metaphysics (as Heidegger once put it). It first locates Kant in the tradition of reflection on the human weakness from Luther to Hume, and then engages in a critical, but charitable, manner with Kant’s entire pre-critical work, including his posthumous fragments. Special attention is given to The Only Possible Ground (1763), one of the most difficult, interesting and underestimated of Kant’s works. The book takes its cue from an older approach to Kant, but also engages with recent Anglophone and continental scholarship, and deploys modern analytical tools to make sense of Kant. What emerges is an innovative and thought-provoking interpretation of Kant’s metaphysics, set against the background of forgotten religious aspects of European philosophy.
  • Kanterian, E. (2016). ?????? ??????????? [Russian Translation of Ludwig Wittgenstein]. Russia: Ad Marginem Press.
  • Kanterian, E. (2012). Frege: A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Continuum.
  • Kanterian, E. and Manea, N. (2010). Curierul De Est. Dialog Cu Edward Kanterian. Ia?i (Romania): Editura Polirom.

Book section

  • Kanterian, E. (2017). Privacy and Private Language. In: Glock, H.-J. and Hyman, J. eds. A Companion to Wittgenstein. Wiley, pp. 445-464. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9781118884607.ch28.
    I discuss Wittgenstein’s private language arguments in both the broad and the narrow sense, focusing on some key sections in PI §§243–315. I begin by introducing the traditional ideas Wittgenstein’s arguments can be seen as undermining.
  • Kanterian, E. (2017). Naturalism, Involved Philosophy, and the Human Predicament. In: Ellis, F. ed. New Models of Religious Understanding. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 59-78. Available at: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/new-models-of-religious-understanding-9780198796732?cc=be&lang=en&#.
    Scientistic naturalism is an important current in contemporary philosophy, but it offers a skewed and impoverished account of nature, human existence, and the nature of philosophy. I first present and contrast this form of naturalism with two opposing varieties: extended and expansive naturalism. As I show, extended and especially expansive naturalism point toward a conception of philosophy as an “involved,” hermeneutic discipline, which is incompatible with scientistic naturalism. This conception of philosophy is then enriched by taking into account Cottingham’s religious epistemology of involvement and Heidegger’s elaboration of the hermeneutic circle. As it turns out, a genuinely involved approach to philosophy requires, as its starting-point, a hermeneutics of the human predicament. Key aspects of such a hermeneutics are introduced by means of Luther’s existential theology. Finally, six main points of an involved philosophy, taken as a new model of religious understanding, are formulated.
  • Kanterian, E. (2013). Hegel’s Tale in Romania. In: Herzog, L. ed. Hegel’s Thought in Europe: Currents, Crosscurrents and Undercurrents. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Kanterian, E. (2013). Wissen, wo die Gräber liegen [Knowing where the victims of Communism are buried]. In: Kilzer, K. and Muller-Enbergs, H. eds. Geist Hinter Gittern. Die rumänische Gedenkstätte Memorial Sighet. Berlin: Frank & Timme.
  • Kanterian, E. (2010). On the Moral Dimension of the Investigation of Totalitarianism. In: Birgit, H., Wezel, K. and Trappe, U. J. eds. Diktaturüberwindung in Europa. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter.
  • Kanterian, E. (2009). Subiectivitate si obiectivitate in Jurnalul lui Mihail Sebastian. In: Volovici, L. ed. Mihail Sebastian. Dilemele Identitatii. Cluj-Napoca: Editura Biblioteca Apostrof.

Internet publication

  • Kanterian, E. and Egid, J. (2018). Nationalism and Philosophy [Online magazine]. Available at: http://en.42-magazine.eu/index.php/2018/03/01/nationalism-and-philosophy/.


  • Kanterian, E. (2014). Review of Frederick C. Beiser, ’Late German Idealism: Trendelenburg and Lotze’. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews [Online]:1-5. Available at: https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/48754-late-german-idealism-trendelenburg-and-lotze/.
    Frederick C. Beiser, Late German Idealism: Trendelenburg and Lotze, Oxford University Press, 2013, 333pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199682959.
  • Kanterian, E. (2014). Review of Michael Franz, ’Tübinger Platonismus: Die gemeinsamen philosophischen Anfangsgründe von Hölderlin, Schelling und Hegel’. Hegel Bulletin [Online] 35:116-122. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/hgl.2014.7.
  • Kanterian, E. (2014). Review of Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer, ’Formen der Anschauung. Eine Philosophie der Mathematik’. Philosophical Investigations [Online] 37:91-94. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/phin.12038.
    Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer, Formen der Anschauung. Eine Philosophie der Mathematik (Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2008) 400, price 49.95 Euro.
  • Kanterian, E. (2014). Review of Samuel Fleischacker, ’What is Enlightenment?’. European Journal of Philosophy [Online] 22:e1-e3. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejop.12102.
    'What is Enlightenment?', by Samuel Fleischacker. London & New York: Routledge, 2013, 235 pp. ISBN Paperback 978-0-415–49781-7
  • Kanterian, E. (2014). Anne Applebaums meisterhafte Studie über die Stalinisierung Osteuropas. Die Zeit:0-0.
  • Kanterian, E. (2014). Review of Peter Hacker, ’Human Nature: The Categorial Framework’ and ’The Intellectual Powers: A Study of Human Nature’. Philosophical Quarterly [Online] 64:655-661. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pq/pqu041.
    Human Nature: The Categorial Framework. By Peter M.S. Hacker. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007. Pp. xiii + 326. Price P/b £24.99.)
    The Intellectual Powers: A Study of Human Nature. By Peter M.S. Hacker. (Oxford: Wiley–Blackwell, 2013. Pp. xii + 475. Price P/b £19.99.)
  • Kanterian, E. (2014). Review of Alexander Baumgarten, ’Metaphysics’. Review of Metaphysics:55-56.
  • Kanterian, E. (2013). Review of Daniel N. Robinson, ’How Is Nature Possible? Kant’s Project in the First Critique’. The Review of Metaphysics 66:597-599.
  • Kanterian, E. (2013). Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson: Warum Nationen scheitern. Glanz & Elend [Online]:1-3. Available at: http://www.glanzundelend.de/Artikel/abc/a/acemoglu-robinson-kanterian-warum-nationen-scheitern.htm.
  • Kanterian, E. (2011). Review of Wolfgang Ewen, ’Carl Stumpf und Gottlob Frege’. Philosophical Investigations [Online] 34:312-317. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9205.2011.01448.x.


  • Moffat, L. (2017). Subjects of the Unconditioned: Kant’s Critical Metaphysics and Aesthetics and Their Reconstruction in Schelling’s Identity-Philosophy.
    My thesis examines Kant's metaphysics and its critical appropriation by Schelling, particularly in his early identity-philosophy. My first two chapters focus on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of the Power of Judgement, wherein I discuss core themes in Kant's metaphysics and aesthetics. In the first chapter these themes include intellectual intuition, the ideas of reason, and das Unbedingte (the unconditioned or absolute). In the second chapter I deal with aesthetic judgment, aesthetic ideas and genius. In chapter three and four I offer a critical analysis of Kant's ideas and Schelling's identity-philosophy, defending the powerful, if little known arguments Schelling formulates to overcome the limitations Kant imposes upon metaphysics. I relate this analysis to three central themes common to Kant and Schelling; intellectual intuition, aesthetic experience, and the unconditioned. I argue that Schelling struggles to overcome Kant's critical limitations, particularly with regard to the status of intellectual intuition for human cognition. My discussion of Schelling focuses on two of his essays; Presentation of my system of philosophy (1801), and Further presentations from the system of philosophy (1802). These texts consolidate Schelling's identity-philosophy in the wake of his more well known work, System of transcendental idealism from 1800. In addition, I examine Schelling's Philosophy of art lectures from 1804. These are all crucial texts in the history of German idealism which are rarely discussed. In the course of my thesis I engage and respond to recent research by Paul Guyer, Dalia Nassar, Daniel Whistler, Manfred Frank, Karl Ameriks, Dieter Henrich, and others.


  • Kanterian, E. (2018). Definition and Logical Analysis in Frege. Siegener Beiträge zur Geschichte und Philosophie der Mathematik 9.
    Joan Weiner (2007) has argued that Frege’s definitions of numbers are linguistic
    stipulations, with no content-preserving or ontological point: they don’t capture any
    determinate content of numerals, as they have none, and don’t present numbers as preexisting
    objects. I show that this view is based on exegetical and systematic errors. First, I
    demonstrate that Weiner misrepresents the Fregean notions of ‘Foundations-content’,
    sense, reference, and truth. I then consider the role of definitions, demonstrating that they
    cannot be mere linguistic stipulations, since they have a content-preserving, ontological
    point, and a decompositional aspect; Frege’s project of logical analysis and
    systematisation makes no sense without definitions so understood. The pivotal
    ontological role of elucidations is also explained. Next, three aspects of definition are
    distinguished, the informal versus the formal aspect, and the aspect of definition achieved
    through the entire process of systematisation, which encompasses the previous two and is
    little discussed in the literature. It is suggested that these insights can contribute to
    resolving some of the puzzles concerning the tension between the epistemological aim of
    logicism and Frege’s presentation of definitions as arbitrary conventions. Finally, I stress
    the interdependence between the epistemological and ontological aspects of Frege’s
    project of defining number.
  • Kanterian, E. (2016). Emil Cioran als Nihilist, Skeptiker und politischer Denker. Philosophische Rundschau.
  • Kanterian, E. (2016). The Desolation of our Time: Celan’s Struggle with Heidegger. In: d’OrianoP. ed. Heidegger in the Anglophone World. Indiana University Press.
  • Kanterian, E. (2015). Life’s Affirmation and Denial: Nietzsche as a Christian. In: Came, D. ed. Nietzsche on Morality and the Affirmation of Life. Oxford University Press.
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