My research focuses on foundational questions in moral philosophy, metaethics, and the theory of reasons and rationality. I also work on issues in political philosophy, applied ethics, and epistemology. Currently, I am Principal Investigator of the ERC project "The Structure of Normativity" at the Humboldt University of Berlin, which explores the prospects of a unified theory of normativity in terms of reasons. In March 2023, I will start as Professor of Practical Philosophy at Bielefeld University.


I studied philosophy, early modern and modern German literature, and cultural studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin (M.A. 2007), where I also received my doctorate in philosophy (2014). My dissertation examined the normativity of rationality (published 2017 by Oxford University Press, awarded with the Humboldt Prize 2014 and the Stegmüller Prize 2018). I was a visiting student at the University of Nottingham (2003-2004), as well as a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley (2009-2010) and the Torcuato Di Tella University in Buenos Aires (2011). I worked as a lecturer and research assistant at the HU Berlin (2009-15), as a research associate at the Australian National University in Canberra (2014), as a visiting professor at the University of Hamburg (2016-17), as a postdoctoral researcher at the Technical University Dresden (2020-21), and as a research fellow of the Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities "Human Abilities" at the FU and the HU Berlin (2021-22). In 2022, I received an ERC Starting Grant for my research project "The Structure of Normativity", which will run for five years.


You can download my CV here.





Dr. Benjamin Kiesewetter

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Institut für Philosophie

ERC Grant "The Structure of Normativity"

Sitz: FRS 191–193

Unter den Linden 6

10099 Berlin


Email: [firstname] [dot] [lastname] [at] hu-berlin [dot] de





The Normativity of Rationality, Oxford: Oxford University Press (2017, paperback  2021).


Reviews and discussions in Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, Ethics, Journal of Moral Philosophy, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Mind, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, PEA Soup, The Philosophical Review, Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung, Zeitschrift für philosophische Literatur.



Selected Articles


1. "Are Epistemic Reasons Normative?",  Noûs 56 (3): 670–695, 2022. (Original Article, Preprint)


2. "How Do Reasons Transmit to Non-Necessary Means?" (with Jan Gertken), Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 99 (2): 271–85, 2021. (Original Article, Preprint)


3. "Contrary-to-Duty Scenarios, Deontic Dilemmas, and Transmission Principles", Ethics 129 (1): 98–115, 2018. (Original Article, Preprint)


4.  “You Ought to Φ Only If You May Believe that You Ought to  Φ, The Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265): 760-782, 2016. (Original Article, Preprint)
5. “Instrumental Normativity: In Defense of the Transmission Principle”, Ethics  125 (4): 921-946, 2015. (Original Article)

See Publications for full list.

See here for my PhilPapers and GoogleScholar profiles.



Work in Progress


1.  "Structural Rationality" (with Alex Worsnip), to appear in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (proposal accepted).


2. "How To Be a Deontologist and Still Save the Greater Number".


3. "What We May Expect of Each Other: A Theory of Moral Obligation".


4. "Epistemic Normativity Without Epistemic Teleology".