Associate Professor Jennifer Mensch

Associate Professor Jennifer Mensch

Associate Professor in Philosophy,
Philosophy@westernsydney (SoHCA)


Jennifer Mensch is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Western Sydney University.  As a Kant specialist with interdisciplinary interests in the intellectual history of the Enlightenment, Mensch’s research aims to expand the interpretive boundaries that have been long established for the philosophical figures of this period.  Her recent book, Kant’s Organicism:  Epigenesis and the Development of Critical Philosophy (University of Chicago Press, 2013), displaces traditional narratives of Immanuel Kant’s philosophy by tracing the decisive role played by eighteenth century embryological research for his theories of mind and cognition.  Her current large-scale writing projects include Fractured Enlightenment. Tales of History and Revolution from Kant to Shelley, which works at the intersection of philosophy, science, and literature in describing the rise and subsequent fracturing of genealogical models for understanding historical development in the wake of Buffon’s Natural History, and Bloodlines: Philosophical Anthropology from Kant to Elkin and Coon, which situates Kant against the backdrop of German anthropology in order to show his long, though unrecognized, legacy in the history of anthropology.  Before moving to Western Sydney University in 2015, Jennifer Mensch spent twelve years at the Pennsylvania State University where she taught philosophy and the history of science and medicine.

For CV and links to publications:

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Mensch.


  • PhD Emory University
  • MA University of Memphis
  • BA George Mason University

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Philosophy@westernsydney (SoHCA)



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Previous Teaching Areas

  • 102379 Special Topics in Philosophy, 2020
  • 102493 Philosophy of History, 2019
  • 102582 Philosophy of History and Politics, 2020
  • 102620 Philosophy, History and Interpretation, 2019
  • 102789 Philosophy of Race and Racism, 2020



  • Mensch, J. (2013), 'Kant's Organicism: Epigenesis and the Development of Critical Philosophy', : University of Chicago Press 9780226021980.

Chapters in Books

  • Mensch, J. (2019), 'Caught between character and race : 'temperament' in Kant's lectures on anthropology', Philosophies of Difference: Nature, Racism, and Sexual Difference, Routledge 9781138617506.
  • Mensch, J. (2019), 'From anthropology to rational psychology in Kant's Lectures on Metaphysics', Kant's Lectures on Metaphysics: A Critical Guide, Cambridge University Press 9781107176980.
  • Mensch, J. (2019), 'Embodied cognition in Berkeley and Kant : the body's own space', Distributed Cognition in Enlightenment and Romantic Culture, Edinburgh University Press 9781474442282.
  • Mensch, J. (2019), 'The course of human development : 19th-century comparative linguistics from Schlegel to Schleicher', International Yearbook for Hermeneutics. Volume 18, Focus: Ways of Hermeneutics, Mohr Siebeck 9783161582806.
  • Mensch, J. (2018), 'Kant and the skull collectors : German anthropology from Blumenbach to Kant', Kant and his German Contemporaries. Volume 1, Logic, Mind, Epistemology, Science and Ethics, Cambridge University Press 9781107140899.
  • Mensch, J. (2018), 'Songs of nature : from philosophy of language to philosophical anthropology in Herder and Humboldt', International Yearbook for Hermeneutics. Volume 17, Focus: Logos, Mohr Siebeck 9783161562440.
  • Mensch, J. (2014), 'The poem as plant : archetype and metamorphosis in Goethe and Schlegel', International Yearbook for Hermeneutics. Volume 13: Focus: Philosophy as Literature, Mohr Siebeck 9783161533136.
  • Mensch, J. (2005), 'Morality and politics in Kant's Philosophy of history', Toward Greater Human Solidarity: Options for a Plural World, Dasgupta & Co. 9788182110076.

Journal Articles

  • Mensch, J. (2019), 'Seeds of divinity : from metaphysics to enlightenment in Ficino and Kant', Intellectual History Review, vol 29, no 1 , pp 183 - 198.
  • Mensch, J. (2017), 'Caught between character and race : 'temperament' in Kant's lectures on anthropology', Australian Feminist Law Journal, vol 43, no 1 , pp 125 - 144.
  • Mensch, J. (2017), 'What's wrong with inevitable progress? : notes on Kant's anthropology today', Cogent Arts and Humanities, vol 4 .
  • Mensch, J. (2017), 'Neither ghost nor machine : Kant, epigenesis, and the life of the mind', Philosophy Today, vol 61, no 3 , pp 811 - 814.
  • Mensch, J. (2016), 'Byron, Shelley, and Goethe's Faust. An Epic Connection. By Ben Hewitt. London: Legenda, 2015. Hegel and the English Romantic Tradition. By Wayne Deakin. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015', Keats-Shelley Journal, vol 65 , pp 168 - 171.
  • Mensch, J. (2015), 'Genealogy and critique in Kant's organic history of reason', Con-textos Kantianos, vol 1 , pp 178 - 196.
  • Mensch, J. (2015), 'Review of "Kant's Theory of Biology" edited by Ina Goy and Eric Watkins', HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, vol 5, no 2 , pp 367 - 370.
  • Mensch, J. (2014), 'Kant and the problem of form : theories of animal generation, theories of mind', Estudos Kantianos, vol 2, no 2 , pp 241 - 264.
  • Mensch, J. (2014), 'From crooked wood to moral agency : on anthropology and ethics In Kant', Estudos Kantianos, vol 2, no 1 , pp 185 - 203.
  • Mensch, J. (2014), 'Precis of Kant's Organicism: Epigenesis and the Development of Critical Philosophy', Critique: A Philosophical Review Bulletin, vol 3 , pp 1 - 2.
  • Mensch, J. (2014), 'Reply to Breitenbach', Critique: A Philosophical Review Bulletin, vol 3 , pp 12 - 15.
  • Mensch, J. (2014), 'Reply to van den Berg', Critique: A Philosophical Review Bulletin, vol 3 , pp 15 - 18.
  • Mensch, J. (2013), 'Review of "Kant and the Concept of Community", edited by Charlton Payne and Lucas Thorpe', Goethe Yearbook, vol 20 , pp 273 - 275.
  • Mensch, J. (2011), 'Understanding affinity : Locke on generation and the task of classification', Locke Studies, vol 11 , pp 49 - 71.
  • Mensch, J. (2011), 'Intuition and nature in Kant and Goethe', European Journal of Philosophy, vol 19, no 3 , pp 431 - 453.
  • Mensch, J. (2010), 'Material unity and natural organism in Locke', Idealistic Studies, vol 40, no 1-2 , pp 147 - 162.
  • Mensch, J. (2007), 'The key to all metaphysics : Kant's letter to Herz, 1772', Kantian Review, vol 12, no 2 , pp 109 - 127.
  • Mensch, J. (2006), 'Kant and the problem of idealism : on the significance of the Gottingen review', The Southern Journal of Philosophy, vol 44, no 2 , pp 297 - 317.
  • Mensch, J. (2006), 'Review of Kant's System of Nature and Freedom, Selected Essays by Paul Guyer', Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, vol 2006.07.10 .
  • Mensch, J. (2005), 'Between sense and thought : synthesis in Kant's transcendental deductions', Epoche, vol 10, no 1 , pp 81 - 93.
  • Mensch, J. (2004), 'Kant on truth', Idealistic Studies, vol 34, no 2 , pp 163 - 172.

Research Grant

2019-2022, Discovery Project, Australian Research Council Grant

Bloodlines: Philosophical Anthropology from Kant to Humboldt

"The project will be the first comprehensive account of Kant’s impact on the early history of anthropology. The intended outcome will be clarity regarding the historical importance of Kant’s twin narratives of progressive human development and racial difference for understanding the course taken by anthropology when determining government policies regarding race relations. The ultimate benefit of this reconstruction will be the identification of contemporary examples of Kant’s continued legacy, and the ability to mount an historically grounded counter-narrative, one attentive to the multiple legacies of racial bias, and awake to the still-seductive nature of claimed racial and ethnic identities."


This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Mensch.

Current Projects

Title: Philosophical Anthropology from Kant to Humboldt
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Jennifer Mensch
Years: 2019-10-01 - 2022-09-30
ID: P00024793


Current Supervision

Thesis Title: From Theory to Practice: How Practical Reason became Kant's proof for the Existence of God
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Settlerism in Australia.
Field of Research:

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