Dr. Crowell is Professor of Philosophy at Rice University.
My main field of interest is twentieth century European philosophy, especially phenomenology (the philosophy of Edmund Husserl) and its development in Heidegger, existentialism (Sartre, Merelau-Ponty, Levinas), hermeneutics (Gadamer, Ricoeur) and post-structuralism (Derrida, Lyotard). My systematic interests lie in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, aesthetics, and the philosophy of history. I also do research in the 18th and 19th century background to contemporary European thought: Kant, German Idealism, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and the German neo-Kantians.
My current research continues in the tradition of phenomenological transcendental philosophy. More specifically, I am interested in the relation between intentionality and normativity; in other words, in the relation between our phenomenological experience of a meaningful world and our ability to respond to norms (standards, ideals, measures, rules, etc. – “norms” in my sense take many forms) as such, to understand ourselves as acting in light of them. This fundamental ability (which is, on my view, the essence of what it is to occupy the first-person stance and is best approached through the existential notion of “commitment”) is a condition of all ethics, cognition, understanding and, in general, our being-in-the-world. I hope to draw this work together in a book on the ontological roots of reason.