Through her roots in a densely wooded Maryland STEM suburb of DC, Claire became fascinated with the historical rise of scientific materialism as a worldview, especially with regards to its existential and civic consequences. After receiving a hefty dose of analytic philosophy from the University of Utah (where she got her Philosophy BA in 2020), Claire went on to get her MA in the History & Philosophy of Science at Indiana University in 2022. At IU HPS, she pursued her initially uncharitable convictions about the Vienna Circle, whose crusade against metaphysics ended up being much more lively, inspiring and all-around human than she had expected. This culminated in a presentation at the Austrian Studies Association in Spring 2022 entitled “Anti-Metaphysical Vienna Circle, Apolitical America”.
As a first year PhD student in Germanic Studies, her main area of research lies in tracing how people’s conceptions of the limitations of scientific knowledge have changed since the mid-1800s, which she looks at primarily through the rise of “value-free” science. She sees this as an important entrypoint for discussing the concrete and abstract problems of industrial modernity, which she sees as irreducibly intertwined. When asked, Claire will probably say that she is most interested in what she idiosyncratically refers to as “world-building moments”, a phraseology that harkens back to her many years of reading fantasy books as a youth, and will try to talk to you about the sociocultural circumstances surrounding the curious rise of analytic philosophy. She also loves to talk about the letter correspondence between Heidegger and his habilitation thesis advisor, the historically neglected leader of the Southwest Neo-Kantian School (Heinrich Rickert). She has translated several of these letters from German to English.
Core figures/groups: Heinrich Rickert and the Southwest Neo-Kantians; Emil Du Bois-Reymond and the Ignorabimus controversy; the Vienna Circle and their anti-metaphysical crusade
Favorite abstract idea: ontological commitment
Misc. other interests: Parallels between Aufbau Germany and Reconstruction in America; the rise of analytic philosophy; clinical phenomenology (esp. regarding pre-psychotic states); the theory-ladenness of observation; the St. Louis Hegelians; Taylorism; scientific management in the household
***Her inbox is always open for conversation on these topics!***