Sabine Döring’s main research areas are the the­o­ry of prac­ti­cal ratio­nal­i­ty, ethics, aes­thet­ics, and increas­ing­ly the phi­los­o­phy of mind, with an empha­sis on the phi­los­o­phy of emo­tion.
In her the­sis (enti­tled “Ästhetis­che Erfahrung als Erken­nt­nis des Ethis­chen: Die Kun­st­the­o­rie Robert Musil’s und die ana­lytis­che Philoso­phie”) she exam­ined Robert Musil’s claim that eth­i­cal knowl­edge can only be gained by aes­thet­ic expe­ri­ence. This claim is ulti­mate­ly based on a par­tic­u­lar the­o­ry of emo­tion, fas­ci­nat­ing enough to ground an endur­ing inter­est into the sub­ject.
Sabine Döring “Habil­i­ta­tion­ss­chrift” (Sec­ond Book) deals with the prob­lem of ratio­nal moti­va­tion, i. e. with the prob­lem of how to account for the con­cep­tu­al claim that nor­ma­tive prac­ti­cal rea­sons are capa­ble of moti­vat­ing us towards action. In short, the idea is that this prob­lem can only be solved by inte­grat­ing the emo­tions, under­stood as “affec­tive per­cep­tions”, into the the­o­ry of prac­ti­cal ratio­nal­i­ty and moral­i­ty.

Current Research Projects

Ethics and Standards of Good Practice for ‘Emotion-oriented Systems’
Sabine is cur­rent­ly work­ing (with Peter Goldie) in the HUMAINE (Human-Machine Inter­ac­tion Net­work of Emo­tion) Net­work of Excel­lence in the EU’s Sixth Frame­work Pro­gramme.
Autonomy and Control: Weakness of Will Reconsidered
In 2005 Sabine joined the VW (Volk­swa­gen-Stiftung) research project Kon­trolle und Ver­ant­wor­tung: Unter­suchun­gen zur Natur und Kul­tur des Wol­lens as a coop­er­a­tion part­ner. Part­ners are Thomas Goschke, Pro­fes­sor of Psy­chol­o­gy, Dres­den Uni­ver­si­ty, Ger­many; Wolf­gang Prinz, Pro­fes­sor of Psy­chol­o­gy, Direc­tor of Max Planck Insti­tute for Human Cog­ni­tive and Brain Sci­ences, Leipzig, Ger­many; Sabine Maasen, Pro­fes­sor of Soci­ol­o­gy, Basel Uni­ver­si­ty, Switzer­land; and Wil­helm Vossenkuhl, Pro­fes­sor of Phi­los­o­phy, LMU Munich, Ger­many.
The coop­er­a­tion yields a three years grant for a PhD stu­dent work­ing with her on Weak­ness of Will and the Auton­o­my of Per­sons.