Dr. Castro's research is centered in Kant scholarship, informed by current science, with a broadly interdisciplinary aim. She is currently working on a book about Kant's metaethics, specifically how to establish a metaphysics of morals as a non-empirical science.

More broadly, Dr. Castro is interested in the family of phenomena involved in acting or cognizing as if, in a wide range of contexts that include an imagination-centered Kantian theory of autism, algorithmic agency and social justice, Immanuel Kant’s peculiar moral imperative to "act as if your maxim were to become by your will a universal law of nature" (aka Kant's formula of nature), and Japanese philosophy of art (mastery and performance in renga and Noh).   

At WSU Professor Castro has taught Late Modern Philosophy, Metaethics, Ethical Theory, Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of Feminism, Philosophy of the Arts, and Business Ethics.  For Fall 2021 Dr. Castro is slated to teach a first year seminar On Humor (see syllabus). Next up: Philosophy of Law for Spring 2022 and Ethics of Big Data for Fall 2022.   


Academic Interests and Expertise


B.A. Mathematics--Applied Science, Specialization in Computing, summa cum laude, UCLA 1993 
Ph.D. Philosophy, UCLA 2006

I began my  career in bioinformatics, before it was called 'bioinformatics', as a programmer and SysAdmin for the Human Genome Project core facility at UCLA.  Recognizing that my undergraduate degree didn't adequately prepare me for the philosophical problems of the work, I turned to philosophy for help understanding things like the nature of homology and function, and the ethics of gene patenting.  Somehow I ended up studying Immanuel Kant, who rather predates the discovery of the double-helix.  Today I can't claim to be an expert in bioinformatics or epigenetics or microbiomes, but I'm certainly interested.  I like systems of all kinds. Mostly I'm interested in cognitive activities like ethical agency, scientific reasoning, and artistic performance.    

Areas of Research Interest
  • Immanuel Kant's philosophy, from logic to aesthetics
  • Cognizing as if (hypothetical reasoning, stage/film acting, fiction immersion, acting as 'we' in joint activity and cooperation, idealization in science, or otherwise 'giving oneself objects in imagination' a la Kant)
  • Ethics and social justice
  • Digital Transformations (big data, AI, algorithms and analytics)
  • Japanese philosophy
  • Philosophy of science (primarily math, biology, medicine, chemistry)
Areas of Teaching Interest

Courses I teach:

  • History of Philosophy: Late Modern Philosophy, Kant
  • Ethics: Metaethics, Ethical Theory, History of Ethics, Business Ethics
  • Philosophy of the Disciplines: Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Medicine
  • Perspectives: Philosophy of Feminism, Philosophy of the Arts
  • First Year Seminars: On Humor 

Courses I may teach in the next few years:

  • Ethics of Big Data (Fall 2022)
  • First Year Seminar: Law (possibly Spring 2022)
  • Japanese Philosophy

Some publications

Castro, Susan V. H. (2020) "Engendering Algorithmic Oppression" Blog of the APA, tags: Diversity and Inclusion, Women in Philosophy.

Castro, Susan V. H. (2019) "A Kantian Theory of the Sensory Processing Subtype of ASD [Autism]" Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics, 6(1):1-15.

Castro, SVH (2018) “Zeami’s Reply to Plato: On the Art of Sarugaku” Japan Studies Association Journal 15(1):1-22.

Some talks

Castro, Susan V. H. “On the ‘logics’ of renga” Kansas Philosophical Society, February 2020.

Castro, Susan V. H. “The Category-Theoretic Space of Kant’s Imagination”, History of Philosophy of Science (HOPOS), Minneapolis, June 2016.

Castro, Susan V. H. “The Ambitious Idea of Kant’s Corollary”, International Kant Congress, Vienna, September 2015.

Castro, Susan V. H. “Acting as a Double Agent without Becoming Two Faced”, Association of Fundraising Professionals Annual Ethics Seminar, October 17, 2014.

Working Papers

Castro, Susan V. H. Establishing Moral Metaphysics as a Science (monograph)

Castro, Susan V. H. "Algorithmic Intimacy"

Castro, Susan V. H. "Rules and Free Play in Renga"

Castro, Susan V. H. "How to Treat Humanity: Autism and Moral Imagination"

Castro, Susan V. H. and Feleppa, Robert. “Kant’s reply to Zeami: Sarugaku, sensus communis, and perpetual peace”

Castro, Susan V. H. "“The Category-Theoretic Space of  Kant’s Imagination”

Areas of Service

AY 2021-2022:

  • Faculty Senate
    • President-elect
    • Humanities Division Representative
    • Chair, Rules Committee
    • Member, Planning and Budget Committee
  • Member, Tenure and Promotion Committee, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Department of Philosophy
    • Chair (term begins 6/13/21)
    • Library Liaison
    • Occasional website assistant