Professor of Philosophy
(on leave for the 2016-17 academic year)
Edward Pols House - 206
My research is in early modern philosophy. For many years, I focused on metaphysical and epistemological topics in the work of the 17th century English philosopher John Locke. Recently I’ve begun to turn my attention to the 18th century Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid. Reid admired some things about Locke, but was critical of others. I am interested in what he has to say about agency and free will, about sense perception, and about Locke’s theory of ideas. I teach classes about these early modern philosophers and others (e.g., Descartes, Hume, Kant). I also teach non-historical classes on a variety of topics, including death, personal identity, 20th century analytic philosophy, metaphysics, and the ethics of our treatment of animals.
Looking for a good book to read? Here is a list I give to my students. ( PDF)
A Companion to Locke. Wiley-Blackwell, 2015
Locke's Metaphysics. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2013.
“Locke’s Succeeding Ideas,” Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy VIII, D. Garber and D. Rutherford, eds., forthcoming.
“Locke on Attention,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy, special issue: “Mental Powers in Early Modern Philosophy,” forthcoming.
“John Locke and the Problem of Consciousness,” in Consciousness and the Great Philosophers, S. Leach and J. Tartaglia, eds., London: Routledge, 2017, 73-81.
"The Correspondence with Stillingfleet," in A Companion to Locke, London: Wily-Blackwell, 2015.
“Revisiting People and Substances,” in The Key Debates of Modern Philosophy, Duncan and LoLordo, eds., Routledge, 2013, 186-196.
“Locke,” in A Companion to the Philosophy of Action, T. O’Connor & C. Sandis, Eds. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Co., 2010, 490-495.
“Having Locke’s Ideas,” Journal of the History of Philosophy 48, 2010, 35-59.
“Lockean Operations,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 18, 2008, 511-533.
“Locke’s Colors,” Philosophical Review 112, 2003, 57-96.
“Locke on Natural Kinds,” History of Philosophy Quarterly 16, 1999, 277-296.
“Descartes’s Extended Substances,” in New Essays on the Rationalists, Gennaro and Huenemann eds., Oxford University Press, 1999, 82-104.
“Locke on Superaddition and Mechanism,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy 6, 1998, 351-379.
“Locke’s Geometrical Analogy,” History of Philosophy Quarterly 13, 1996, 451-467.