Ph.D., University of Wisconsin (Madison)
324 Founders Hall
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Avid teacher and historian of modern philosophy studying Spinoza, Cavendish, and the 17th Century.
I study the history of modern philosophy, especially the rationalists, though I also have an interest in other periods of the history of philosophy. I focus on issues in moral psychology. My specialty is Spinoza.
I have finished a book, titled, The Spiritual Automaton: Spinoza's Science of the Mind, to be published by Oxford University Press in December of 2013. The book, as well as most of my recent research, concerns Spinoza's psychology, philosophy of mind, and ethics. My other recent work addressed Spinoza's views on adequate knowledge, innate ideas, the affects, and akrasia. In the future, I plan to write on the philosophy of Margaret Cavendish, 17th Century vitalism, and more. See the Research section, linked on the left, for more information about my research.
I teach the history of modern philosophy, intro to philosophy, seminars on Spinoza and the Enlightenment, feminist history of philosophy, and philosophy of religion, among other things. I have recently taught classes titled Women of the Enlightenment and Teleporters and Time Travel: The Metaphysics Behind Science Fiction. See the Teaching section, linked on the left, for more information about my teaching.
My wife Amy Marshall recently completed a PhD in History from Brown University. Her specialty is the history of modern Japan. She won a Fulbright scholarship (as well as a Fulbright-Hays), which allowed us to live in Yokohama for much of 2010, where she conducted research for her dissertation. Our first child, Eli Owen, was born on October 14th, 2009, and our second, Maxwell Oliver, was born on March 20, 2011. Amy is now a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the History Department here at Wellesley College.
Other interests: running, cooking, science fiction, geek culture, left politics, coffee, punk rock, board and video games...
Also, I am a signatory of the 'Online Petition in Support of the Gendered Conference Campaign'; please visit the Online Petition for details.