Associate Professor of Philosophy
I study the history of modern philosophy, focusing on questions of mind and psychology in the 17th Century. My specialty is Spinoza.
My published work has addressed Spinoza's views on adequate knowledge, innate ideas, consciousness, the affects, akrasia, and, more recently, the concept of evil. I have also written a book, titled, The Spiritual Automaton: Spinoza's Science of the Mind, available from Oxford University Press.
In addition to Spinoza, I have done work on the philosophy of Margaret Cavendish, particularly her views on the mind, her naturalism, and her arguments for panpsychism. For example, I released a teaching edition of her Observations Upon Experimental Philosophy with Hackett. I also authored an entry on her philosophy at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I am currently thinking about her proto-science fictional, quasi-feminist utopian adventure story, The Blazing World.
Recently, I co-edited a new anthology of primary sources, with Susanne Sreedhar, for Routledge, titled, A New Modern Philosophy: The Inclusive Anthology of Primary Sources, which provides all the readings necessary to teach a broad variety of courses in the history of modern philosophy, with a special emphasis on diversifying the canon by including women and authors of color, as well as a wider range of topics than is normally included in such volumes.
In the future, I shall continue working on 17th Century philosophy, but I am also beginning to work in the Philosophy of Games.
Most of my published work can be accessed directly via my PhilPapers profile.
The following are some courses I teach, with links to syllabuses:
Philosophy of the Enlightenment (aka 18th Century social and political philosophy)
Late Modern Philosophy (aka 19th Century Philosophy)
Other teaching competences include Ancient Philosophy, Moral Psychology, Weakness of Will, Feminist History of Philosophy, and various seminars on topics and figures in the history of philosophy, such as Descartes, Leibniz, Hume, and Nietzsche. I also have experience teaching different sorts of introductory courses, as well as critical thinking.
I also published an article in the journal Teaching Philosophy, titled, "How To Teach Modern Philosophy."
At the beginning of my career, I organized a mini-conference on Spinoza's psychology, which was held concurrently with the 2008 APA Pacific division meeting in Pasadena. Please visit the website for the conference, where the papers and comments can be read.
I am a member of the APA, the Florida Philosophical Association, and the North American Spinoza Society, as well as a Friend of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, a blogger at the Mod Squad, and an editor at Philpapers for the subsection Spinoza: Philosophy of Mind. I serve on the panel of philosophers at AskPhilosophers.org as well. I also am a reviewer for several journals and publishers.
I am a signatory of the 'Online Petition in Support of the Gendered Conference Campaign'; please visit the Online Petition for details.
Finally, I affirm Rachel Barney's Anti-Authoritarian Academic Code of Conduct and I invite anyone associated with higher education to do so.