History of Early Modern Philosophy

My research interests in 18th-century European thought, specifically in the Scottish Enlightenment, surround philosophical issues concerned with the developing conception of the mind, its function, and the scientific methods needed to study it. Oftentimes, these issues are wrapped up with metaphysics and philosophy of religion due to the fact that thinkers of the period were uncertain, for example, whether laws of nature could be defined outside of reference to God's laws.

In 2007, I published Thomas Reid's Theory of Perception (Oxford University Press), which explained and interpreted the most empirical account of processes of perception in the Early Modern period. Since then, I’ve continued to write articles about mind and religion in this era. With my collaborator Robert Callergård, I have written a paper raising skeptical questions about the extent to which philosophers and psychologists are correct to appeal to Reid as a source of insight on the nature of religious belief-forming practices. I’ve continued that conversation in collaboration with Justin Barrett. I am the co-author with Gideon Yaffe of the Reid entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.