William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Collegiate Professor in Philosophy

I’m a philosopher by training (Yale) and trade (Notre Dame). The main purpose of this site is to provide an easy way to disseminate my work. Comments are welcomed, so long as they don’t begin with insults. (Save those for your conclusion.) Under research, you’ll find information about my larger projects and research interests. You can also download my CV directly from the link above.

When not working or spending time with my wife and two daughters, I enjoy reading, cheering on the Mets (often a dismal affair), retro gaming, listening to Springsteen and swinging kettlebells and tennis racquets. Happily, many of these activities are doable year-round in South Bend, but I still enjoy getting back down to sunny Florida, where I grew up, as often as I can.

Recent Updates


New: Hope and Optimism White Paper


Michael Milona (Ryerson University) has written an excellent white paper summarizing the wide-ranging research results of the 3 year, $4.9M research project "Hope and Optimism: Conceptual and Empirical Investigations," which I co-directed with Andrew Chignell. Check it out! (The paper was featured in a recent WSJ piece.)  

Two new papers are now out!


"Spinozistic Selves" explores Spinoza's account of agency, persons, and moral improvement. Fun stuff, though not for the faint of heart, as it gets pretty wild by the end. You can read a pre-print version of it here. (The published version is available via the Journal of the American Philosophical Association.)

"From Theism to Idealism to Monism: A Leibnizian Road Not Taken" offers a path through an equally wild metaphysical landscape, this time with Leibniz as our guide. For those with idealist leanings (and really, who doesn't have those?!), this paper considers path from idealism and metaphysical perfection to substance monism. A pre-print version here. (The published version is available via Philosophical Studies.)  

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NEW: Short video summary of Reconceiving Spinoza

I recently created a 3-minute video summary of my new book on Spinoza for a project in France (HPBin3): check it out here

Reconceiving Spinoza has been thoughtfully reviewed in various places, including Mind, TLSBritish Journal for the History of Philosophyand Journal of the History of Philosophy.

You can read part of the introduction here, and the book is available for purchase through Amazon (here and here) and Oxford University Press (here).