Carl E. Koch Professor of Philosophy
I’m a philosopher by training (Yale) and trade (Notre Dame). I'm also the current chair of the Philosophy Department here at Notre Dame. The main purpose of this site is to provide an easy (but probably very outdated) way to disseminate my work.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 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 a tennis racquet. 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.
NEH Fellow for 2021-2022
Spinoza's Perky and Adorable Rationalist Charms (interview)
I recently gave a lengthy interview to Richard Marshall at 3:16 that discusses the main themes of my 2018 book, Reconceiving Spinoza, as well as other lighthearted themes like the problem of evil, existentialism, and the burdens of email. If that proves tl;dr, I also filmed a very short video: check it out here.
Spinozism Wins Again!
In a new paper, "Baumgarten's Steps Towards Spinozism," I consider yet another path to Spinozism, this time from the metaphysics of Alexander Baumgarten, a once popular German rationalist. (Kant hails him as "chief of the metaphysicians.") It will appear in print in the Journal for the History of Philosophy at some point in the future, but you can read a pre-copy-edit version here.
And if you like this sneaky, backdoor-to-Spinozism theme, you might also enjoy my
"From Theism to Idealism to Monism: A Leibnizian Road Not Taken" and "Backing into Spinozism." This also connects to my new book project, No Cheating: A Spinozistic Reading of Early Modern Metaphysics.