research

 

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Malibu, California, February 2013

 

 

home

 

 

research

 

teaching

 

links

 

 

For a complete list of publications and talks, please see my CV.

(Scroll over names and titles below to find the hyperlinks hidden on this page.)

 

 

some current projects

 

I am working on two papers that address Newton’s blending of mathematics and empiricism in his natural philosophy.  One paper will appear in The Oxford Handbook of Newton, the other in a volume commemorating the 300th anniversary of the General Scholium.  I am also slowly but steadily making progress on a book project that focuses on the interplay of mathematics, metaphysics, and natural philosophy in the works of Descartes and Newton.

 

 

edited collections

 

I served as guest editor for a special 50th anniversary issue of The Southern Journal of Philosophy dedicated to “Newton and Newtonianism,” which appeared in September 2012. My Editor’s Introduction offers a brief survey of the current state of the art in Newton studies as well as an overview of the papers that are collected in the issue.

 

Discourse on a New Method: Reinvigorating the Marriage of History and Philosophy of Science, edited with Michael Dickson (Open Court, 2010; ISBN: 978-0-8126-9662-2).  This collection honors Michael Friedman’s influential work in history and philosophy of science and includes twenty-six original papers, one of which is Friedman’s book-length concluding essay, “Synthetic History Reconsidered.”  Reviews of the volume have appeared in NDPR and Philosophy in Review.

 

 

selected papers

 

Kant and Newton on the A Priori Necessity of Geometry.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (September 2013) 44/3: 438-447.

 

Observation and Mathematics.” In The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century, edited by Peter Anstey (Oxford University Press, July 2013), pp. 144-168.

 

“Mediating between Past and Present: Descartes, Newton, and Contemporary Structural Realism.” In Philosophy and Its History: Aims and Methods in the Study of Early Modern of Philosophy, edited by Mogens Laerke, Justin E. H. Smith, and Eric Schliesser (Oxford University Press, July 2013), pp. 278-300. 

 

“Newton and Proclus: Geometry, Imagination, and Knowing Space.” The Southern Journal of Philosophy (September 2012), 50 (3): 389-413.

 

“Locke’s Qualified Embrace of Newton’s Principia.” In Interpreting Newton: Critical Essays, edited by Andrew Janiak and Eric Schliesser (Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 48-68.

 

“Descartes’ Mathematics.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2011 edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2011/entries/descartes-mathematics/>.

 

“Kant on the Imagination and Geometrical Certainty.” Perspectives on Science (2010) 18 (4): 409-431.

 

“The Intelligibility of Motion and Construction: Descartes’ Early Mathematics and Metaphysics, 1619-1637.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (2009) 40: 119-130.

 

 

recent book reviews

 

Essay review of Steffen Ducheyne, “The main Business of natural Philosophy”: Isaac Newton’s Natural-philosophical Methodology (Springer, 2012), and William L. Harper, Isaac Newton’s Scientific Method: Turning Data into Evidence about Gravity and Cosmology (Oxford University Press, 2011).  HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society of History and Philosophy of Science (fall 2013) 3: 318-333.

 

Review of Peter Machamer and J.E. McGuire, Descartes’ Changing Mind (Princeton University Press, 2009). HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society of History and Philosophy of Science (2011) 1(1): 162-165.

 

Review of Niccolň Guicciardini, Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method (The MIT Press, 2009).  The Canadian Journal of History (2010) 45: 614-617.

 

 

recent talks

 

“Philosophy of Science in Newton’s General Scholium.” Isaac Newton’s General Scholium: A Tercentenary Symposium, 24-26 October 2013.  University of King’s College, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

 

“Kant and Newton on the a priori necessity of geometry.” German Philosophy Workshop, Department of Philosophy, University of Chicago, 12 April 2013.  The poster for the two University of Chicago talks was designed by Gilad Nir.

 

“Newton’s Mathematics and Empiricism.”  Early Modern Philosophy Workshop, Department of Philosophy, University of Chicago, 11 April 2013; The Rotman Institute of Philosophy, University of Western Ontario, 22 March 2013.

 

“Descartes’ Mathematical Physics: A Reassessment.”  Department of Philosophy, University of British Columbia, 11 January 2013; Department of Philosophy, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 14 September 2012.

 

“Newton and Proclus: Understanding the Geometry of Absolute Space.” Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 24 January 2012.

 

“Descartes, Newton, and the Mathematical Character of Natural Philosophy.” Workshop on “Knowledge, Representation, and Proof in the Modern Era,” Notre Dame University, South Bend, IN, 3 November 2011. A previous version of this paper was delivered as a Dean’s lecture at St. John’s College, Santa Fe, NM, 22 October 2010.