research

 

 

 

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

 

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Monograph

 

Newton’s Third Rule and the Experimental Argument for Universal Gravity (Routledge, 2022; ISBN: 9781032020365; DOI: 10.4324/9781003184256-1). Soon available for download as an Open Access publication.

 

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. An overview of the papers collected in that issue can be found in my Editor’s Introduction.

 

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 appeared in NDPR and Philosophy in Review.

 

 

 

Selected Papers

 

“Working Hypotheses and the Logic of Theory-Mediation in the Principia.” Co-authored with Zvi Biener (University of Cincinnati). Forthcoming in Theory, Evidence, Data, edited by Eric Schliesser, Chris Smeenk, and Marius Stan (Springer, Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science).

 

“Newton’s Mathematics and Empiricism.”  In press and forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Newton, edited by Eric Schliesser and Chris Smeenk (Oxford University Press).  Published online first, February 2017.  DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199930418.013.7

 

“Philosophy of Science in Newton’s General Scholium.”  Forthcoming in Isaac Newton’s General Scholium to the Principia: Science, Religion, and Metaphysics, edited by Steffen Ducheyne, Scott Mandelbrote, and Stephen Snobelen.

 

“Imagination, Metaphysics, Mathematics: Descartes’s Argument for the Vortex Hypothesis.” Synthese (September 2019) 196/9: 3505–3526.  Published online first, August 2017.  DOI: 10.1007/s11229-017-1533-6

 

“Descartes’ Mathematics.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2021 edition; first published online in Winter 2011; revisions in 2015 & 2021).  Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =

 <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2021/entries/descartes-mathematics/>.

 

“Laws of Nature and the Divine Order of Things: Descartes and Newton on Truth in Natural Philosophy.” In Laws of Nature (Oxford University Press, July 2018), edited by Walter Ott and Lydia Patton, pp. 42-61.

 

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.

 

“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, Part A (2009) 40: 119-130.

 

 

 

Selected Talks

 

“On the Difficulty of Understanding the Principia: Newton on the Nature and Scope of Natural Knowledge.” Invited for the international conference “Responses to Newton: The impact of the mathematical-experimental paradigm on natural philosophy, epistemology and metaphysics (1687 – 1800),” 5-7 June 2019, Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven, Belgium.

 

“Newton on the Nature and Scope of Natural Knowledge.” Presented at the 2019 Du Châtelet Prize Workshop, Duke University, 4-5 April 2019.

 

Manders, Generality, and Descartes’s Geometric Curves.” Presented at a one-day conference in honor of Ken Manders’s contributions to the history and philosophy of mathematics. University of Pittsburgh, 10 November 2018.

 

“Descartes on Imagination, Truth, and Knowledge.” Department of Philosophy, Wichita State University, 26 April 2018;  St. John’s College Dean’s Lecture, Santa Fe, NM, 16 February 2018; Department of Philosophy, University of New Mexico, 19 January 2018.

 

“Imagining the Evil Genius in the Search for Truth: The Meditator as Non-Cartesian Skeptic.”  Indiana University, South Bend, 5 April 2018.

 

“Newton on the Mathematical Certainty of Metaphysical Truths.” International workshop on Traditional and Inductive Metaphysics, Technische Universität Dortmund, 7 and 8 December 2017.

 

“Descartes’s Principles: The Case of the Missing Mathematics.” Department of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, 24 March 2017.

 

“Newton on Deducing Truth from the Phenomena.” Department of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, 22 April 2016.

 

“Descartes and Newton on Deducing True Laws of Nature.” The Seventh Margaret Wilson Conference, Northern Arizona University, 27-19 June 2016; Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, UC-Irvine, 16 October 2015; Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, 18 September 2015.

 

“Truth and Falsehood in Descartes’s Physics.”  Macalester College, Department of Philosophy, 17 September 2015.

 

“The Deduction of Truth from the Phenomena in Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica.” St. John’s College Dean’s Lecture, Annapolis, Maryland, 27 March 2015.

 

“Descartes and Newton on Cognizing Infinity.” Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, St. Louis, MO, 20 February 2015.  Invited as part of a symposium entitled “The Infinite in Early Modern Philosophy of Mathematics.”

 

“Newton’s Experimental Philosophy: Deducing Truth from the Phenomena.” Marquette University, Department of Philosophy, 4 February 2015.

 

“Mechanics in Geometry and Natural Philosophy: Newton’s Programmatic Statement against Descartes.” Philosophy of Science Association (PSA) Twenty-fourth Biennial Meeting, Chicago, IL, 5-9 November 2014; “All in Pieces? New Insights into the Structure of Newton’s Thought,” Huntington Library, Pasadena, CA, 10-11 October 2014.

 

“Newton’s Experimental Philosophy: Deducing Truth from the Phenomena.” Georgetown University, Department of Philosophy, 28 March 2014.

 

“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.