Fellow, Rutgers University
Early Modern Philosophy
I am Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. My research is primarily about early modern metaphysics and philosophy of mind with a focus on the work of Spinoza and Leibniz. My work has explored the topics of modality, substance, identity, causation, belief, judgment, action, and the mind-body problem in this period.
The project that I will be pursuing during my time as a Fellow of the Human Abilities project concerns a new interpretation of Leibniz's modal metaphysics. Previous interpretations have focused either on logical issues such as the relationship between infinite analysis and possibility or purely metaphysical issues such as the relationship between essence and necessity. The interpretation that I am working to develop hopes to shed light on this issue by focusing on the role that contingency plays in Leibniz's theory of action, for example, in his accounts of choice, deliberation, and freedom.