RESEARCH

I am an early modernist, currently researching early modern metaphysics and epistemology. My ongoing work focuses on Blaise Pascal, seeing his ontology as the lens from which we can understand his epistemology and ethics. This has spurned additional work on the French origins of David Hume's skepticism.​

My primary focus right now, however, is the metaphysics of Mary Shepherd, who I am currently reading as something of an empiricist Leibnizian. I see her views on causation and time serving to unpack a cosmological argument, which motivates her first treatise. But she also grants that cosmological arguments are unable to prove whether or not the universe's cause is more than efficient or material causation. Rather than understanding teleology in terms of the apparent order of things, she defines it through intentionality, ultimately presenting an argument that seems to answer Hume’s devastating criticisms and also anticipates Darwinian objections concerning inferences to the best explanation. 

I am involved in collaborative work on the philosophies of the Port-Royal nuns, especially Jacqueline Pascal. This is work done in conjunction with the Philosophical Recovery Project.