- Email Address
- Telephone Number
- +44 (0)1224 272367
- Office Address
104 50/52 College Bounds
Old Aberdeen Campus
- School of Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History
I am currently Head of the School of Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History.
I obtained my PhD from the University of Warwick in 2004. From 2004 to 2012 I worked in the Philosophy Department at the University of Dundee. I joined the University of Aberdeen in January 2013, where I have held various roles including Head of Discipline and School Director of Postgraduate Research.
I teach and research the history of philosophy (modern and early modern) and recent continental philosophy. At Aberdeen I have taught courses on Descartes, Hume, Kant, history of political philosophy, history of ethics, and aesthetics. My research interests are mainly in early modern and modern metaphysics and political philosophy, especially Spinoza, Kant, German Idealism, and Deleuze. I am currently working on a book on Spinoza and Equality, and am developing a new project on Spinoza and the climate crisis.
Memberships and Affiliations
Spinoza in the AnthropoceneWhat Matters Most. Morgan, A. (ed.). Agenda, pp. 193-202, 10 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
Spinoza's Religion: A New Reading of the Ethics, by Clare CarlislePhilosophy, vol. 98, no. 1, pp. 103-106Contributions to Journals: Reviews of Books, Films and Articles
Outside of human nature: Spinoza on affective differenceInCircolo: Rivista di filosofia e culture, vol. 10, pp. 421-432Contributions to Specialist Publications: Articles
Spinoza's Political Psychology: The Taming of Fortune and Fear: Book ReviewThe Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 71, no. 1, pp. 211-214Contributions to Journals: Reviews of Books, Films and Articles
We are nature: Spinoza helps diagnose the bad ideas and sad passions that preclude us from a finer relationship with the natural worldAeonContributions to Specialist Publications: Articles
I work primarily on the history of philosophy, particularly Spinoza and Kant, and its relationship to recent continental philosophy.
I am currently working on a book on Spinoza and Equality. In the book I deny that Spinoza is an egalitarian in the standard sense of holding persons to be moral equals. I argue that Spinoza relies on a largely unacknowledged yet distinctive and historically grounded concept of equality: equality as a state of being. The book explores the significance of this concept for Spinoza's metaphysics and political philosophy, and suggests that it is only through this concept that we can understand the specific sense in which Spinoza is an egalitarian.
The book is partly based on research undertaken in the AHRC project Equalities of Wellbeing in Philosophy and Architecture for which I was Principal Investigator (2013-16). The project focused on the connection between Spinoza's concept of equality and architectural theory, drawing on a shared notion of proportion. Our aim was to investigate this distinctive way of thinking about equality, and to consider how it can affect the wellbeing of individuals and communities through the built environment. An edited book based on the project, Spinoza's Philosophy of Ratio, was published by Edinburgh University Press (2018).
My next project will focus on Spinoza, the anthropocene, and the affective dimension of the climate crisis. I also conduct occasional interdisciplinary research on philosophy and museums.
I am currently accepting PhDs in Philosophy.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.
I currently supervise PhD students working on Spinoza, Kant, political philosophy, Enlightenment thought, contemporary continental philosophy, and Deleuze. I am happy to hear from prospective PhD and MLitt students who are interested in working on topics in my areas of expertise, including interdisciplinary projects.
Funding and Grants
2013-16: AHRC Standard Research Grant for Equalities of Wellbeing in Philosophy and Architecture
2012-13: Research Fellowship with the Centre for Arts and Humanities Research at the Natural History Museum, London
2008-10: AHRC Networks Grant for the Spinoza Research Network
I currently contribute lectures to PH1023 Experience, Knowledge and Reality, and seminars to PH5066 Philosophy and Society.
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Foucault's Museum: Difference, Representation, and GenealogyMuseum and Society, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1-14Contributions to Journals: Articles
Representing Enlightenment SpaceReshaping Museum Space. MacLeod, S. (ed.). Routledge, pp. 146-157, 12 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
Kant's Productive OntologyPli: the Warwick Journal of Philosophy, vol. 14, pp. 157-86Contributions to Journals: Articles