Professor Beth Lord
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.
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.
Memberships and Affiliations
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
Spinoza and 'no platforming': Enlightenment thinker would have seen it as motivated by ambition rather than fearThe ConversationContributions to Specialist Publications: Articles
Spinoza and architectural thinkingIntellectual History Review, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 489-504Contributions to Journals: 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).
I am director of the Spinoza Research Network, an interdisciplinary group of over 200 Spinoza researchers worldwide. I also do occasional interdisciplinary research on philosophy and museums.
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
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Kant and SpinozaChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Entries for Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
Spinoza Beyond PhilosophyEdinburgh University Press, Edinburgh. 214 pagesBooks and Reports: Books
'Disempowered by Nature': Spinoza on the political capabilities of womenBritish Journal for the History of Philosophy, vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 1085-1106Contributions to Journals: Articles
Between Imagination and Reason: Kant and Spinoza on FictionsInventions of the Imagination. Gray, R. T., Halmi, N., Handwerk, G. J., Rosenthal, M. A., Vieweg, K. A. (eds.). University of Washington Press, pp. 36-53, 18 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
Kant and Spinozism: Transcendental Idealism and Immanence from Jacobi to DeleuzePalgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. 214 pagesBooks and Reports: Books
Spinoza and the Specters of Modernity: The Hidden Enlightenment of Diversity from Spinoza to FreudBritish Journal for the History of Philosophy, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 339-342Contributions to Journals: Reviews of Books, Films and Articles
Review of 'Museum origins: readings in early museum history and philosophy'Museum Management and Curatorship, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 117-119Contributions to Journals: Reviews of Books, Films and Articles
Spinoza's ethics: an Edinburgh Philosophical GuideEdinburgh University Press, Edinburgh. 182 pagesBooks and Reports: Books
IntroductionThe Bloomsbury Companion to Continental Philosophy. Lord, B., Mullarkey, J. (eds.). Bloomsbury, pp. 1-8, 8 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
The Continuum Companion to Continental PhilosophyBloomsbury, London. 432 pagesBooks and Reports: Books