I am a lecturer in philosophy in the School of Philosophical, Anthropological, and Film Studies at the University of St. Andrews.
My research focusses on early modern rationalism – particularly the philosophy of Spinoza. My first book proposed a new interpretation of Spinoza, situating him in the context of debates over the status of philosophy and its relation to theology in the Dutch Republic.
More generally I’m interested in the history of logic in this period, how logic was regarded as a device for learning deep metaphysical truths inaccessible to the senses and for ending hostile controversies on religion, politics, etc.
I also work on the philosophy of economics and have published a book examining the concept of debt from the perspective of language, history, and political economy. I’m interested in the philosophy of macroeconomics, which receives considerably less attention from philosophers than microeconomics.
I’m also interested in British Idealist readings of Spinoza, and British Idealism in general. One thing Spinoza and the British Idealists have in common (and which distinguishes them from most other philosophers) is the view that there is a direct connection between highly abstract questions of logic and metaphysics and matters of immediate ethical and social importance.
I did a series of interviews with Conatus News – the material is available here.