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About Me

meI am a lecturer in philosophy in the School of Philosophical, Anthropological, and Film Studies at the University of St. Andrews.

I am interested in theories of human reasoning, desire, choice, and social interaction – particularly work that questions the foundations of formal theories in logic and economics from a humanistic perspective.

I am particularly interested in the thought of Benedict de Spinoza, which continues to inspire alternatives to the dominant paradigm in economics and social science.

My first book, Spinoza and Dutch Cartesianism, proposed a new interpretation of Spinoza, situating him in the context of debates within the Dutch Cartesian tradition, over the status of philosophy and its relation to theology.

I am completing a book manuscript, which aims to introduce and develop Spinoza’s theory of beatitude. This is the culmination of Spinoza’s theory of desire, since it describes the condition of ultimate satisfaction. Although Spinoza saw the revelation of true beatitude as the ultimate goal towards which his philosophy reached, there are few interpretative works devoted primarily to this theme. Spinoza’s theory of beatitude is, in my view, the keystone that holds together diverse parts of his philosophy – his theory of desire and the emotions, his metaphysics of time, his theory of human sociability, and his philosophy of religion. These are often studied separately; my introduction to beatitude aims at helping readers understand Spinoza’s philosophy as a unified whole.

I have also 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 am a member of the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs, the Executive Committee of the Aristotelian Society, the Management Committee of the British Society for the History of Philosophy, and a Research Scholar at the Global Institute for Sustainable Policy.

News

I participated in a webinar with Rebuilding Macroeconomics on the question of whether private debt forgiveness should be part of the coronavirus exit strategy.

I appeared on the BBC World Service programme, In the Balance, to discuss the Green New Deal, with George Selgin and Ellen Brown.

I am giving a public lecture on the ethics of debt and finance at the Lit & Phil Library in Newcastle, hosted by Bigg Books.

I am doing a series of interviews on philosophy of economics with Conatus News – the material is available here.

My colleague Professor Katherine Hawley and I published a submission to a inquiry into fake news by the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media, and Sport Committee. Find all submissions here.