About Me

IMG_1681I 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, particularly in how logic was used for learning 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. Spinoza and the British Idealists have something in common, which distinguishes them from most other philosophers. They hold that there is a very immediate connection between highly abstract questions of logic and metaphysics and matters of urgent ethical and social importance.

I am a member of the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs and a  Research Scholar at the Global Institute for Sustainable Policy.


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 recently published a submission to a inquiry into fake news by the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media, and Sport Committee. Find all submissions here.