New York University
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2009
New York City, New York, United States of America
  •  156
    I suggest a solution to two puzzles in Spinoza's metaphysics. The first puzzle involves the mind and the idea of the mind, in particular how they can be identical, even though the mind thinks about bodies and nothing else, whereas the idea of the mind thinks about ideas and nothing else. The second puzzle involves the mind and the idea of a thing that belongs to an unknown attribute, in particular how they can be identical, even though the mind thinks about bodies and nothing else, whereas th…Read more
  •  29
    Spinoza’s claims about true ideas are central to the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect. It is therefore worth trying to reconstruct what he means when he says that an idea is true. I argue that the three leading interpretations – correspondence, coherence, and causal – don’t explain key passages. I then propose a new interpretation. Roughly, I propose that an idea is true if and only if it represents an essence and was derived in the right kind of way by the intellect from an innat…Read more
  •  83
    Triangulating How Things Look
    Mind and Language 30 (2): 140-161. 2015.
    Suppose you're unable to discriminate the colors of two objects. According to the triangulation view, their colors might nonetheless look different to you, and that's something you can discover as a result of further comparisons. The primary motivation for this view is its apparent ability to solve a puzzle involving a series of pairwise indiscriminable objects. I argue that, due to visual noise, the triangulation view doesn't really solve the puzzle.
  •  337
    Conception and causation are fundamental notions in Spinoza's metaphysics. I argue against the orthodox view that, due to the causal axiom, if one thing is conceived through another thing, then the second thing causes the first thing. My conclusion forces us to rethink Spinoza's entitlement to some of his core commitments, including the principle of sufficient reason, the parallelism doctrine and the conatus doctrine
  •  98
    Perceptual Confidence and Categorization
    Analytic Philosophy 58 (1): 71-85. 2017.
    In “Perceptual Confidence,” I argue that our perceptual experiences assign degrees of confidence. In “Precision, not Confidence, Describes the Uncertainty of Perceptual Experience,” Rachel Denison disagrees. In this reply I first clarify what i mean by ‘perceptual experiences’, ‘assign’ and ‘confidence’. I then argue, contra Denison, that perception involves automatic categorization, and that there is an intrinsic difference between a blurry perception of a sharp image and a sharp perception o…Read more
  •  70
    A book review of Raffaella De Rosa's Descartes and the Puzzle of Sensory Representation"
  •  343
    Anti‐Atomism about Color Representation
    Noûs 47 (2): 94-122. 2013.
    According to anti-atomism, we represent color properties (e.g., red) in virtue of representing color relations (e.g., redder than). I motivate anti-atomism with a puzzle involving a series of pairwise indistinguishable chips. I then develop two versions of anti-atomism
  •  102
    Restricting Spinoza's Causal Axiom
    Philosophical Quarterly 65 (258): 40-63. 2015.
    Spinoza's causal axiom is at the foundation of the Ethics. I motivate, develop and defend a new interpretation that I call the ‘causally restricted interpretation’. This interpretation solves several longstanding puzzles and helps us better understand Spinoza's arguments for some of his most famous doctrines, including his parallelism doctrine and his theory of sense perception. It also undermines a widespread view about the relationship between the three fundamental, undefined notions in Spinoz…Read more
  •  549
    I will develop a new problem for almost all realist theories of colour. The problem involves fluctuations in our colour experiences that are due to visual noise rather than changes in the objects we are looking at.
  •  59
    Spinoza's Geometry of Power (review)
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (3): 610-613. 2013.
    A book review of Valtteri Viljanen's "Spinoza’s Geometry of Power"
  •  174
    Perceptual Confidence
    Analytic Philosophy 57 (1): 15-48. 2016.
    Perceptual Confidence is the view that perceptual experiences assign degrees of confidence. After introducing, clarifying, and motivating Perceptual Confidence, I catalogue some of its more interesting consequences, such as the way it blurs the distinction between veridical and illusory experiences, a distinction that is sometimes said to carry a lot of metaphysical weight. I also explain how Perceptual Confidence fills a hole in our best scientific theories of perception and why it implies th…Read more