Yale University
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2018
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Areas of Specialization
17th/18th Century Philosophy
Areas of Interest
17th/18th Century Philosophy
  •  61
    Cudworth on Freewill
    Philosophers' Imprint. forthcoming.
    In his unpublished freewill manuscripts, Ralph Cudworth seeks to complete the project that he began in The True Intellectual System of the Universe (1678) by arguing for an account of human liberty that avoids the opposing poles of necessitarianism and indifferency. I argue that Cudworth’s account rests upon a crucial distinction between the will and the power of freewill. Whereas we necessarily will the greater apparent good, freewill is a more fundamental power by which we endeavour to discern…Read more
  •  8
    The Inner Work of Liberty: Cudworth on Desire and Attention
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (5): 649-667. 2019.
    Ralph Cudworth’s goal in his manuscript writings on freewill is to argue that our actions are in our own power in a robust sense that entails the ability to do otherwise. Cudworth’s unorthodox views about the nature of desire threaten to undermine this project, however. Cudworth maintains that only desire is able to distinguish good and evil and, consequently, that desire alone motivates our actions. Therefore, since Cudworth holds that desire itself is not in our own power, he appears committed…Read more
  •  20
    Locke on Persons and Other Kinds of Substances
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (1): 129-155. 2019.
    Locke’s commentators are divided about whether Locke thinks that the idea of a person is a substance-idea or a mode-idea. I use Locke’s theory of kinds to argue for an intermediate interpretation on which the idea of a person is a substance-idea that contains a mode-idea. As a result, while proponents of the substance interpretation correctly claim that ‘person’ designates a kind of substance, proponents of the mode interpretation are nonetheless correct in insisting that mode-ideas play an impo…Read more
  •  72
    Locke’s arguments against the freedom to will
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (4): 642-662. 2017.
    In sections 2.21.23-25 of An Essay concerning Human Understanding, John Locke considers and rejects two ways in which we might be “free to will”, which correspond to the Thomistic distinction between freedom of exercise and freedom of specification. In this paper, I examine Locke’s arguments in detail. In the first part, I argue for a non-developmental reading of Locke’s argument against freedom of exercise. Locke’s view throughout all five editions of the Essay is that we do not possess freedom…Read more