Duke University
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2011
Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
17th/18th Century Philosophy
PhilPapers Editorships
Spinoza: Intuition
  •  12
    Two Ethical Ideals in Spinoza's Ethics: The Free Man and The Wise Man
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (3): 357-370. 2019.
    According to Steven Nadler's novel interpretation of Spinoza's much discussed ‘free man’, the free man is not an unattainable ideal. On this reading, the free man represents an ideal condition not because he is passionless, as has often been claimed, but because even though he experiences passions, he ‘never lets those passions determine his actions’. In this paper, I argue that Nadler's interpretation is incorrect in taking the model of the free man to be an attainable ideal within our reach. F…Read more
  •  112
    Two Ethical Ideals in Spinoza’s "Ethics": The Free Man and The Wise Man
    Journal of American Philosophical Association. forthcoming.
    According to Steven Nadler’s novel interpretation of Spinoza’s much discussed ‘free man’, the free man is not an unattainable ideal. On this reading, the free man represents an ideal condition not because he is passionless as has often been claimed, but because even though he experiences passions, he “never lets those passions determine his actions.” In this paper, I argue that Nadler’s interpretation is incorrect in taking the model of the free man to be an attainable ideal within our reach. Fu…Read more
  •  27
    In the Ethics Spinoza defines certain traditional virtues such as humility and repentance as species of sadness and denies that they are virtues. He nonetheless holds that they can turn out to be useful as a means towards virtue—in fact, the greatest virtue of blessedness—in the life of someone who is not guided by reason. In this paper, I examine Spinoza’s relatively overlooked claim regarding the usefulness of sad passions as a means towards blessedness. In taking up Spinoza’s treatment of hum…Read more
  •  32
    Spinoza’s Critique of Humility in the Ethics
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (3): 342-364. 2018.
    Abstract: In the "Ethics" Spinoza denies that humility is a virtue on the grounds that it arises from a reflection on our lack of power, rather than a rational understanding of our power (Part IV, Proposition 53, Demonstration). He suggests that humility, to the extent that it involves a consideration of our weakness, indicates a lack of self-understanding. However, in a brief remark in the same demonstration he also allows that conceiving our lack of power can be conducive to self-understanding…Read more
  •  3
    In this dissertation, I explore the distinction between reason (ratio) and intuitive knowledge (scientia intuitiva) in Spinoza’s Ethics in order to explain the superior affective power of the latter over the former. In addressing this fundamental but relatively unexplored issue in Spinoza scholarship, I suggest that these two kinds of adequate knowledge differ not only in terms of their method, but also with respect to their content. I hold that unlike reason, which is a universal knowledge, int…Read more
  •  148
    The Distinction between Reason and Intuitive Knowledge in Spinoza's Ethics
    European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1): 27-54. 2016.
    While both intuitive knowledge and reason are adequate ways of knowing for Spinoza, they are not equal. Intuitive knowledge, which Spinoza describes as the ‘greatest virtue of mind’, is superior to reason. The nature of this superiority has been the subject of some controversy due to Spinoza's notoriously parsimonious treatment of the distinction between reason and intuitive knowledge in the Ethics. In this paper, I argue that intuitive knowledge differs from reason not only in terms of its meth…Read more
  •  56
    The Susceptibility of Intuitive Knowledge to Akrasia in Spinoza's Ethical Thought
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (4): 725-747. 2014.
    Spinoza unequivocally states in the Ethics that intuitive knowledge is more powerful than reason. Nonetheless, it is not clear what exactly this greater power promises in the face of the passions. Does this mean that intuitive knowledge is not liable to akrasia? Ronald Sandler offers what, to my knowledge, is the only explicit answer to this question in recent Spinoza scholarship. According to Sandler, intuitive knowledge, unlike reason, is not susceptible to akrasia. This is because, intuitive …Read more