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History of Philosophy

Ancient Philosophy:   

Dan Frank   

"I have teaching and research interests in ancient philosophy, especially Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics.  I teach courses and seminars at all levels in ancient philosophy, and co-lead (with Lea Schroeder) the Greek philosophy reading group.  I have directed dissertations in the area, and published on Socratic ethics, Platonic ethics and metaphysics, Aristotle’s ethics and metaphysics, and the Stoics."    

Lea Schroeder

"I specialize in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy.  My current research focuses on ancient philosophy of mind and philosophical psychology, particularly the metaphysics, epistemology, and mechanics of perception and its relation to cognition. I have also published on, and continue to work on, topics in ancient metaphysics, ancient science, and their intersection. At the moment, I am especially concerned with questions about the role of different kinds of explanation in physical and cosmological theorizing. While most of my work thus far has focused on Plato, I am broadly interested in these topics throughout the Greek and Roman philosophical tradition, from the pre-Socratics to late antiquity.  Outside of ancient philosophy, I have side interests in related topics in early modern philosophy and contemporary philosophy mind."

Medieval Philosophy:   

Jeffrey Brower   

Brower's research in medieval philosophy has focused on figures in the Latin West (esp. Anselm, Abelard, and Aquinas) and on topics at the intersection of medieval metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and ethics. Brower is currently working on issues related to Aquinas's views about matter, place, time, and motion.

Dan Frank

"I have teaching and research interests in medieval Islamic and Jewish philosophy, and the Greek philosophical tradition in the medieval period.  I teach advanced undergraduate and graduate courses and am prepared to direct dissertations in this area.  I have published widely on Islamic and Jewish philosophers from the 10th century on, such as Farabi, Saadia, Ibn Rushd (Averroes), and Maimonides."

Modern Philosophy:   

Jan Cover   

Michael Jacovides

Jacovides’ research has mostly been on early modern philosophy, and mostly on Locke and Hume. He wrote a book on Locke, Locke’s Image of the World, which is about Locke’s metaphysics and the ways that his scientific views affected his metaphysics. He is interested in the background to Locke’s discussion of personal identity, especially in how he borrowed views of Hobbes and reacted to views of Francis Mercury Van Helmont. Jacovides was given a grant to write a book on Hume which turned into three book projects, one on Hume’s views on laws and causes, one on his empirical arguments against believing in miracle stories, and one on his views on probable inference, which fits them into the associationist tradition in psychology. He has research interests in Descartes’s epistemology and in how he fits into the scientific revolution. He has research interests in Spinoza’s metaphysics and in his advice for living.  He is interested in the deep history of the concept of a law of nature and in the metaphysics (and philosophy of science) of laws, causes, and identity over time.   

Patrick Kain

Patrick Kain’s interests in the history of modern philosophy focus the origins, development, and significance of modern moral philosophy, philosophy of religion, anthropology, and metaphysics and epistemology, esp. in the work of Immanuel Kant. 

Kant and German Philosophy:   

Patrick Kain   

Jacqueline Mariña

My research focuses on Kant and his reception in the 19th century. I have done a good bit of work on Friedrich Schleiermacher, especially in the areas of ethics and philosophy of religion. My current research is focused on Kant. I finished a final draft of a book on Kant’s ethics now entitled Kant’s Metaphysics of the Will, which I have been working on for some time. I have two other book projects on Kant in differing stages of completion: one on the relation of Kant’s ethics to his understanding of religion, and another on the question of personal identity in Kant. I regularly teach 19th century philosophy.

I also have an interest in ancient philosophy. I regularly teach a section of the ancient philosophy, and early on in my career I published on Aristotle. 

JP Messina 

"My work in the history of philosophy focuses on Kant and his immediate intellectual context (including Achenwall, Grotius, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Smith). I am particularly interested in the relationship between Kant’s notion of moral autonomy and his notion of political freedom. Whereas many commentators argue that the first does not provide direct justificatory support for the second, I argue that this is a mistake. Additionally, I have written on Kant’s justification of property rights, his (and Smith’s) ambivalence with respect to commercial society, and his theory of state legitimacy. On the latter front, I have argued that Kant accepts a “provisionality thesis,” holding that acquired rights are provisional until highly demanding conditions are met. Because these conditions are not realized in our world, Kant’s theory implies that such rights are provisional in our world. Because they are unlikely to be realized in the future, we should not expect this to change. Future work will continue to investigate whether a theory with such implications can offer guidance for thinking about our political obligations." 

Christopher Yeomans

I mainly work on classical German philosophy from Kant to Hegel.  Most of my work has been on Hegel, where I defend an interpretation of his thought as pluralist, perspectivist and historicist.

American Philosophy:   

Leonard Harris (especially African American)