Work in Progress
This is a collaborative project which I am working on with Peter Anstey, Juan Gomez and Kirsten Walsh. We argue that the distinction between experimental and speculative philosophy provides central terms of reference for understanding early modern philosophy.
Peter and I are co-authoring a monograph on early modern experimental philosophy and the origins of the notion of empiricism. We have co-authored a journal article on the origins of early modern experimental philosophy. I am currently revising a paper on Christian Wolff and experimental philosophy and I will soon start working on experimental natural philosophy in seventeenth-century Italy. My paper on Kant on experiment is related to this project.
As regards the history of philosophical historiography, I am interested in the standard narrative of early modern thought based on the contrast between Descartes', Spinoza's, and Leibniz's rationalism and Locke's, Berkeley's, and Hume's empiricism. I am seeking to determine when the narrative entered into English histories of philosophy; how it came to shape the university curriculum; what roles the programmes of British Idealists and American Pragmatists played in this process; and how the narrative was appropriated by Anglophone philosophers in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. I discuss Kant's relation to the narrative in "Kant on Empiricism and Rationalism". My research on these topics will issue in further journal articles and in the third part of the monograph I am co-authoring with Peter Anstey.
As regards the methodology of philosophical historiography, I am interested in issues raised by the use of the conceptual tools of analytic philosophy in the reconstruction of the thought of past philosophers. I co-organizing a conference on analytic philosophy and ancient philosophy with Catherine Rowett and Tom Sorell.
This project aims to provide a reconstruction and a critical discussion of Kant's conception of truth. I argue for three main claims. First, Kant conceives of truth along the lines of a correspondence theory. He does not have a complete and systematical correspondence theory of truth, but rather, a schematic and less detailed correspondence conception of truth. Second, the study of Kant's case shows that an idealist can consistently endorse a correspondence theory of truth. Third, Kant regards his combination of a correspondence view of truth with idealism as an antidote to a form of scepticism: the thesis that we cannot know which cognitions of objects in space and time are true.
I discuss some of these issues in five papers: "A Correspondence Theory of Objects?", "Kant on the Nominal Definition of Truth", "Sull'interpretazione coerentista della concezione kantiana della verità"; "Kant, Scepticism, and the Comparison Argument"; and "Kant on Truth-aptness". I am revising a draft journal article on Kant's view on the existential import of categorical sentences. I am planning to integrate these and other materials into a monograph.
I have published a monograph on Kant's account of concept formation. In early 2013, I will write a paper comparing Kant's views on the acquisition of the categories with Leibniz's innatism about concepts.