When I was an infantry soldier, I carried Michael Morgan’s Classics of Moral and Political Theory in my hump-sack. The book added some weight to my pack, but it was worth it. In this book I found a cure for frustration, fear, and fatigue. It was in my military service that I fell in love with philosophy, and I have remained in love with it ever since.
After my service, I completed a BA in philosophy at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, a MA in philosophy at Tulane University, and then a PhD in philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison under the supervision of Steven Nadler. In the fall of 2014, I moved to Belgium to work as a post-doc at the University of Gent on “The Metaphysics and Mathematics of Collision” research project. In the fall of 2015, I took a lectureship position at the University of Cambridge. In the fall of 2016 I joined the faculty at the University of Haifa in a tenure track position where I remain happily employed.
My research is oriented in the history of philosophy, but I consider myself a philosopher first and second. As a philosopher I am oriented towards the philosophical work of the early modern and ancient periods for roughly the same reason that as music listener I am oriented towards the musical works of the late 70’s and early eighties: I am drawn toward the works that speak most directly to me.
My research focuses upon the metaphysics and epistemology of the Early-Modern period. I am particularly drawn to the ethical system developed by Spinoza. I am a sympathetic reader of his thought, and I am fascinated by his life.
The philosophical systems that I focus on are ambitious and complex. My hobbies are much less so: I like to cook stews featuring large yet affordable cuts of locally-sourced lamb, and I like to exaggerate to my wife how impressive my most recent workout was. I enjoy being outside. Whether it is hiking, camping, or just working in our garden, I am at my happiest when surrounded by sky, plants and dirt. Right now, however, almost all of my free time is spent with my two sons. I read Epictetus to the little guys (the eldest is five, the youngest is two and a half) and I practice my stoic restraint in the face of their tears, meltdowns, and ridiculous cuteness.