About

Dan

When I was an infantry soldier, I carried Michael Morgan’s Classics of Moral and Political Theory in my hump-sackThe 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 2015, I took a lectureship position at the University of Cambridge. And in the fall of 2016, I left Cambridge to join the faculty at the University of Haifa, but the USA soon beckoned, and I returned to Wisconsin where I am now an assistant professor at UW-Lacrosse.

My research is oriented in the history of philosophy, but I consider myself a philosopher first and second. As a philosopher I find myself oriented towards the philosophical works 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 seventies and early eighties: It just happens to speak to me most directly. (In the case of music, Elvis Costello is king. In philosophy, it is the thought of Spinoza.)

My research focuses upon the metaphysics and epistemology of the Early-Modern period. I am particularly drawn to the philosophical 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, running, or camping, 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 and I practice stoic restraint in the face of their tears, meltdowns, and ridiculous cuteness.