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My research focuses on the history of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century philosophy, particularly the metaphysics, natural philosophy and metaphilosophy of the period. Publications include Spectres of False Divinity: Hume’s Moral Atheism (Oxford, 2010), a critical examination of Hume’s case for the amorality of any first cause or designer, and hence the irrelevance of theological speculation for human practice or conduct. In The Architecture of Matter: Galileo to Kant (Oxford, 2004) I examined early modern debates over infinite divisibility, atomism and the ontology of material parts. More recently I’ve been working on debates over the nature and authority of reason in seventeenth-century philosophy, on the reception of Hume in the Romantic age, and on early modern accounts of the metaphysics of absolute necessity.
- Spectres of False Divinity: Hume's Moral Atheism (Oxford University Press, 2010).
- The Architecture of Matter: Galileo to Kant (Oxford University Press, 2004).
- "Hume's Absolute Necessity", Mind (forthcoming)
- "'The Modern Disciple of the Academy': Hume, Shelley, and Sir William Drummond", Journal of Scottish Philosophy, 9, 2011, pp 161-88.
- "Robert Boyle on Things above Reason", British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 15, 2007, pp. 283-312.
- "Hume on Religious Affect", Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, 89, 2007, 283-306.
- "Religion and Moral Prohibition in Hume's 'Of Suicide'", Hume Studies, 31, 2005, pp. 189-210.
- “Bayle and the Case for Actual Parts”, Journal of the History of Philosophy, 42, 2004, pp. 145-64.
- “Infinite Divisibility and Actual Parts in Hume’s Treatise”, Hume Studies, 28, 2002, pp. 3-25.