Associate Professor of Philosophy
Associate Head of Department
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Withers Hall 340B
A native of Wadesboro, NC, I earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering at NC State in 1994. After a circuitous route I earned my Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, and returned to NC State as a member of the faculty in 2008.
At NC State I serve as the faculty advisor for three student clubs: The Philosophy Club at NC State, Student Voices for Animals, and Democracy Matters!. (To join: click the link, sign in, and click ‘Join’.)
I have served as president (2019-2023) and secretary-treasurer (2017-2019) of the North Carolina Philosophical Society and as secretary-treasurer of the Leibniz Society of North America (2012-2016). I currently serve on the executive committee of the LSNA.
I have won two teaching awards during my time at NC State: the Outstanding Lecturer Award from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2012 and the university-level Outstanding Teacher Award in 2020. With the latter I was also inducted into the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers.
Professional Activities and Research
I work primarily in the areas of metaphysics, ethics, and political philosophy, often through engagement with the German philosophical tradition (especially Leibniz, Kant, and Schopenhauer).
My main project at present is a book on Leibniz’s idealism. Besides that, I continue to work on various topics:
- Schopenhauer’s philosophy, especially his ethics.
- Moral and political philosophy: the nature of obligation, consent, and rights; normative theories; animal ethics.
- Metaphysics: infinity, continuity, space, time, idealism, conceptualism, and monism.
For the full list of my published writings, and links to online versions, please see my PhilPapers profile.
Selected Articles and Chapters
- “Schopenhauer and Modern Moral Philosophy,” in David Bather Woods and Timothy Stoll (eds.), The Schopenhauerian Mind. Routledge Press, forthcoming.
- “Schopenhauer’s Rejection of the Moral Ought,” in Patrick Hassan (ed.), Schopenhauer’s Moral Philosophy. Routledge Press, 2022, 12–30.
- “Why Leibniz Should Have Agreed with Berkeley about Abstract Ideas,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 29/6 (2021): 1054–71.
- “Berkeley and Leibniz,” in Samuel C. Rickless (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Berkeley. Oxford University Press, 2022, 503–21.
- “The Logic of Leibniz’s Borrowed Reality Argument,” Philosophical Quarterly, 70/279 (2020): 350–70.
- “Consent by Residence: A Defense,” European Journal of Political Theory, 20/3 (2021): 529–46.
- “Schopenhauer on the Rights of Animals,” European Journal of Philosophy 25/2 (2017), 250-69.
- “Finitism, Divisibility, and the Beginning of the Universe: Replies to Loke and Dumsday,” Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94/4 (2016), 808-13.
- “Finitism and the Beginning of the Universe,” Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92/4 (2014), 619-29.
- “Frege on Vagueness and Ordinary Language,” Philosophical Quarterly 63 (2013), 120-40.
- “Leibniz on the Metaphysics of Color,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86/2 (2013), 319-46.
- “Motion in Leibniz’s Middle Years: A Compatibilist Approach,” Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 6 (2012), 135-70.
- “Monadic Interaction,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 18/5 (2010), 763-96.
Ph.D. Philosophy University of Pittsburgh 2006
M.A. Philosophy University of Pittsburgh 2004
M.A. Philosophy Texas A&M University 2000
B.S. Mechanical Engineering North Carolina State University 1994
Area(s) of Expertise
History of Modern Philosophy, Metaphysics, Ethics, Political Philosophy