photo of William Phillips

William Phillips

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Dissertation advisors: Kristin Primus and Daniel Warren

(B.A., Middle Tennessee State University, M.A. Brandeis) I study issues in metaphysics and the history of modern philosophy, especially concerning the philosophy of space and time. I have other interests in the history and philosophy of science and the philosophy of mind. My dissertation critically explores Spinoza’s accounts of meta-ontology, meta-epistemology, thought, and extension. I’m concerned with questions like: What can Spinoza’s account of the attributes tell us about the fundamental kinds in our world? What truths about reality are lost when we view nature sub specie aeternitatis, and what is the relationship between the world as seen sub specie aeternitatis and the world as seen sub specie durationis? What are the intrinsic properties of thought? Is geometry the natural language to describe extension, and what is the relationship between spacetime, extension, and the external world? Independent of my dissertation, I am thinking about issues in du Châtelet’s synthesis of Leibnizian metaphysics with Newtonian physics.