Research title: Philosophical Foundations of Galilean Scholarship (Subject to change)
My research focuses on ‘Columbia Naturalism’, a somewhat neglected early 20th-century American philosophical tradition. The most notable representatives of this tradition were Frederick J. E. Woodbridge and John Dewey. Although my PhD touches upon these founding figures, my main emphasis is on three of their students, specifically Edwin A. Burtt, Edward W. Strong and John H. Randall Jr.
Whilst Burtt, Strong and Randall completed their PhDs in Columbia's philosophy department, eventually becoming prominent members of the profession themselves, it is fair to admit that their names are nowadays primarily recognised among historians of Renaissance and early modern science (most commonly, among Galileo scholars). Burtt is remembered for his 1924 The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science, arguing that developments in the natural sciences from Copernicus' De Revolutionibus to Newton's Principia should be understood as a 'mathematisation of nature', motivated by the resurgence of Renaissance Platonism/Pythagoreanism. Edward Strong, arguing against Burtt, published in 1936 his well-received Procedures and Metaphysics, maintaining that it was not Platonism, but the Euclidean or Archimedean instrumentalistic treatment of mathematics that explains the events in question. Finally, Randall is recognised for his extensive 1940 article 'The Development of Scientific Method in the School of Padua', suggesting that Galileo's method, and with it the method of modern natural science, originates in a laborious series of methodological reflections on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics that commenced with Pietro d'Abano (1257-1316) and culminated in Giacomo Zabarella's (1533-1589) regressus.
My argument is that Burtt, Strong and Randall’s pioneering works in the history of science can be better understood when situated in their proper intellectual context, namely the naturalist and pragmatist doctrines of Woodbridge and Dewey. Thus, despite genuine historical and historiographical differences, a careful reading helps reveal a common philosophical core. If I am correct, Burtt, Strong and Randall are responsible for the first elaborate works of integrated history and philosophy of science on American grounds.
2020 How the Mind-World Problem Shaped the History of Science, A Historiographical Analysis of Edwin Arthur Burtt's The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science, Part I. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 83, pp. 121-132
2020 How the Mind-World Problem Shaped the History of Science, A Historiographical Analysis of Edwin Arthur Burtt's The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science, Part II. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 83, pp. 133-143
2023 Glasgow-Radboud Collaboration Fund, University of Glasgow
2020-Present College Award, Maintenance, University of Glasgow, College of Arts
2020-Present PhD Scholarship, Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH)
2017 George and Marie Vergottis Scholarship, University of Cambridge, Cambridge Trust
2017 Department Maintenance Award, University of Cambridge, Department of History and Philosophy of Science
2017 Award, University of Cambridge, Clare Hall College
2014-2016 Second First Degree Bursary, University of Glasgow
2024 Philosophy and the Historiography of the Scientific Revolution: Revisiting the Burtt- Strong Debate, University of Vienna, HOPOS Biennial Conference
2024 Naturalising the Mind and Spiritualising Nature: F. J. E. Woodbridge and the Objective Mind, University of Liverpool, Annual Conference of the British Society for the History of Philosophy
2023 Mind and Nature in F. J. E. Woodbridge, University of Glasgow, Workshop: The Natural and Psychological Sciences, Historical and Philosophical Perspectives
2023 Why Natural Science is (or has to be) Aristotelian: Revisiting the ‘Randall Thesis’, University of Glasgow, Philosophy Graduate Seminar
2022 Was Euclid a Pragmatist?, University of Glasgow, Philosophy Graduate Seminar
2021 Frederick Woodbridge’s Philosophy of History, University of Glasgow, Philosophy Graduate Seminar
2019 A Reappraisal of J.J.C. Smart’s Materialist Metaphysics, University of Glasgow, Philosophy, Psychology and Neuroscience Research Seminars
2018 How the Mind-Body Problem Shaped the Historiography of Science, Revisiting E. A. Burtt’s Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science, King’s College London, Annual Conference of the British Society for the History of Philosophy
2017 Koyré and Drake on the Cognitive Significance of Galileo’s Metaphysics, University College London, Integrated History and Philosophy of Science Workshop
2017 Metaphysics, Science and History in E.A. Burtt and R. G. Collingwood, University of Cambridge, Aims and Methods of Histories of the Sciences
I am a full-time tutor at Glasgow International College, mainly teaching Statistics, Intellectual History and, when required, a number of social science courses. I still occasionally tutor in Glasgow's philosophy department. See below for a full list of courses I have taught/been involved in:
Glasgow International College (Tutor)
- Advanced Statistics
- Philosophy, History and Culture (20-week course in the history of ideas from Greek antiquity to the 20thcentury)
- Advanced Social Science (philosophy of social science)
- Politics (introduction to political science and international relations)
- Research Project
University of Glasgow, Department of Philosophy (Graduate Teaching Assistant)
- Philosophy 1A, How should I think?
- Philosophy 1B, How should I live?
- Philosophy 2A, What am I?
- Philosophy 2B, What is there?
- History of Modern Philosophy (Locke and Berkeley)
- History of Moral Philosophy (Hume and Kant)
2018 - MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science (Cambridge)
2017 – MA with Honours in Philosophy (Glasgow)
2013 – BEng in Mechanical Engineering
History of American philosophy
History and philosophy of science
Philosophy of history
British Society for the History of Philosophy (BSHP)
International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science (HOPOS)
I have been interviewed (27/08/2020) for an episode in the BBC 4 podcast The Digital Human. The episode in question revolved around modern-day conceptions of animism. I was asked to comment on the importance of Galileo for the development of modern science. The podcast aired in October 2020. Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0009kyy