Kurt Smith

Professor
Department of Philosophy
Bloomsburg University
Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania 17815

email: ksmit4@bloomu.edu
phone: 570-389-4331
fax: 570-389-2094

Degrees

Ph.D. Claremont Graduate University, 1998
A.M. Claremont Graduate University, 1993
B.A. University of California at Irvine, 1991

Area of Specialization: History of Early Modern Philosophy

Visiting Scholar, Princeton University, 2007

Matter Matters: Metaphysics and Methodology in the Early Modern Period

Oxford University Press (2010)

Articles in AOS

“Descartes On Epistemic Criteria,” in Battle of the Gods and Giants: Essays in Early Modern Philosophy, Patricia Easton (ed), (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming 2012).

“Enumeration,” “Material Falsity,” “Hyperaspites,” “Vanani,” entries in The Cambridge Descartes Lexicon, Lawrence Nolan (ed), (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2012).

“Divisibility and Cartesian Extension,” (with Alan Nelson, UNC Chapel Hill), Chapter One, in Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy, Volume V, Daniel Garber and Steven Nadler (eds) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 1-24.

“Kausalitaet,” Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit, 15 Vols.  (Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler Verlag, 2007)

“Descartes’s Ontology of Sensation,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy (Vol. 35, No 4, December 2005), pp. 563-584

Rationalism and Representation” in A Companion To Rationalism, edited by Alan Nelson (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2005), pp. 206-223.

"Was Descartes's Physics Mathematical?" History of Philosophy Quarterly (Vol. 20, no. 3, 2003), pp. 245-256.

"Descartes's Life and Works," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2001.

"A General Theory of Cartesian Clarity and Distinctness Based on the Theory of Enumeration in the Rules," Dialogue (Vol. XL, No. 2, 2001), pp. 279-309.

Non-specialty and Popular Publications

“The Wealth of Colbert Nations: The Free Market and the Privatization of Higher Education,” in Stephen Colbert and Philosophy, Aaron Schiller (ed), Chicago: Open Court, forthcoming 2009.

David Horowitz: Dishonest or Dialethist?” The Old Trout (Winter, 2006)

A Philosopher Looks at the ‘Academic Bill of Rights’,” Academe (September-October 2006 Issue, Vol. 95, No. 5), pp. 29-32

“The Limits of Horatio’s Philosophy,” in Monty Python and Philosophy, Gary Hardcastle and George Reisch, eds. (Peru, Illinois: Open Court, 2006), pp. 37-51

Listen to Smith on NPR (The State of Things, host Frank Stasio) discuss issues of academic freedom, the “unhiring” of Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean of UCI’s new law school), and the corporatization of public colleges and universities.

Corporate U (April 24, 2008)

Too Controversial For School? (September 13, 2007)

Academic Freedom (March 29, 2007)

Published Reviews

Review of Occasionalism: Causation Among the Cartesians, Steven Nadler, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, in Philosophical Quarterly (July 2012), Vol. 62, Issue 248, p. 643.

Review of The Collapse of Mechanism and the Rise of Sensibility, Stephen Gaukroger, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, in Mind (July 2011), Vol. 120, No. 479, pp. 860-63.

Review of Matters of Spirit: J.G. Fichte and the Technological Imagination, F. Scott Scribner, State College: Penn State University Press, 2010, in Review of Metaphysics, (June 2011), Vol. 64, Issue 4, pp. 880-82.

Review of Descartes and the Puzzle of Sensory Representation, Raffaella De Rosa, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, in Philosophy in Review (online; October 2010).

Review of Cogito?: Descartes And Thinking The World, Joseph Almog, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Review of The Philosopher in Early Modern Europe, (eds) Conal Condren, Stephen Gaukroger, Ian Hunter, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, in Faith and Philosophy, pp. 106-7.

Review of The Good Life in the Scientific Revolution, Matthew Jones (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006) in Renaissance Quarterly (forthcoming 2007)

Review of Newton’s Forgotten Lunar Theory: His Contribution to the Quest for Longitude, Nicholas Kollerstrom (Santa Fe: Green Lion Press, 2000), in ISIS, Vol. 96, No. 3, September 2005, pp. 437-8.

Review of Lilli Alanen’s Descartes’s Concept Of Mind (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003) in The Philosophical Quarterly (Vol. 56, No. 224, July 2006), pp. 249-50.

Review of Cartesian Views: Papers Presented To Richard A. Watson, edited by Thomas M. Lennon (Leiden: Brill, 2003) in Renaissance Quarterly, forthcoming 2004.

Review of Emotion and Choice From Boethius to Descartes, ed. H. Lagerlund and M. Yrjonsuuri (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2002) in The Journal of the History of Philosophy (January 2004, Vol XLII, No 1, pp. 98-99).

Review of Descartes's Dualism, Marleen Rozemond (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002) in Renaissance Quarterly (Winter 2003, Vol 56, No 4, pp. 1285-6)

Review of The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, 2 vols., edited by Daniel Garber and Michael Ayers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, for The Review of Metaphysics (2001).

Review of Studies in Seventeenth-Century European Philosophy, vol. 2 of Oxford Studies in the History of Philosophy, edited by M.A. Stewart. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997, for The Review of Metaphysics (March 2001).

Review of Descartes's Meditations: Critical Essays, edited by Vere Chappell (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1997), for The Review of Metaphysics (December 2000).

Review of Logic and the Workings of the Mind: The Logic of Ideas and Faculty Psychology in Early Modern Philosophy, Vol. 5, edited by Patricia Ann Easton (Atascadero: Ridgeview Publishing Company, 1997), for The Review of Metaphysics (June 1999).

Review of Meditations on First Philosophy, translated and edited by John Cottingham (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), for Canadian Philosophical Reviews - Revue Canadienne de Comptes rendus en Philosophie, Vol. XVII, No. 4 (August 1997).

Review of Descartes' Dualism, by Gordon Baker and Katherine J. Morris (London: Routledge, 1996), for Canadian Philosophical Reviews - Revue Canadienne de Comptes rendus en Philosophie, Vol. XVII, No. 4 (August 1997).

Published Philosophical Illustrations

Mystic Union: An Essay in the Phenomenology of Mysticism, Nelson Pike. New York: Cornell University Press, 1992. Two illustrations.

"Descartes's Ontology of Thought," Alan Nelson. Topoi, 16(2), 163-178, S 97, Five illustrations.

The Green Spectacles: A Humanities Reader, edited by Jeremy Ball. Dubuque: Kendall-Hunt, 1999. Cover and four illustrations.

Selected Conference Presentations

“Hobbes on the Preservation of Motion,” at the Mid-Atlantic Early Modern Conference, Princeton University, April 19-20, 2012.

“Was Hobbes an Idealist?,” at the Early Modern Mini-Conference, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, March 21, 2012.

“Hobbes on the Preservation of Motion,” at the Center for the Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, November 15, 2011.

“Was Hobbes an Idealist?,” at Cornell University (Sage School of Philosophy), the Upstate New York Workshop in Early Modern Philosophy, October 30, 2011.

“Descartes and the A Priori,” at the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar, Princeton University, July 15, 2010.

"Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Metaphor: Leibniz on Unity and Harmony," at The Mid-Atlantic Seminar on Early Modern Philosophy, Johns Hopkins University, January 31-February 1, 2009.

“The Wealth of Colbert Nations: The Free Market and Privatization of Higher Education,” International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Freedom and Sovereignty, Globalization and Colonization, Davis and Elkins College, West Virginia, November 2008.

“Matter Matters,” Margaret Dauler Wilson Early Modern Conference, Cornell University, June 2008.

“Debunking the Direct Realist Reading of Descartes,” Mini-Conference in Early Modern Philosophy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, April 2008.

“Plato, Descartes, and Kant: Rethinking the Divided Line Analogy,” invited colloquium talk, Calpoly San Luis Obispo, February 2008.

“Academe at War: The Western Front,” Calpoly San Luis Obispo, February 2008.

“Matter Matters: Plato’s Divided Line and Descartes,” invited workshop talk, Descartes Research Group, University of Western Ontario, November 2007.

“Divisibility and Cartesian Extension,” invited colloquium talk, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, March 2007.

“Academe at War: A Critical Look at David Horowitz’s Campaign Against Academic Freedom,” The Parr Center For Ethics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, March 30, 2007.

“The Future of Academic Freedom,” A Debate with David Horowitz (on DVD), at Mitriani Hall, Bloomsburg University, September 19, 2006

"A Critical Look at HR177," at Freedom Threatened? Teaching in Today's Politically Charged Environment, sponsored by Central Pennyslvania's Consortium, held at Gettysburg College, March 24, 2006.

“Descartes and Malebranche on Consciousness,” invited talk for the New England Colloquium of Early Modern Philosophy, at Brown University, February 24, 2006.

“Descartes’s Ontology of Sensation” at the University of Western Ontario, April 23, 2004.

“Why Matter?” at the Eastern Pennsylvania Philosophical Association, Spring meeting, held at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, April 17, 2004.

“Descartes and Spinoza on Corporeal Substance, Indivisibility, and the Impossibility of the Vacuum,” (co-presented with Professor Alan Nelson, University of California, Irvine) at the Eighth Annual Southern California Philosophy Conference, held at the University of California, Riverside, October 25, 2003.

“Mathematics and the Nature of Matter,” at the Early Modern Seminar, Claremont Graduate University, October 23, 2003.

"Leibniz and Corporeal Substance," at the Mid-Atlantic Early Modern Seminar, held at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, May 21-24, 2003

"Early Leibniz and the Role of Enumeration," at The International Young Leibniz Conference, held at Rice University, Houston, Texas, April 18-21, 2003

"Mathematizing the Physical World: The Place of Enumeration in Early Modern Physics," History of Philosophy of Science Working Group (HOPOS 2002), Fourth Biennial Congress, Montreal, June 2002.

"Substancehood and the Divisibility of Cartesian Body," Southern California Cartesian Circle Meeting, the University of California at Irvine, May 2002.

"Does Descartes's Position on the Infinite Divisibility of Extension Entail that Body is not a Substance?: The Puzzle of Cartesian Atomism," Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia, Colloquium Series, March 2002.

"Does Descartes's Position on the Infinite Divisibility of Matter Entail that Body is Not a Substance?: The Puzzle of Cartesian Atoms." Presented at the New England Conference on Early Modern Philosophy, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, May 2001.

"Cartesian Minds: Inside and Out." Presented at University of California, Irvine, Southern California Cartesian Circle Meeting, May, 2000.

"A General Theory of Clarity and Distinctness in Descartes's Rules." Presented at the National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar, "Descartes and His Contemporaries," Virginia Tech, VA, July 2000.

"A General Theory of Clarity and Distinctness in Descartes's Rules," American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meetings, Boston (December 1999).

"Descartes and Arnauld on Material Falsity," American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meetings, Philadelphia, December 1997.

"Descartes on Sensation," Conference on Early Modern Philosophy and Science, University of California at Irvine, October 1997.

"The Savage Soul: Language and the Problem of Conversion," Symposium On The Early Modern Period, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, March, 1997.

"Descartes on Ideas," Discipuli Conference, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, October, 1995.

Kurt with classical guitarist David Russell. Spring 2006, Mansfield University.