364 University Hall
tel. 614.292.1931

Mailing address

Department of Philosophy
The Ohio State University
350 University Hall
230 North Oval Mall
Columbus, OH 43210


downing.110 (

My primary area of interest is early modern philosophy, especially the connection between philosophy and science in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. More specifically, I have worked on mechanist conceptions of body and their justification, debates surrounding gravity/attraction, and changing views of scientific explanation in the early modern period. My publications include “The Status of Mechanism in Locke’s Essay” (The Philosophical Review, 1998), “Berkeley’s Natural Philosophy and Philosophy of Science” in The Cambridge Companion to Berkeley (2006), and “Locke’s Ontology” in The Cambridge Companion to Locke’s Essay (2007). I have taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, and have been a fellow of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science.

Links to publications are available in my curriculum vitae.

2013–2014: On Sabbatical

Upcoming events include the following: