Benjamin Hill


Associate Professor
Member, Rotman Institute of Philosophy

History of Early Modern Philosophy, Epistemology
BA Simpson College; MA, PhD Iowa

Phone: 519-661-2111 ext. 80143
Office: Stevenson Hall, Room 3142

I am most interested in the evolution from late scholastic and Renaissance concepts to early modern ones, roughly 1516 through 1713. I use "evolution" consciously here to emphasize the gradual and mostly continuous nature of this development. Contextualist methods and features are important for my work but equally important are detailed philosophical analyses and assessments. I focus on differences among the continuities and the particular ways that context informs the conceptual details of my analyses and assessments. I am most interested in issues surrounding mind, language, knowledge, and substance. But I also work on ethics, history of science and medicine, and conceptions of God.

I am happy to supervise projects addressing traditional M&E topics in Berkeley, Locke, Arnauld, Malebranche, Descartes, Suarez, and Montaigne. I am also happy to supervise projects in 16th and 17th-century ethics. I am also happy to supervise projects concerning movements, like the 16th century Averroists, Epicureanism or Eleaticism in the 17th century, or British Platonism in the age of Locke.

I am currently looking for students interested in working on the following projects.

(a) Neo-stoic themes and positions in the 17th century: Lipsius, Charron, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Cavendish, Malebranche, Leibniz, Norris, and Astell
(b) Berkeley’s uses of Locke's Account of Sensitive Knowledge
(c) God within Berkeley's Idealism: God as Perceiver?

Recent Publications

The Language of Nature: Reassessing the Mathematization of Natural Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century, edited with Geoffrey Gorham and Ed Slowik, in the series Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming 2016).

The History of the Philosophy of Language: A Sourcebook, edited with Margaret Cameron and Robert Stainton, (Dordrecht: Springer, 2016). Submitted, in press, Jan 29, 2016.)

Routledge Companion to Sixteenth Century Philosophy, edited with Henrik Lagerlund, (New York: Routledge, 2017).

The Philosophy of Francisco Suárez, edited with Henrik Lagerlund, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).