Address: 5109 Helen C. White, 600 North Park St., Madison, WI 53706
Ph.D., Philosophy, Columbia University, 1986
M.A., Philosophy, Columbia University, 1981
B.A., Washington University, 1980
Areas of Research
Early modern philosophy, Medieval Jewish philosophy
Philosophy/Jewish Studies/Religious Studies 435: Jewish Philosophy from Antiquity through the Seventeenth Century
“A Book Forged in Hell”: Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise (Princeton University Press, forthcoming in 2011).
The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Story of Philosophers, God, and Evil (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2008; paperback, Princeton University Press, 2010).
Co-Editor, The Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy, Volume 1: From Antiquity through the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2008).
Spinoza’s Ethics: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2006).
Rembrandt’s Jews (University of Chicago Press, 2003).
Named a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction.
Spinoza’s Heresy: Immortality and the Jewish Mind (Oxford University Press, 2002).
Spinoza: A Life (Cambridge University Press, 1999). Winner of the 2000 Koret Jewish Book Award.
Honors and Awards
Pulitzer Prize Finalist
Editor, Journal of the History of Philosophy
WARF Named Professorship, UW-Madison
Koret Jewish Book Award
Research Statement / Bio
I work mainly in early modern philosophy, especially 17th century European philosophy (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz). My research also involves medieval Jewish philosophy, especially rationalist thinkers such as Saadya ben Joseph, Maimonides, and Gersonides.