Daniel Moerner

Daniel Moerner
Assistant Professor
Stuart Hall, Room 222
Office Hours: Winter Quarter, Thursdays: 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Daniel Moerner joined the faculty in Autumn 2019 as an Assistant Professor. He received his BA in Philosophy and Classics from Pomona College in 2013 and an M. Phil. in Classics (Ancient Philosophy) from the University of Cambridge in 2014. He received his PhD in Philosophy from Yale University in 2019.

Daniel's interests extend broadly across the history of philosophy. He specializes in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European philosophy, particularly the philosophy of Benedict Spinoza. Daniel's research on Spinoza is driven by an attempt to understand how much of Spinoza's Ethics is an expression of adequate knowledge by Spinoza's own lights. In a number of papers and a larger, developing book-length project, he argues that surprisingly little of the Ethics expresses adequate knowledge. Daniel also has research interests in ancient Greek philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, and early analytic philosophy.

Works in Progress (drafts available on request):

  • Every Idea Is Nothing but a Multitude of Affirmations: Reconceiving the Identity of Intellect and Will in Spinoza
  • Does God Know Whether Spinoza Was a Necessitarian?
  • A Revival of Frege, the Specter of the Tractatus
  • Nonsense and the General Propositional Form

Recent Courses

PHIL 57200 Spinoza’s Ethics

An in-depth study of Benedict Spinoza’s major work, the Ethics, supplemented by an investigation of some of his early writings and letters. Focus on Spinoza’s geometric method, the meaning of and arguments for his substance monism, his doctrine of parallelism, and his account of the good life. (V)

200: History of PHIL II, or equivalent.

2019-2020 Spring

PHIL 26000 History of Philosophy II: Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy

(HIPS 26000, MDVL 26000)

A survey of the thought of some of the most important figures of the period from the fall of Rome to the Scottish Enlightenment. The course will begin with an examination of the medieval hylomorphism of Aquinas and Ockham and then consider its rejection and transformation in the early modern period. Three distinct early modern approaches to philosophy will be discussed in relation to their medieval antecedents: the method of doubt, the principle of sufficient reason, and empiricism. Figures covered may include Ockham, Aquinas, Descartes, Avicenna, Princess Elizabeth, Émilie du Châtelet, Spinoza, Leibniz, Abelard, Berkeley, Hume, and al-Ghazali.

Completion of the general education requirement in humanities required; PHIL 25000 recommended.

2019-2020 Winter
Early Modern Philosophy (including Kant)
Medieval Philosophy