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About Dr Peter West

Peter West is an Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Northeastern University London. Peter’s work specialises in metaphysics and epistemology in the history of philosophy, focusing on typically marginalised figures, especially women philosophers. Peter completed a PhD in Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin in 2020 which focused on the Irish philosopher George Berkeley and then spent two years as a Teaching Fellow in Early Modern Philosophy at Durham University.

Peter’s interests primarily concern the mind, our conceptual abilities, and mental representation. Peter is also interested methodological and metaphilosophical issues concerning the ‘canon’ of philosophy’s history – and issues concerning why and how various thinkers (especially women) have been excluded from the canon.

Peter is also committed to engaging in philosophy outside the academy. To that end, he has published in popular venues like Aeon, The Institute of Art and Ideas, and The Conversation. Peter also wrote the introduction to a new edition of Susan Stebbing’s Thinking to Some Purpose (originally published in 1939) which was published by Routledge and intended for a popular audience.

For more info, and a full list of academic and publicly-orientated publications, see:

Dr Peter West's Research

Dr West’s research straddles two areas of the history of philosophy: early modern philosophy and twentieth century philosophy. He is primarily interested in issues in metaphysics and epistemology (especially the mind and mental representation) in these areas. His work is carried out alongside a methodological commitment to expanding the ‘canon’ of the history of philosophy, by examining typically marginalised figures, especially women philosophers. He has published in leading history of philosophy journals on early modern thinkers like George Berkeley, Margaret Cavendish, and Mary Shepherd, and twentieth century thinkers like Susan Stebbing.

His ongoing projects include a study of a generation of women at the dawn of the ‘analytic’ movement in philosophy (including Stebbing, Margaret Macdonald, and Dorothy Emmet) and papers on early modern figures like Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, and Mary Shepherd.

Selected peer-reviewed publications:

  • ‘Stebbing and Eddington in the Shadow of Bergson’ (with Matyáš Moravec) History of Philosophy Quarterly (forthcoming).
  • ‘Getting Beyond the “Curtain of the Fancy”: Anti-Representationalism in Berkeley and Sergeant’ Berkeley Studies (forthcoming).
  • ‘Mind-Body Commerce: Occasional Causation and Mental Representation in Anton Wilhelm Amo’ Philosophy Compass. First view:
  • ‘Margaret Cavendish on Conceivability, Possibility, and the Case of Colours’ British Journal for the History of Philosophy. First view:
  • ‘The Philosopher Versus the Physicist: Susan Stebbing on Eddington and the Passage of Time’ British Journal for the History of Philosophy. First view:
  • ‘L. Susan Stebbing, Philosophy and the Physicists (1937): a re-appraisal’ British Journal for the History of Philosophy 30:5 (2022), 859-873.
  • ‘Why Can An Idea Be Like Nothing But Another Idea? A Conceptual Interpretation of Berkeley’s Likeness Principle’ Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7:4 (2021), 530-548.
  • ‘The Irish Context of Berkeley’s Resemblance Thesis’ (with Manuel Fasko) Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements 88 (2020), 7-13.
  • ‘Reid and Berkeley on Scepticism, Representationalism, and Ideas’ Journal of Scottish Philosophy 17:3 (2019), 191-210.

Selected book chapters:

  • ‘The Unorthodox Margaret Cavendish’ (with Tom Stoneham) in Women and Early Modern European Philosophy, Detlefsen and Shapiro (eds.) (forthcoming).
  • ‘Shepherd’s “modified Berkeleian theory”’ in The Philosophy of Lady Mary Shepherd. Keota Fields (ed.) Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).
  • ‘Is There Anybody Out There? Berkeley’s Indirect Realism About Other Minds’ Berkeley’s Doctrine of Signs. Manuel Fasko and Peter West (eds), under review with De Gruyter.
  • ‘Introduction’ to a new edition of Susan Stebbing’s Thinking to Some Purpose with Routledge (2022), xv-xxviii.
  • ‘Molyneux’s Question: The Irish Debates’ (with Manuel Fasko) in Molyneux’s Question and the History of Philosophy. Gabriele Ferretti and Brian Glenney (eds.) London: Routledge (2020), 122-135.

Dr Peter West's Teaching

I currently lead the following courses at Northeastern University London:

  • Ethics
  • Early Modern Philosophy
  • History of Ethics (MA)

Previously I taught Early Modern Philosophy, Ethics, Philosophy of Science, and Philosophy of Mind at Durham University. Before that, I taught Early Modern Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Mind at Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin.