This spring, I’ve been working on a proposal for a book on early modern aesthetics, based on some of the work I did for the Bloomsbury Anthology of Aesthetics. The goal is to show how aesthetics became a distinct (though relatively marginal) part of Western academic philosophy during the 17th and 18th centuries. I also hope to show how the methods employed in early modern aesthetics derive from other parts of philosophy (metaphysics, logic, ethics, etc.) and the sciences (physics, physiology, psychology, etc.).
I’ve also been working on a few conference papers. The first (“Baumgarten on Sensible Perfection”) is for the conference on Baumgarten’s Metaphysics at LaSalle University in Philadelphia. The second (“Distinctness in German Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century: Metaphysics, Logic, Aesthetics”) is for the 2nd Iberoamerican Leibniz Congress in Granada, Spain. The third is a revision of an old paper on critique and science in Kant’s pre-critical aesthetics. I’m planning to turn them into articles during the summer, along with some of the other things that I had to put on hold while I was finishing the Kant book.
At St. Mary’s, I’ve been busy teaching courses on ethics, late modern philosophy, and a capstone seminar on the concepts of vocation and the common good, along with an independent study on Beauvoir’s Second Sex. I’ve gotten the philosophy department’s faculty research colloquium up and running. I’m also organizing a research workshop for faculty members who are trying to finish articles during the summer. I’ve continued to work with the University Research Council and joined a new strategic planning committee for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.