Brandon C. Look
University Research Professor
Department of Philosophy
University of Kentucky
1415 Patterson Office Tower
Lexington, KY 40506-0027
My research focuses on the history of modern philosophy, especially on the metaphysics, epistemology and natural philosophy of Leibniz and Kant. Work on Leibniz has resulted in three books: Leibniz and 'Vinculum Substantiale', The Leibniz-Des Bosses Correspondence, a critical edition and translation (with Donald Rutherford), and The Continuum Companion to Leibniz. At the moment, I am engaged in a larger project, examining Kant's Auseinandersetzung with the philosophy of Leibniz and the Leibnizian tradition. I am editing a collection of essays on this subject, Leibniz and Kant, which is under contract with Oxford University Press, and I am writing a monograph, Leibniz, Kant and the Possibility of Metaphysics, which details Kant's critical reaction to Leibniz's philosophy. I am also working on (and have taught graduate seminars on) a constellation of issues in contemporary metaphysics that have evident early modern roots: the nature of substance (or the nature of material constitution), the metaphysics of modality, the nature of causation, and the a priori. In addition, I have active interests in the history and philosophy of science, contemporary epistemology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and logic.
In addition to teaching at the University of Kentucky, I have also taught courses at the University of Chicago and the Universität Bielefeld.
My work has been supported by the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung. For the 2011-12 academic year, I was in Princeton as the Hans Kohn Member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study. For the present academic year (2012-13), I am on leave, having been awarded a research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
I was the recipient of the College of Arts & Sciences' Outstanding Teaching Award for 2006-07. In Spring 2011 I was named University Research Professor.
I am also editor of the 17th and 18th Century Philosophy category of philpapers.
View my CV as pdf or html.
Leibniz and Kant, editor, under contract with Oxford University Press.
The Continuum Companion to Leibniz, editor, London and New York: Continuum, 2011.
The Leibniz-Des Bosses Correspondence, edited and translated with Donald Rutherford, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007.
Leibniz and the 'Vinculum Substantiale', Stuttgart: Steiner, 1999 = Studia Leibnitiana Sonderheft 30.
"Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz," in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2007). Revised 2013.
"Leibniz's Modal Metaphysics," in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008). Revised 2013.
"Essence, existence, et expression: Leibniz sur 'toutes des absurdités du dieu de Spinoza'," in Spinoza/Leibniz: Rencontres, Controverses, Réceptions, eds. M. Laerke, R. Andrault, P.-F. Moreau. Lyon: ENS Editions, forthcoming.
"Matter, Inertia and the Contingency of Laws of Nature in Leibniz and Kant," in Akten des XI. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses, Berlin: De Gruyter, forthcoming.
"Idealism and Corporeal Substance in Leibniz's Metaphysics," in Routledge Debates in Early Modern Philosophy, eds. A. LoLordo and M.A. Stewart, New York and London: Routledge, 2012, pp. 132-41.
"Leibniz, Kant and Frege on the Existence Predicate," in Natur und Subjekt: Akten des IX. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses, ed. H. Breger, J. Herbst and S. Erdner, Hannover: Hartmann, 2011, pp. 616-24.
"Leibniz's Metaphysics: The Path to the Monadology," in The Continuum Companion to Leibniz, London and New York: Continuum, 2011, pp. 89-109.
"Leibniz's Theory of Causation," in The Continuum Companion to Leibniz, London and New York: Continuum, 2011, pp. 174-91.
"Grounding the Principle of Sufficient Reason: Leibnizian Rationalism versus the Humean Challenge," in The Rationalists: Between Tradition and Revolution, eds. Carlos Fraenkel et al., Dordrecht: Springer, 2011, pp. 201-19. (Purchase it here for $25.00!)
"Leibniz's Metaphysics and Metametaphysics: Idealism, Realism and the Nature of Substance," in Philosophy Compass 5/11 (October 2010), pp. 871-79. (viewable here)
"Leibniz and Locke on Natural Kinds," in Branching Off: The Early Moderns in Quest for the Unity of Knowledge, ed. Vlad Alexandrescu, Bucharest: Zeta Books, 2009, pp. 380-407. Preprint.
"Perfection, Power, and the Passions in Spinoza and Leibniz," in Revue roumaine de philosophie 51:1 (2007), pp. 21-38. Preprint.
"Some Remarks on the Ontological Arguments of Leibniz and Gödel," in Einheit in der Vielheit: Akten des VIII. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses, Hannover, 2006, pp. 510-17. Preprint.
"Blumenbach and Kant on Mechanism and Teleology in Nature: The Case of the Formative Drive," in The Problem of Animal Generation in Modern Philosophy, ed. Justin E. H. Smith, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp. 355-72.
"Leibniz and the Shelf of Essence," in The Leibniz Review 15 (2005), pp. 27-47. Preprint.
"On Substance and Relations in Leibniz's Correspondence with Des Bosses," in Leibniz and His Correspondents, ed. Paul Lodge, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. 238-61.
"On Monadic Domination in Leibniz's Metaphysics," in British Journal for the History of Philosophy 10:3 (August 2002), pp. 379-99. pdf.
"'Becoming Who One Is' in Spinoza and Nietzsche," in Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly 50 (July 2001), pp. 327-38. Preprint.
"Leibniz and the Substance of the Vinculum Substantiale," in Journal of the History of Philosophy 38:2 (April 2000), pp. 203-220. pdf.
"From the Metaphysical Union of Mind and Body to the Real Union of Monads: Leibniz on Supposita and Vincula Substantialia," in Southern Journal of Philosophy 36:4 (December 1998), pp.505-29. pdf.
"On an Unpublished Manuscript of Leibniz: New Light on the Vinculum Substantiale and the Correspondence with Des Bosses," in The Leibniz Society Review 8 (1998), pp. 59-69. Preprint.
Honors 101: The Ancient World (syllabus)
Honors 102: The Medieval and Renaissance World (syllabus)
Honors 201: The Early Modern World (syllabus)
Honors 202: The Contemporary World (syllabus)
Philosophy 100: Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality (course site)
Philosophy 120: Introductory Logic (course site)
Philosophy 251: Philosophy and Classical Physics (syllabus)
Philosophy 260: History of Philosophy I: Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (course site)
Philosophy 270: History of Philosophy II: Modern Philosophy (course site)
Philosophy 509: Topics in Modern Philosophy: Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz (course site)
Philosophy 509: Topics in Modern Philosophy: Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Reid (course site)
Philosophy 509: Topics in Modern Philosophy: Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (course site)
Philosophy 520: Symbolic Logic II (course site)
Philosophy 550: Philosophical Problems of Knowledge and Reality (course site)
Philosophy 560: Philosophy of Science (course site)
Philosophy 650: Seminar on Metaphysics and Epistemology: The Metaphysics of Modality (course site)
Philosophy 650: Seminar on Metaphysics and Epistemology: The Metaphysics of Material Beings: Constitution, Persistence, and Identity (course site)
Philosophy 680: Seminar on Metaphysics and Epistemology: Causation (course site)
Philosophy 710: Seminar on Modern Philosophy: The Philosophy of Leibniz
Philosophy 710: Seminar on Modern Philosophy: The Philosophy of Spinoza
Philosophy 710: Seminar on Modern Philosophy: Kant: Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science
Philosophy 710: Seminar on Modern Philosophy: From Leibniz to Kant, or Becoming Immanuel Kant (course site)
University of Kentucky Department of Philosophy