Michael Hickson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Santa Clara University. Hickson received his Ph.D. in philosophy in 2009 from the University of Western Ontario after working with Thomas Lennon on Bayle and the problem of evil. His research interests, in addition to Bayle and evil, include Descartes, early modern skepticism, and the history of conscience. He is currently completing his translation of Bayle’s last book, Dialogues of Maximus and Themistius (1707), which is under contract with Brill Academic Publishers.

Marcy Lascano, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Long Beach. Professor Lascano received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 2006 and specializes in early modern philosophy (including women from the early modern period), philosophy of religion, and metaphysics. Her publications have appeared in several journals and books, including British Journal for the History of Philosophy and The Leibniz Review.

Ryan Nichols, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, California State University, Fullerton. Nichols researches 18th-century Scottish thought, philosophy of religion, experimental philosophy and early Confucianism. His work on the thought of Thomas Reid and its intellectual context yielded Thomas Reid's Theory of Perception (Oxford 2007). Nichols' papers have appeared in Philosophical Quarterly, Journal for the History of Philosophy, and Philosophy East and West.

Todd Ryan, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Trinity College. Ryan earned a B.S. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Iowa. His principal research interests are in metaphysics and philosophy of religion in early modern philosophy. His book, Pierre Bayle’s Cartesian Metaphysics (Routledge, 2009), examines the influence of Descartes and Malebranche on Bayle’s treatment of a range of metaphysical issues, including mind-body dualism, Lockean superaddition and causation. In addition to his work on Bayle, Ryan has also published on several other figures in the early modern period, including Berkeley and Hume.

For more information on their projects, please visit their subpages in the sidebar.


Dissertation Fellowship Recipients


Colin Chamberlain (Harvard University) Colin Chamberlain is working with Alison Simmons at Harvard University. His dissertation is about the mind-body union and the passions in Descartes and Malebranche, and he is especially interested in how the union has been corrupted since the Fall. In his spare time, Colin worries about various mind-body problems, philosophical or otherwise.

Eric Stencil (University of Wisconsin, Madison) Eric Stencil's dissertation, Cartesian Modality: Possibility and Essence in Descartes and Arnauld, examines René Descartes's theory of modality and its development in the philosophy of Antoine Arnauld. His main philosophical interests are in early modern philosophy and in corresponding issues in contemporary metaphysics. He is especially interested in the philosophy of Descartes and other 17th century Cartesians, e.g., Arnauld and Nicolas Malebranche. He has a paper forthcoming on Malebranche's conception of the general will of God in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy.