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Nabeel Hamid



Gary Hatfield; Karen Detlefsen; Rolf-Peter Horstmann; Susan Sauvé Meyer

Research Interests

I work on the history of early modern natural philosophy and metaphysics, with special focus on Germany. My dissertation, Being and the Good: Natural Teleology in Early Modern German Philosophy, highlights the resilience and evolution of medieval scholastic philosophy in the face of the Scientific Revolution. By attending to the institutional context of early modern German universities, I show how Leibniz, Wolff, and Kant preserved some of the central theses of medieval Aristotelianism by adjusting them to the demands of the new mechanical conception of nature. These philosophers’ attempts to rehabilitate natural teleology, I argue, was continuous with a wider project in Protestant German academia of reconciling the modern view of nature as passive and lifeless with the ancient paradigm of nature as purposeful. My dissertation begins with the reception of sixteenth century Jesuit scholasticism at the hands of neglected figures such as Christoph Scheibler, Johann Clauberg, and Erhard Weigel. This background of university philosophy provides a new framework in which to interpret the persistent and sometimes puzzling commitment of better-known authors such as Leibniz and Kant to locating value within nature.

I have additional research interests in post-Kantian (nineteenth and early twentienth century) philosophy and science, in the history and philosophy of the mind sciences, and in medieval Arabic theories of causation. 

Selected Publications

2015. "Hume's (Berkeleyan) Language of Representation." Hume Studies, 41 (2):171-200.

2016. "Dilthey on the unity of science." British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 24 (4):635-656.