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Dr Nabeel Hamid

Assistant Professor, Philosophy

Dr Nabeel Hamid
Office: S-M 110 
M Annex,
2135 Mackay
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2597

I work in the history of European philosophy from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, especially in the German context. My main interests are in topics in metaphysics and philosophy of science. My primary research project (funded by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant) deals with the reception of Descartes in seventeenth- and early-eighteenth century German universities--a phenomenon sometimes called 'Cartesian Scholasticism'. I am tracing the development of theories of causation and substance through the confluence of Cartesian and Aristotelian ideas in the German scholastic tradition from Johann Clauberg (1622-65) to Christian Wolff (1679-1754). Of especial interest to me are the various attempts in this tradition to reconcile mechanistic and teleological principles in cosmology. The project looks forward to (as well as back from) Kant. 

A second research project concerns the philosophy of the human sciences in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Germany. I am especially interested in Wilhelm Dilthey's (1833-1911) theory of historical understanding--its psychological foundations, its relation to natural scientific explanation, and its critical and empiricist underpinnings. The project aims to situate Dilthey's 'critique of historical reason' in the context of a) the emergence of new empirical sciences of human nature in nineteenth-century Germany, such as anthropology, sociology, and psychology; and b) contemporaneous currents in German philosophy to interpret the new scientific situation, such as positivism, idealism, materialism, and neo-Kantianism. 

I also have interests in the medieval period, in particular in debates on causation among authors in the Islamic world, such as ibn Sina, al-Ghazali, and ibn Rushd, and their impact on the development of both Aristotelian and anti-Aristotelian accounts of causation in the later medieval and early modern periods. 

I took my PhD (2018) from the University of Pennsylvania.


1. "Efficient Cause as Paradigm? From Suárez to Clauberg." Journal of Modern Philosophy. forthcoming
2. "Substance, Causation, and the Mind-Body Problem in Johann Clauberg." Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy, vol. 11. forthcoming
3. "Law and Structure in Dilthey's Philosophy of History." British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (2021):633-651.
4. "Domesticating Descartes, Renovating Scholasticism: Johann Clauberg and the German Reception of Cartesianism." History of Universities 30/2 (2020):57-84. 
5. "Wolff's Science of Teleology and Kant's Critique." Ergo 6 (2019):489-515. 
6. "Teleology and Realism in Leibniz's Philosophy of Science." In Leibniz and the Structure of Sciences, edited by Vincenzo de Risi, 271-298 (Berlin: Springer, 2019). 
7. "Kant's Antinomy of Teleology: In Defense of a Traditional Interpretation." In Proceedings of the 12th International Kant Congress, edited by Violetta Waibel and Margit Ruffing, 1641-1648 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2018).
8. "Dilthey on the Unity of Science." British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (2016):635-656.
9. "Hume's (Berkeleyan) Language of Representation." Hume Studies 41 (2015):171-200.

Teaching activities

Regularly taught courses:

PHIL281: Philosophy in the Islamic World (Winter semesters)
PHIL360: 17th Century Philosophy (Fall semesters)
PHIL361: 18th Century Philosophy (Winter semesters)

PHIL4xx/6xx (upper undergrad/grad seminars): recent topics have included Kant's Critique of Pure Reason; Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgment; Teleology in Early Modern Philosophy

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