Patrick Connolly

Patrick Connolly

Associate Professor

Contact Information

Research Interests: Early Modern Philosophy, History and Philosophy of Science

Education: PhD, University of North Carolina

Patrick Connolly’s research focuses on a number of issues at the intersection of philosophy, theology, and the natural sciences in early modern Europe and North America.  Much of his work has focused on John Locke, Isaac Newton, and related thinkers.  Connolly has worked to develop an approach to Locke that understands the Lockean theory of mind as an exercise in cognitive psychology: an examination of human cognitive functioning and mental abilities.  He has also explored Locke’s engagement with natural philosophy on topics like mechanism, causation, laws of nature, and gravitational attraction.  In addition to exploring Newton’s own thought, Connolly has examined the philosophical reception of Newton by late seventeenth and early eighteenth century thinkers such as Richard Bentley, George Cheyne, and Susanna Newcome. 

Current projects include a monograph on Isaac Newton’s metaphysics and editorial work for a volume in the Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke.  He is also editing the Oxford Handbook of Locke

Connolly earned a BA from Georgetown University in philosophy and history and an MA and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Recently taught courses include: 

 Introduction to the History of Early Modern Philosophy 

 Philosophical Issues in Newton and Newtonianism 

 American Indian Philosophy 

 Humans and Other Animals 

 Introduction to Medieval Philosophy 

For a complete list of publications please visit my personal website.

  • 2019.  “Locke’s Theory of Demonstration and Demonstrative Morality”  Philosophy and Phenomenological Research  98(2): 435-451. 
  • 2019.  “Susanna Newcome’s Cosmological Argument”  British Journal for the History of Philosophy  27(4): 842-859. 
  • 2018.  “Locke and the Methodology of Newton’s Principia”  Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie  100(3): 311-335. 
  • 2017.  “The Idea of Power and Locke’s Taxonomy of Ideas”  Australasian Journal of Philosophy  95(1): 1-16. 
  • 2014.  “Newton and God’s Sensorium”  Intellectual History Review  24(2): 185-201.