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.