Alison Peterman

Co-chair, Department of Philosophy, University of Rochester

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy

Associate Professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Science

BA Program Director, Rochester Education Justice Initiative



Office:520 Lattimore Hall

Areas of Specialization

Early Modern Philosophy
History of Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Perception, Metaphysics


PhD, Philosophy 2012 Northwestern University
MS, Physics 2012 University of Maryland
BA, Philosophy 2004 University of Richmond


A current CV is available here.


I am finishing a book on Margaret Cavendish for the Routledge Philosophers series. I am starting a book about metaphysical structure in early modern philosophy.


"Cavendish on matter and materialism." Forthcoming, Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy. (draft)
"'Actions of a body sentient': Cavendish on the mind (and against panpsychism)." Forthcoming, Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind. (draft)
"Spinoza's physics." In Blackwell Companion to Spinoza, ed. Yitzhak Melamed.
"The world soul in early modern philosophy." Forthcoming in Oxford Philosophical Concepts: The World Soul. (preprint)
"Cavendish on Motion and Merology." Journal of the History of Philosophy, June 2019. (preprint)
"Canonizing Cavendish." HOPOS 8(1), Spring 2018: 191-197. (preprint)
"Empress vs. Spiderman: Margaret Cavendish on pure and applied mathematics." Synthese. (preprint)
"Two claims about the mind-body relation." Spinoza in 21st Century American and French Philosophy. Ed. Charles Raymond and Jack Stetter (Bloomsbury). ((preprint)
"Newton and Spinoza." The Oxford Handbook of Newton. Ed. Eric Schliesser and Chris Smeenk (OUP). (preprint)
"Descartes and Spinoza on Embodiment." Oxford Philosophical Concepts: Embodiment. Ed. Justin E.H. Smith (OUP). (preprint)
"The 'physical' interlude." Cambridge Critical Guide to Spinoza's Ethics. Ed. Yitzhak Melamed (CUP).
"Spinoza on skepticism." Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present.. Ed. Baron Reed and Diego Machuca (Bloomsbury). (preprint)
"Spinoza on extension." Philosophers' Imprint 15(14), April 2015.
"Spinoza on physical science." Philosophy Compass 9(3), March 2014.
"Spinoza on the 'principles of natural things'." Leibniz Review (22), December 2012. (preprint)
Please see CV for forthcoming work and work in progress.


PHL 101 (fully remote with podcast interviews): Introduction to Philosophy (Syllabus)
PHL 101 (at Attica CF): Introduction to Philosophy(Syllabus)
PHL 202: Introduction to Modern Philosophy(Syllabus)
PHL 223 (at Groveland CF): Political Philosophy (Syllabus)
PHL 327/BCS 227 (with Richard Lange): Theory of Perception (Syllabus)
PHL 270/470: Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (Syllabus)
PHL 555: Panpsychism
PHL 555 (with Hayley Clatterbuck): Abstraction (Syllabus)
PHL 270/470: Hume and Reid (Syllabus)
PHL 590 (with Paul Audi): Properties (Syllabus)
PHL 270/470: Rationalism
PHL 265/467: Empiricism (Syllabus)
PHL 327/BCS 227 (with Lauren Emberson): Theory of Perception (Syllabus)
PHL 150: Reason and Argument (Syllabus)
PHL 101: Introduction to Philosophy
PHL 110: Introductory Logic (Syllabus)
PHL 300: Seminar for Majors (Perception) (Syllabus)
PHL 300: Seminar for Majors (Freedom) (Syllabus)