Each of us finds himself not just already in the world, but already in a particular world: a particular moment in history, a particular culture, a particular family, a particular language. Our beliefs, values and concepts are radically shaped by these contingent facts about where we find ourselves in the space of possibility. What are we to make of this? Are revelations of the genealogical contingency of our beliefs, concepts and values cause for anxiety about their status?
I am currently at work on a monograph, The Contingent World: Genealogy, Epistemology, Politics, about what I call ‘genealogical anxiety’: the worry that revelations of contingency undermine the veracity or legitimacy of our beliefs, values and concepts.
Predicting the Future in Greco-Roman Antiquity
My research centres around the intersection of philosophical notions of prediction with real-world practice in the Greco-Roman and early Christian worlds. My first book focuses on the 3rd century Christian philosopher and exegete Origen of Alexandria, and his approach to prophecy, allegory, and the structure of scripture.
Currently, I am working on the philosophical links between scientific prediction and religious prediction in the ancient Greek world. My aim is to show how similar approaches to thinking about knowledge and time underpin Greek understandings of astronomical, astrological, medical, and religious prediction.