rTWa  home

am a professional philosopher teaching and researching at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I research mainly on early modern natural philosophy and mathematics, the theory of time, and the infinite. I have also published in the epistemology of science, especially on thought experiments. See research interests for details. I also teach courses in logic (intro and intermediate), philosophy of science, and philosophy of the enlightenment.

In November 2017 I completed revisions on a major work on Leibniz’s theory of substance, Monads, Composition and Force: Ariadnean Threads through Leibniz's Labyrinth, (180,000 words), and sent it off to Oxford University Press for publicationIn it I offer new insights into Leibniz's theory of substance based on his solution to the labyrinth of the continuum, presenting it as a highly original account of the composition of bodies and motions that is neither phenomenalist nor materialist.

I am also currently writing another book (~70,000 words) for Springer's Frontiers of Science series, The Reality of Time Flow, defending the reality of temporal becoming in modern physics against the multifarious objections of philosophers from the Ancients through Russell to Smart, Grünbaum and Putnam, and physicists such as Barbour and Rovelli.

Hot Off the Press! My An Introduction to Logic, Using Natural Deduction, Real Arguments, a Little History, and Some Humour (Broadview, 2017)— 2nd (retitled) edition of my Natural DeductionAdopt it for your classes, or buy it to learn logic on your own! It’s inexpensive for a logic text (~$40), and perfect preparation for LSAT, etc.!



Also of interest to the general reader, my Leibniz, (Polity Press, 2014), where I give a fresh overview of the great German polymath's thought, with emphasis both on its roots and its contemporary scientific and philosophical relevance.

In June I was invited to three functions in Paris: a conference on Wholes and Parts, where I gave a paper on “Monads as Constituents of Bodies in Leibniz’s Metaphysics”; the PhilMath Intersem run by Notre Dame University with Paris 7, where I spoke on “Mathematics and the Leibnizian actual infinite”,  and an hommage to Jean-Marie Beyssade at the Séminaire Descartes. Last November I was invited to participate in a workshop to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Leibniz's death the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig, where I gave a paper on Leibniz and quantum theory; I returned via Paris to participate in the Séminaire Descartes to present a paper on Le part de Beeckman

See latest news for more. 

"Many other things I long to be at, but I do extremely want time." --Robert Hooke, 3 Sept 1667

© Richard TW Arthur 2016