Kurt Smith, professor of philosophy

Kurt Smith, professor of philosophy

Kurt Smith
Curriculum Vitae

Kurt Smith, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, has a new book recently published (by a commercial press), titled Simply Descartes (2018). The book is geared for the general, non-academic reader. Additionally, a short article of his was published in The Journal of Philosophical Economics (2018), vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 29-36. Editors of the journal approached Smith, asking him to contribute his views on Descartes and the notion of animal spirits in light of recent research that has revealed John Maynard Keynes' use of the latter in his now classic work in economics.

Scholarship 2017

August — Smith, Ph.D., recently returned from having given the keynote for the Third Annual Southern Utah University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, at Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah. The conference has emerged as a premier showcase of undergraduate talent and research, funded in part by the Grace A. Tanner Center for Human Values.

Scholarship 2016

September — Smith, Ph.D., has been signed to write a book about Descartes titled Simply Descartes. It will be part of a series geared for the general public. He is finishing a book for Blackwell titled This is Modern Philosophy, which is part of a series geared for undergraduates.

And before summer's end he will contribute a chapter on Descartes's theory of ideas in a book for Routledge. Lastly, Smith authored several entries included in the recently released Descartes Lexicon, published by Cambridge University Press.

Scholarship 2015

August — Smith, Ph.D., has just published The Descartes Dictionary with Bloomsbury Press. During Winter break, he presented (with Professor Alan Nelson, UNC Chapel Hill, philosophy) "An Analysis of Descartes on Synthesis," at the Eastern Division meetings of the American Philosophical Association. And, he has forthcoming "Rationalism," in Oxford Bibliographies, edited by Duncan Prichard, and This is Modern Philosophy, with Blackwell Publishing.

Scholarship 2014

January — Smith, Ph.D., is on sabbatical this semester. As part of his research project, he is a Visiting Scholar at Princeton University. Princeton's philosophy department has consistently been ranked one of the top few in the country, and counts many scholars of international reputation among its faculty. The department covers the full range of areas studied in an analytic philosophy department: logic and philosophy of science, philosophy of mind and language, metaphysics and epistemology, value theory, and the history of philosophy, including both early modern and ancient.

April — Smith, Ph.D., presented a paper "Was Hobbes an Idealist?" at the Eastern Pennsylvania Philosophical Association (EPPA) meetings in late April at Misericordia University. The EPPA is an organized melting pot of regional philosophers who convene twice a year to share and discuss the latest topics, trends and research, including their own, within the philosophy discipline.

Scholarship 2013

February — Smith, Ph.D., returned from the Los Angeles area, where he presented a paper and conducted a seminar for the philosophy graduate department at Claremont Graduate University. The paper, "Was Hobbes an Idealist?", was presented on Feb. 14, and the seminar was held on Feb. 15, which focused on a second book that he is writing tentatively for Oxford University Press.

February — Smith, Ph.D., recently signed contracts with publishers to author two books. The first is This is Modern Philosophy: An Introduction, for Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, and the second is The Descartes Dictionary, for Continuum Press.

Scholarship 2012

Smith appears in philosophy alums’ short film

Kurt Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy, was recently cast in a short film written by two BU philosophy alums, Jarret Pervola and Aaron Bach, who have also written, directed and produced a short horror film, “Bridge to Frankenstein” that is now making its rounds in the Independent Film Festival circuit. Smith appears in The Theoretical Branch, one in a series of “That Time of Year” films themed on time. This short film pokes fun at corporate philosophy.

November — Smith, Ph.D., was an invited speaker at the workshop and conference, The Language of Nature: Reconsidering the Mathematization of Early Modern Physics, cosponsored by the Rotman Institute, University of Western Ontario, and the Center for the Philosophy of Science, University of Minnesota. This was the inaugural meeting and was held at the Rotman Institute. Smith's paper was titled, "Mathematical Models of Unity and Harmony in the Seventeenth Century: the Universality of the Laws of Nature". The University of Minnesota Press will publish the conference papers in an upcoming book.

April — Smith, Ph.D., recently presented "Hobbes on the Preservation of Motion," at the Mid-Atlantic Early Modern Conference, (April 21 and 22) at Princeton University. This follows on the heels of an earlier trip to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he presented "Was Hobbes an Idealist?" Smith is currently working on his second book, in which some of his research on Hobbes will find a home.

Scholarship 2011

October — Smith, Ph.D., presented "Was Hobbes an Idealist?" at Cornell University (the Sage School of Philosophy) on Oct. 30 for the Upstate New York Workshop in Early Modern Philosophy. He will be presenting "Hobbes on the Preservation of Motion" on Nov. 15 at The Center for the Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh. Both papers are the product of the NEH Summer Seminar he attended, held at Princeton University (2010).

June — Smith, Ph.D., has been selected to participate in a NEH Summer Seminar, hosted by Princeton University, focusing on Early Modern Philosophy. Smith is one out of 13 scholars selected from a national pool of competitors. It’s his third NEH grant since coming to BU (1999).

Scholarship 2010

March — Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy, has had his paper (co-authored with professor Alan Nelson, University North Carolina at Chapel Hill, philosophy), "Cartesian Substance and Divisibility," accepted for publication in the upcoming volume (vol. 5) of the _Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy_ (Oxford University Press). On a lighter note, Smith's contribution in Open Court's pop culture series, Stephen Colbert and Philosophy, titled "The Wealth of Colbert Nations," will hit the bookstores soon. The contribution deals with Colbert's crazy view of free market capitalism and the privatization of higher education.

March — Smith, Ph.D., presented "Many Bodies or One?: Reconciling Two Competing Readings of Descartes's Position on Corporeal Substance," at Syracuse University on March 6. This is a colloquium on Cartesian philosophy sponsored by Cornell University and Syracuse University, funded by a Mellon Foundation grant.

April — Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy, presented "Leibniz on Unity and Harmony" at Johns Hopkins. The conference was sponsored by a Mid-Atlantic research group in modern philosophy, whose members are Columbia University, Rutgers University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins.

Scholarship 2008

April — Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy, was one of three featured presenters at an early modern philosophy conference (April 25th) at UNC Chapel Hill. He presented "Debunking the Direct Realist Reading of Descartes". He also was an invited discussant on NPR's "The State of Things" (his third appearance on NPR), hosted by Frank Stasio. You can hear Smith by podcast.

May — Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy, just returned from giving three invited lectures at California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. The first focused on 17th Rationalism, the second was a department colloquium talk focused on his new book manuscript (Matter Matters), and the third was a campus wide talk on academic freedom.