Christia Mercer

Christia Mercer

Fellow: Awarded 2012

Field of Study: Philosophy

Competition: US & Canada

Website: http://blogs.cuit.columbia.edu/cm50/

Christia Mercer is Gustave M. Berne Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. She specializes in the history of early modern philosophy, but her research extends to the history of Platonism, philosophical methodology, and feminism. After publishing Leibniz's Metaphysics: Its Origin and Development (CUP) in 2001, she has become increasingly concerned to use art historical and related materials in her work and to encourage a broader methodological approach to the history of philosophy than philosophers usually practice. During the Guggenheim Fellowship, Mercer will work on a book project, Platonisms in Early Modern Thought.  She will also continue to oversee a new book series, Oxford Philosophical Concepts. The main goal of the series is to offer accounts of key concepts in the history of philosophy (for example, matter, soul, evil, space, health, consciousness, sympathy, and self-knowledge). The series engages the best international scholars as editors and contributors. Books will contain lexicons and interdisciplinary Reflections. The latter are short essays that engage the volume’s concept and use non-philosophical materials, especially those drawn from the arts. The main motivation behind Reflections is to contextualize the concepts more fully and explore the boundaries between philosophical and extra-philosophical materials.  Each volume attempts to explain the underlying problems that a central concept was supposed to solve, how approaches to the concept—and sometimes the concept itself—shifted in order to solve those problems, and the role the concept played in non-philosophical pursuits. The volumes will deepen understanding of key concepts, their history and transformations.