Walter Ott

Professor & Director of Graduate Admissions

Modern Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Epistemology

Curriculum Vitae // PDF icon Ott CV for web.pdf

  • Office Address: 210 Levering Hall
  • Office Hours: Monday 1-2, Wednesday 12-1, & by Appointment
  • Class Schedule:

    PHIL 1750 The Meaning of Life

    MW 11:00-11:50

    PHIL 7500 Descartes

    M - 3:30-6:00

My research focuses on metaphysics (especially causation and laws of nature) and philosophy of mind (especially perception) in the modern period.

Selected Publications

‘The Case Against Powers.’ In Causal Powers in Science: Blending Historical and Conceptual Perspectives. Ed. Benjamin Hill, Henrik Lagerlund, and Stathis Psillos. Oxford University Press. Forthcoming


‘Archetypes without Patterns: Locke on Relations and Mixed Modes.’ Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie. Forthcoming


Descartes, Malebranche, and the Crisis of Perception. Oxford University Press, UK, 2017


Laws of Nature. Co-editor, with Lydia Patton. Oxford University Press, UK, 2017


‘Phenomenal Intentionality and the Problem of Representation.’ Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2, 1 (2016)


‘Leibniz on Sensation and the Limits of Reason.’ History of Philosophy Quarterly 33, 2 (2016)


‘Malebranche and the Riddle of Sensation.’ Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88, 3 (2014)


‘What is Locke’s Theory of Representation?’ British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 20, 6 (2012)


Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy.  Oxford University Press, UK, 2009


‘Causation, Intentionality, and the Case for Occasionalism.’  Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 90, 2 (2008)


Locke’s Philosophy of Language.  Cambridge University Press, UK, 2004

Full-time Faculty

Sahar Akhtar

Assistant Professor

Elizabeth Barnes


Talbot Brewer


Ross P. Cameron

Professor & Director of Undergraduate Program

James Cargile


Brie Gertler

Commonwealth Professor & Department Chair

Paul Humphreys

Commonwealth Professor

Harold Langsam


Antonia LoLordo

Professor & Director of Graduate Studies

Loren Lomasky

Cory Professor of Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law

Ian McCready-Flora

Assistant Professor

Trenton Merricks

Commonwealth Professor

Walter Ott

Professor & Director of Graduate Admissions

Jorge Secada


A. John Simmons

John Allen Hollingsworth Professor of Philosophy

Rebecca Stangl

Associate Professor

Affiliated Faculty

Colin Bird

Associate Professor (Politics) & Director of Political Philosophy, Policy and Law

Erin Eaker

A&S Assistant Dean & Assistant Professor

M. Jamie Ferreira

Professor Emerita (Religious Studies)

Kim Ferzan

Caddell & Chapman Professor of Law

George Klosko

Henry L. and Grace Doherty Professor (Politics)

Visiting Faculty

Kendall Cox


Andrew Morgan

Assistant Professor

Joshua Schwartz

Assistant Professor, General Faculty

Emeritus Faculty

Daniel Devereux

Professor Emeritus

Cora Diamond

Kenan Professor of Philosophy Emerita

John Marshall

Professor Emeritus

George Thomas

Professor Emeritus