The 2009 Aquinas Lecture, What Happens after Pascal’s Wager: Living Faith and Rational Belief was delivered on Sunday, February 23, 2009, by Daniel Garber, Chair and Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University.
Daniel Garber studied Philosophy at Harvard University, receiving his PhD in 1975. He taught at the University of Chicago from 1975-2002. From 1995-2002 he was Lawrence Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in Philosophy, and a member of the Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, and the Morris Fishbein Center for the Study of History of Science and Medicine. In 2002 he moved to Princeton University, where he has been Chair of the Department since 2005. Prof. Garber has held visiting appointments at the University of Minnesota, Johns Hopkins University, Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, École Normale Supérieure (Lettres) (Lyon, France), and the University of Oxford (Faculty of Philosophy and Corpus Christi College), where he was Isaiah Berlin Visiting Professor. Among numerous honors and awards, Prof. Garber has received several NEH grants, an ACLS Fellowship, and the Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching at the University of Chicago.
Prof. Garber has been a prolific scholar. He has authored two books, Descartes’ Metaphysical Physics and Descartes Embodied: Reading Cartesian Philosophy through Cartesian Science. Both of those books have been translated into French. In addition, he co-edited (with Michael Ayers) the two volume Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, and has edited or co-edited several other books, including a collection of translations of texts by Leibniz and, most recently, a collection of essays entitled Kant and the Early Moderns. He has two books forthcoming: a monograph entitled Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad to be published by Oxford University Press and a collection of essays on the history of the mechanical philosophy in the seventeenth century to be published in the series Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Prof. Garber has published more than eighty journal articles and book chapters covering many figures in the history of modern philosophy, including Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke and Berkeley. In addition, he has published essays on the history of science, Aristotelianism in the seventeenth century, an several articles on the practice and value of historical scholarship in philosophy. His 1989 essay “Does History have a Future? Some Reflections on Bennett and Doing Philosophy Historically” influenced a generation of younger scholars. His more recent essays “Toward an Antiquarian History of Philosophy” and “What’s Philosophical about the History of Philosophy?” provide rich additions to the literature on the value of history to philosophy.
Prof. Garber’s service to the profession is especially notable. He is Co-editor (with Steven Nadler), of Oxford Studies in Early-Modern Philosophy, Associate Editor of the New Synthese Historical Library (Springer), a member of the Board of Editors of Oxford Studies in the History of Philosophy, and Perspectives on Science, a member of the Board of Advisors of The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy and the Lexicon Philosophicum (Lessico Intellectuale Europeo e Storia delle Idee, Rome), and a Consulting Editor of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science and the British Journal for the History of Philosophy.