Philosophy Program


Patricia Easton

Professor of Philosophy

Patricia Easton

Philosophy Department
School of Arts and Humanities
Claremont Graduate University
121 E. Tenth Street, #2
Tel.: 909.607.9440
Fax: 909.607.1221

Spring 2014 Office Hours:
By appointment.

Professor Easton received her B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy, with honors, from Glendon College, York University in 1987. She received her M.A. (1988) and Ph.D. (1993) from the University of Western Ontario. From 1993 to 1995 she taught philosophy at the University of Toronto as a visiting lecturer. She also taught at the University of Western Ontario for one year and in 1995 she joined the Philosophy Department at Claremont Graduate University.

Professor Easton specializes in the history of modern philosophy, particularly the philosophy of René Descartes and the Cartesians of the seventeenth century. Her interests also include the philosophy of mind, the history of science, and the history of philosophy. Her current research centers on the writings of Robert Desgabets (1610-1678), whose Cartesianism represents an important challenge to traditional conceptions of the Cartesian philosophy. As a recipient of the Borchard Scholar-in-Residency Grant, she spent the fall of 2000 in France working on an extended study of Desgabets's writings. She also directed and edited The Descartes Web Site that features seventeenth-century French and English editions of Descartes' work, The Passions of the Soul.

At CGU she teaches courses and seminars in early modern philosophy. She has also taken part in team-teaching transdisciplinary courses at CGU.

More Information for Professor Easton

 Borchard Scholar in residence at the Chateau de la Bretesche, Missillac, France, in the Fall 2000 semester

Selected Grants and Honors

NEH Summar Scholar, “Descartes, Galileo, Hobbes,” Directed by Daniel Garber, Princeton University, July 12th through August 6th, 2010.

Blais Foundation, $5,000 “Planning an all-Claremont College philosophy with Brian Keeley, Associate Professor, Pitzer College, 2008-09.

ACLS/Mellon Foundation Final Judge Panelist for the National Dissertation Completion Fellowship (March 2007, March 2008, March 2009), New York City, 2007-09

Norris Foundation, $15,000. for Consulting Clinics in the Arts/Non-profit sector,2006-2007

Kozmetsky small research grant to student-faculty “Culture Wars” research project 2006-07 (faculty participant)

CGS/Ford Foundation Implementation Grant for implementation of new programs in Museum Studies, Archival Studies, and Arts Administration (two-year grant period, 2005-07, $60,000.)

CGS/Ford Foundation Planning Grant, “Professional Masters Program in Social Sciences and Humanities: A Proposal for the Arts and Humanities at Claremont Graduate University, 2004 ($15,000)

Mellon Foundation Grant for IMPACT (Investigation of Multiple Pedagogies and Assessment of (online) Computer Technologies), 2004-2006 ($190,000)

Fletcher-Jones Research Grant, 2001-03 ($5,000)

Borchard Foundation Scholar-in-Residence Grant (3 month residency, fall 2001, at Chateau de la Bretesche, Brittany, plus $12,500 stipend)

Irvine Implementation Grant for Interdisciplinary Programs, with Constance Jordan, 1998-2001

Irvine Planning Grant for Interdisciplinary Programs, with Constance Jordan, 1997

CGU Internal Grant for Descartes Web Site Development, 1996-97 ($5,000)

Post-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Toronto, 1993-94

Post Doctoral Fellowship, University of Western Ontario, 1992-93

Queen Elizabeth II Ontario Scholarship (declined), 1992-93

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship, 1988-1992

Graduate Research Scholarship, University of Western Ontario, 1991

University of Western Ontario Entrance Scholarship, 1987-89

Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 1987-88

The Adele Kuperstein Memorial Scholarship for Research in the Social Sciences, 1987


List of Selected Publications

Edited and Co-Authored Books

The Descartes's Web Site: Passions de L'Ame and Passions of the Soul, a modernized edition, directed and edited by Patricia Easton (May 2000) URL =

A modern web-edition of Descartes's last work, Passions de L'Ame (Paris, 1649) and the first English translation of the work, Passions of the Soul (London, 1650). The French text was modernized by Andre Gombay and edited by Patricia Easton; the English text was modernized and edited by Patricia Easton.

Logic and the Workings of the Mind: The Logic of Ideas and Faculty Psychology in Early Modern Philosophy, North American Kant Society Studies in Philosophy Series (Atascadero: Ridgeview Publishing,1997)

A collection of critical essays by various authors; I edited the volume and co-wrote the introduction with Lorne Falkenstein.

The Cartesian Empiricism of François Bayle, with Thomas M. Lennon (New York: Garland Press, 1992)

Bibliographia Malebranchiana: An Annotated Bibliography of the Malebranche Literature into 1989, with Thomas M. Lennon and Gregor Sebba, Journal of the History of Philosophy Monograph Series (Carbondale & Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992)

Articles and Book Chapters

"Francois Bayle," article entry in: Descartes Lexicon, edited by L. Nolan, Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

"The Cartesian Doctor, Francois Bayle (1622-1709), on Psychosomatic Explanation," Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological & Biomedical Science, Cambridge: Elsevier. Published online 05 February, 2011. doi locator: 10.1016/j.shpsc.2010.12.004.

"Sincerety and Skepticism: Tackling the Bayle Enigma," essay in Gods and Giants in Early Modern Philosophy, ed., Patricia Easton,  University of Toronto Press, forthcoming.

"The Siren Song of Skepticism: Pierre Bayle's Non-fideistic Refrain," in Skeptical Faith: On Faith, Belief, and Skepticism, ed. I.U. Dalferth and M. Rodgers, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming.

"René Descartes." The Literary Encyclopedia.  20 October 2009.

"What is at Stake in the Cartesian Debates on the Eternal Truths?"  Philosophy Compass 4/2 (2009): 348-362; companion piece invited by history editor: "Teaching & Learning Guide for : What is at Stake int he Cartesian Debates on the Eternal Truths?" Philosophy Compass Teaching & Learning Guide, Philosophy Compass 4/1 (2009): 1-5.

"Cartesian Matter: Desgabets's Indefectibility Thesis," edited by T. M. Schmaltz, Receptions of Descartes:Cartesianism and Anti-cartesianism in Early Modern Europe (Routledge, 2004)

"Robert Desgabets: A Cartesian?" in A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy, edited by S. Nadler (Blackwell, 2002)

"Robert Desgabets," in The Electronic Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Spring 2001 edition, Edward N. Zalta, general editor, Alan Nelson, early modern editor, URL =


Thomas M. Lennon, editor. Cartesian Views: Papers Presented to Richard A. Watson. Leiden: Brill, 2003 forthcoming in The Journal of the History of Philosophy.

Margaret Cavendish, Observations upon Experimental Philosophy Edited by Eileen O'Neill. (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, 2001) in The Philosophical Quarterly, January 2004, vol. 54, no. 214: 175-77.

Elmar J. Kremer and Michael J. Latzer, editors. The Problem of Evil in Early Modern Philosophy. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001) in Journal of the History of Philosophy, October 2003, Vol. XLI(4): 559-560.

Julien Offray de la Mettrie, Man Machine and Other Writings, translated and edited by Ann Thomson (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996) in: Dialogue, 38:3 (1999) pp. 627-630.

Margaret J. Osler, Divine Will and the Mechanical Philosophy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994); in The Journal of the History of Philosophy 34:4(1996), pp. 614-616.

Nicholas Malebranche, Treatise on Ethics, translated by Craig Walton (Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1993); in Canadian Philosophical Reviews, 33:4 (1995), pp. 44-46.

Nicolas Malebranche, Treatise on Nature & Grace, translated by Patrick Riley (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992) and Nicolas Malebranche, Philosophical Selections, edited by Steven Nadler (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1992) in: The Journal of the History of Philosophy, 32:4 (1994), pp. 147-150

Works in Progress

God and Giants in Early Modern Philosophy, under contract with University of Toronto Press. (I am editor of this collection of essays on Early Modern Materialism and Idealism.)

Preparing a manuscript of my commentary and English translation of Robert Desgabets’ Supplement à la philosophie de M. Descartes (c.1675)

“Was Antoine Le Grand an Occasionalist?” (journal article in progress with Ana Torres-Bower)

“The Father of Cartesian Empiricism: Robert Desgabets on the physics and metaphysics of blood transfusion,” invited paper under revision for proposed volume on Cartesian Empiricisms, edited by T. Nyden and M. Dobre.

“Louis de la Forge on the generation of animal spirits,” invited paper at the University of Pittsburg, Fall 2012.

Revision of Descartes Web Site to improve the look and functionality of the site; Hackett Press would like to partner with me to bring the “Concordance” section to full functioning (ongoing).

Selected Invited Talks

Cartesian Science: The Metaphysics and Physics of Blood Transfusion," Science, Technology, and Society Colloquium, Claremont Colleges, November 6, 1996.

Desgabets on the Senses, Science, and Certainty,” panel on Experimentalism and the quest for certainty in Cartesian natural philosophy, Bi-annual Conference of the International Society for Intellectual History: “Passionate Minds: Knowledge and the Emotions in Intellectual History,” University of Bucharest, Romania, 26-28 May 2011.

“Teaching History of Philosophy: History or Philosophy?” Panel on teaching the history of philosophy, Pacific APA Panel, Saturday, April 30, 2011

“The Cartesian Doctor, François Bayle (1622-1709), on curing “Wounded Imaginations”,” work in progress session for NEH Summer Scholars, Princeton University, July 20, 2010.

“The Father of Cartesian Empiricism: Robert Desgabets on the physics and metaphyics of blood transfusion.” International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science (HOPOS), Annual Conference, Panel on Cartesian Empiricism (June 26th), Budapest, Hungary, June 24-27, 2010.

"Sincerity and Skepticism in Pierre Bayle: Tackling the Bayle Enigma." Scientia Workshop, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Irvine, May 14, 2010.

“Was Bayle a Religious Skeptic?” Danforth Philosophy of Religion Conference, School of Religion, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California, February 12-13, 2010.

“Descartes and the Colorless Rainbow: Constructing the Scientific Image,” special lecture to the Friedman Seminar, Claremont Graduate University, February 9, 2009.

“Why Le Grand was not an Occasionalist,” Midwest Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy, Marquette University, Milwaukee, November 7-9, 2008.

“Desgabets on the mind-body union,” Pacific Northwest/Western Canada Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy, Simon Frasier University, Vancouver, Oct 17-19, 2008.

“Descartes and the Birth of Psychiatry: The Cartesian Doctor, Francois Bayle (1622-1709),” invited paper, South Central Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy, University of Tulsa, November 17, 2007. (Substantial rewrite of 1996 paper.)

“Cartesian Mechanism: the want of sense in birds and the bees,” invited plenary speaker, Claremont Graduate University Early Modern Studies Symposium, "Envisioning the Early Modern World" April 14, 2007.

“Who Was the ‘Good Cartesian’: The Debate between Malebranche and Desgabets on Eternal Truths,” The University of Calgary, June 6-9, 2002

“Cartesian Matter: Desgabets’s Indefectibility Thesis,” April 4-7, 2002 Duke conference, "Receptions of Descartes."

“Exorcizing demons with Cartesian mechanism: the Cartesian Physician, François Bayle,” October 31, 2001, Claremont Discourse Series, Claremont, CA

“Some Problems with the Cartesian Theory of Matter,” invited speaker to the Southern California Philosophy Conference, October 27-28, 2001, University of California, Irvine, California.

"A Cartesian Argument Against Innate Ideas," Invited speaker, Annual Southern California Early Modern Conference, California State University at Long Beach, June 20-21, 1999.

“Descartes on the Unholy Union of Mind and Body,” Invited speaker, Department of Philosophy University of California at San Diego, January 30, 1998.

“The Continuity of Method in Descartes: The Case of the Passions of the Soul,” Invited speaker, Department of Philosophy, University of California at Irvine, May 30, 1997.


2014 Claremont Graduate University 150 E. 10th St., Claremont, CA 91711 (909) 621-8000 Campus Safety Emergency Info Campus Map/Driving Directions