Peter Anstey

  Philosophy, University of Otago  

Peter Anstey

BA(Hons)(1991) PhD (1997)(Sydney)


Before coming to Otago to take up the Chair in Early Modern Philosophy Peter taught philosophy and history and philosophy of science at the University of Sydney. His research focuses on early modern philosophy with special reference to the writings of John Locke and Robert Boyle. Other research interests include philosophy of science, metaphysics and ancient philosophy.

Peter is currently writing (with Alberto Vanzo) a history of early modern experimental philosophy provisionally entitled 'Experimental Philosophy and the Origins of Empiricism'. This is part of a broader research project on experimental philosophy. You can visit the project blog here.



PHIL 232 Early Modern Philosophy A

PHIL 332 Early Modern Philosophy A



Supervision Interests

  • Early modern philosophy
  • Metaphysics
  • Ancient philosophy
  • Philosophy of science

Recent and forthcoming publications include

Anstey, P. R. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Anstey, P. R. & Jalobeanu, D. (eds) (2011) Vanishing Matter and the Laws of Motion: Descartes and Beyond, New York: Routledge

Anstey, P. R. (2011) John Locke and Natural Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Anstey, P. R (ed.) (2006) John Locke: Critical Assessments, 4 vols, Abingdon: Routledge

Anstey, P. R. & Schuster J. A. (eds) (2005) The Science of Nature in the Seventeenth Century: Patterns of Change in Early Modern Natural Philosophy, Dordrecht: Springer

Anstey, P. R. (ed) (2003) The Philosophy of John Locke: New Perspectives, London: Routledge

Anstey, P. R. (2000) The Philosophy of Robert Boyle, London: Routledge


AAP, University of Wollongong, 1–6 July 2012. Presidential Address: 'Locke on the nature of mind'

APA, Pacific Division, Seattle, 4–4 April 2012. Title of paper: 'Locke on the nature of mind'

Francis Bacon's arts of discovery and the cultivation of the mind, Maison Française, Oxford 11–12 November 2011. Title of paper: 'Francis Bacon and the laws of Ramus'

AAP, University of Otago, 3–8 July 2011. Title of paper: 'The origins of early modern experimental philosophy'

Francis Bacon and the reconfiguration of natural history, New Europe College, Bucharest, 4–5 March 2011. Title of paper: 'Francis Bacon and the classification of natural history'

HOPOS 2010, Budapest, 24–27 June 2010. Title of paper: 'The Bacon–Boyle–Hooke view of experiment'