I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Philosophy Department at UCLA.

My interests are diverse but largely center around the history of philosophy.  My research focuses primarily on early modern philosophy, especially the thought of Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677). I am currently writing a dissertation on Spinoza’s theory of real definition and essence.

More broadly, I’m interested in questions concerning the nature of understanding, explanation, causation, affects/emotions, essences/natures, and mind.

Contact: awest [at] humnet.ucla.edu