I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Philosophy Department at UCLA. I completed a B.A. in Philosophy at UCLA (2013) prior to starting my graduate work.

My interests are diverse but largely center around the history of philosophy.  I primarily work on early modern philosophy, with additional interests in ancient philosophy and classical Arabic/Islamic philosophy.

I am especially interested in questions concerning understanding (i.e. the range of epistemic states which seem to go beyond ordinary knowledge), explanation, causation, affects/emotions, essences/natures, definitions, and mind. I am currently writing a dissertation on Spinoza’s theory of real definition and essence.

Contact: awest [at] humnet.ucla.edu