Contact Information



  • Ph.D., Philosophy, DePaul University, 2002
  • M.A., Philosophy, DePaul University, 1996
  • B.A., Philosophy, Oberlin College, 1993

Research Interests or Expertise

Dr. Selcer’s research deals with early modern philosophy (especially Galileo, Hobbes, Spinoza, and Leibniz), but he also has interests in contemporary continental thought (especially Foucault and Deleuze).

He is particularly concerned with early modern debates about matter and materiality and the revival of Epicureanism, and takes this in three directions: 1) research in history and philosophy of science focused on connections between the histories of early modern physics and ontology; 2) an attempt to synthesize work in the history of early modern print and knowledge-organization technologies with early modern philosophical historiography; 3) an investigation into the status of diagrams in early modern philosophical and scientific texts.

  • Early Modern Philosophy
  • Contemporary French Philosophy
  • History & Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy & Print Culture
  • History of Materialism


  • Graduate courses: Descartes & Cartesianism; Spinoza’s Ethics; Leibniz; Hobbes & Spinoza; Early Modern Political Philosophy; Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason; Late Epicureanism: Varieties of Materiality in Early Modernity; Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition; Postmodern Readings/Early Modern Texts; History & Philosophy of Science
  • Undergraduate courses: Early Modern Philosophy; Later Modern Philosophy; Contemporary Philosophy; Seminar in Continental Rationalism; Philosophy of Information; Existentialism; Basic Philosophical Questions

Selected recent publications

  • “From Scientia Operativa to Scientia Intuitiva: Producing Particulars in Bacon and Spinoza,” Intellectual History Review 24.3 (2014).
  • Philosophy and the Book: Early Modern Figures of Material Inscription (London: Continuum, 2010).
  • “The Mask of Copernicus and the Mark of the Compass: Bruno, Galileo and the Ontology of the Page,” in Thinking Allegory Otherwise, ed. Brenda Machosky (Stanford University Press, 2009), 60–86.
  • “The Uninterrupted Ocean: Leibniz and the Encyclopedic Imagination,” Representations 98 (2007): 25–50.
  • “The Edges of Extension and the Limits of the Text: Leibniz, Materiality, and History,” in Origins of Scientific Learning: Essays on Culture and Knowledge in Early Modern Europe, eds. Sara French and Kay Etheridge (Lewiston: Mellen, 2007), 1–25.