Assoicate Professor Northeastern University


I am an associate professor in the Northeastern University Department of Philosophy and Religion

My primary area of research is moral and political philosophy.  I've also published in jurisprudence and philosophy of action.  I explore questions in normative ethics and political theory from the perspective of practical agency embedded in a social world.  This involves drawing from research in psychology, urban geography, architecture, disability studies, technology studies, literary theory, and economics.   

I was originally trained—in college and for my MA—in philosophy of mind and metaphysics and I continually return to these topics in my research. 

I previously was an associate professor at Yale University, and then at the University of Leeds, where I founded the Program in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.  

Here are a few of my latest essays:

Political Creativity: A Skeptical View, forthcoming in Creativity and Philosophy, edited by Matthew Kieran and Berys Gaut (Routledge, 2017) - penultimate draft linked here.

Sovereign Agency and the Authority of Intentions, forthcoming in Reasoning, Brendan Balcerak-Jackson and Magdalena Balcerak-Jackson, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2017) - penultimate draft linked here.

One Dogma of Philosophy of Action 173 Philosophical Studies (2016): 2249.

Here some work in progress (comments are welcome):

Surfaces and Boundaries: An Exploration into the Materiality of Agency


Short Bio

The Department of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill awarded me a PhD in 2004.  Gerald Postema supervised my PhD (with Tom Hill, Geoff Sayre-McCord, Jesse Prinz, and Michael Corrado also on the committee).  From 2004 - 2012, I was an assistant professor and then an associate professor at Yale University in the Department of Philosophy and an affiliate in Yale's Program in Ethics, Politics, and Economics.  I was also an occasional Lecturer in Law at the Yale Law School.  In Fall 2012, I moved to the University of Leeds.

My MA, received in 2000, was a critical examination of Jaegwon Kim's argument against non-reductive materialism.  Bill Lycan supervised it.  My BA is from Brown University where I studied Philosophy and Greek Classics.  Victor Caston was my advisor.  

Before relocating to Leeds, I was  an avid ultimate frisbee player, playing at 7:00 am year-round in Prospect Park.  I was an enthusiastic member of the Park Slope Food Coop, which was a source of humor, friendship, and great food (mock me all you want!).  I've taught several classes for Trade School, including an especially fun night of Trade School at the Whitney.  I no enjoy walking in the Yorkshire Dales.

Download my complete CV as PDF here (last updated October 2016).

You can email me at: m DOT smith AT leeds DOT ac DOT uk