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William Little

PhD candidate

My research, under the supervision of Dr. Marc Hanvelt, focuses on how concepts of reason were used to justify political resistance and revolution from England’s Exclusion Crisis (1679-1681) to the American founding (1760-1788). More specifically, I seek to complicate our understanding of how philosophers and propagandists employed reason in the political discourse of these periods. This time in our history is often understood as foundational to the development of liberal democracy. Indeed, from small shifts in policy to outlining broader ideas of political legitimacy, contemporary liberal democratic societies continue to rely heavily on notions of reason and reasonableness. By attending to the history of this concept, I believe that we can better understand the ways in which reason is used today.

I hold a BAH in Philosophy from Queen’s University and a MA in Philosophy from Ryerson University. My broader research interests include the history of political thought and contemporary political theory.