Valtteri Viljanen
Ph.D., Adjunct Professor

Valtteri Viljanen
Postdoctoral Fellow
Turku Institute for Advanced Studies

Postal address
Department of Cultural History
University of Turku
20014 Turku

+358 45 650 4656 (mobile)
+358 2 333 6698 (office)


My primary field of interest is the history of philosophy, early modern philosophy in particular. In 2007, I obtained my Ph.D. on Spinoza’s metaphysics. I have also taught and published on the philosophy of the human sciences.

I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies (University of Turku). My project Moral Agents of Power, 1628–1889 studies philosophical theories of moral agency from Descartes to Nietzsche, focusing especially on the concept of power and related dynamic notions underlying those theories.

I am also an Executive Committee member of Dynamis – The Finnish Network for Metaphysics and a member of the Romantic Era Research Group (RERG).

Some recent and forthcoming publications


  • Spinoza’s Geometry of Power. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. [Review by Michael Della Rocca.] [Review by Mogens Laerke.] [Review by John Morrison.] [Review by Stephan Schmid.]
  • (Edited with Juhani Pietarinen) The World as Active Power: Studies in the History of European Reason. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2009.


  • “Spinoza’s Essentialism in the Short Treatise.” – Y. Melamed (ed.), The Young Spinoza: A Metaphysician in the Making. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
  • “Spinoza on Virtue and Eternity.” – M. J. Kisner & A. Youpa (eds.), Essays on Spinoza’s Ethical Theory, 258–71. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • “Spinoza on Activity in Sense Perception.” – J. F. Silva & M. Yrjönsuuri (eds.), Active Perception in the History of Philosophy, 241–54. Dordrecht: Springer, 2014.
  • “Review of Spinoza Past and Present: Essays on Spinoza, Spinozism, and Spinoza Scholarship by Wiep van Bunge.” Renaissance Quarterly 66 (3), 2013: 1053–4.
  • “Causal Efficacy of Representational Content in Spinoza.” History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (1), 2010: 17–34.
  • “Spinoza’s Ontology.” – O. Koistinen (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza’s Ethics, 56–78. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • (with Arto Repo) “Leibniz on Force, Activity, and Passivity.” – J. Pietarinen & V. Viljanen (eds.), The World as Active Power: Studies in the History of European Reason, 229–50. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2009.
  • “Schopenhauer’s Twofold Dynamism.” – J. Pietarinen & V. Viljanen (eds.), The World as Active Power: Studies in the History of European Reason, 305–30. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2009.
  • “On the Derivation and Meaning of Spinoza’s Conatus Doctrine.” Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 4, 2008: 89–112.
  • “Spinoza’s Essentialist Model of Causation.” Inquiry 51 (4), 2008: 412–37.
  • “Field Metaphysic, Power, and Individuation in Spinoza.” The Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (3), 2007: 393–418.
  • Works in progress

  • (with Justin Steinberg) Spinoza. (Under contract with Polity Press, Classic Thinkers Series.)
  • “Theory of Conatus.” – A. S. Campos (ed.), Spinoza: Basic Concepts. (Under contract with Imprint Academic.)

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Updated: 1 July 2014