Christia Mercer studied art history in New York and Rome, before going to graduate school in philosophy. She has received: a Fulbright Scholarship, Leibniz Archive, Universität Münster, Münster, Germany (1984-85); Ph.D., Philosophy, Princeton University (1989); Humboldt Fellowship, Leibniz Archive, Universität Münster, Münster, Germany (1993-94); an NEH Fellowship (2002); the Sovern Fellowship, American Academy, Rome, Italy (2010); Senior Fellowship, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany (2013); Resident Fellowship, American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy (2013); and Guggenheim Fellowship (2012-13).
Professor Mercer joined the Columbia Philosophy Department in 1991, and became Gustave M. Berne Professor in 2003. She gave the Ernst Cassirer Lectures at the University of Hamburg in 2005, was visiting professor at Oslo, Norway, Spring (1998), Centre Alexandre Koyré, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (2003, 2005, 2007), and the Seminar für Geistesgeschichte und Philosophie der Renaissance, University of Munich, Germany (2003). She won the 2008 Columbia College Great Teacher Award and the 2012 Mark van Doren Award, which annually recognizes a professor for her “commitment to undergraduate instruction, as well as for humanity, devotion to truth and inspiring leadership.”
Early Modern Philosophy; History of Platonism; History of Feminism
Early modern philosophy with special focus on sixteenth and century Platonism, history of science, metaphysics, and philosophical method. She is the General Editor of Oxford Philosophical Concepts, a book series whose main goal is to increase understanding of key philosophical concepts. See http://blogs.cuit.columbia.edu/oxford/. Four main works in progress: (1) a book-length project, Platonisms and Early Modern Thought (for which she won a Guggenheim Fellowship) whose goal is to articulate the diversity of Platonisms that form the background to early modern thought and identify the range of Platonist assumptions underling early modern philosophy, literature, and art. The book includes a brief history of Platonism and an account of Platonist ideas as they inform and transform early modern views of metaphysics, mind, God, and philosophical methodology; (2) an introduction to Leibniz's philosophy which will be part of the Blackwell's Great Minds series; (3) a monograph on the philosophy of Anne Conway; and (4) a book-length study of the notion of matter in the development of seventeenth-century science, entitled Material Difficulties: Matter, Explanation, and Mind in Early Modern Philosophy.