Ted McCormick

Ted McCormick

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B.A. University of Maryland, College Park; M.A., M. Phil., Ph.D. Columbia University

Ted McCormick is Associate Professor of Early Modern European History at Concordia University. His work focuses on early social science, natural philosophy, religion, and government in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain, Ireland, and the Atlantic, as well as the history of scientific, economic, and political “projecting”. He is the author of William Petty and the Ambitions of Political Arithmetic (Oxford, 2009), awarded the 2010 John Ben Snow Prize by the North American Conference on British Studies.


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   (514) 848-2424 poste 5903

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Dr. McCormick is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and has held research fellowships at the Huntington Library, the Moore Institute, National University of Ireland Galway, and the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science, University of Sydney. His work on alchemy and economic ideas has been featured in Pour la Science, and his work on political arithmetic in The London Review of Books. His major current research, supported by the SSHRC and the Mellon Foundation, examines the use of demographic ideas in religious and philosophical polemic in England and America between 1660 and 1760, tracing the ways in which political arithmetic – an form of quantitative demography with roots in Baconian philosophy – drew on and reshaped thinking about providence, history, nature, and the limits of human agency in both learned and public contexts during the Enlightenment. He is also pursuing projects on the history of projecting, alchemy and political economy, and science and politics around the Stuart Restoration.

At Concordia, Dr. McCormick is the Graduate Program Director for History and Coordinator of the interdisciplinary Early Modern Working Group (supported by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture).

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William Petty and the Ambitions of Political Arithmetic (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). (Read online via CLUES.)

Articles and Book Chapters:

“Restoration Ireland, 1660-1688”, in Alvin Jackson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish History (Oxford University Press, 2013) (forthcoming).

“Population: Modes of Seventeenth-Century Demographic Thought”, in Philip J. Stern and Carl Wennerlind (eds.), Mercantilism Reimagined: Political Economy in Early Modern Britain and Its Empire (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013) (forthcoming; description here).

“Political Arithmetic and Sacred History: Population Thought in the English Enlightenment, 1660-1750”, Journal of British Studies 52 (2013) (forthcoming).

“Governing Model Populations: Queries, Quantification, and William Petty’s ‘Scale of Salubrity’”, History of Science 51:2 (2013): 179-197. (Read atacademia.edu.)

“‘A Proportionable Mixture’: Sir William Petty, Political Arithmetic, and the Transmutation of the Irish,” in Restoration Ireland: Always Settling and Never Settled, edited by Coleman Dennehy (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008), 123-139. (Description here.)

“Transmutation, Inclusion, and Exclusion: Political Arithmetic from Charles II to William III,” in Journal of Historical Sociology, 20:3 (September 2007): 259-278. (Read online here.)

“Alchemy in the Political Arithmetic of Sir William Petty (1623-1687),” inStudies in History and Philosophy of Science, 37:2 (June 2006): 290-307. (Read online here.)



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Working title: “Population, History and Providence: Science, Religion and Demographic Quantification in England and America, 1660-1800”. Monograph exploring the polemical and pastoral uses of demographic quantification by latitudinarian Anglicans, moderate Puritans, and rational Dissenters from the Restoration through the later eighteenth century.

Articles/Book Chapters:

“Alchemy into Economy: Material Transmutation and the Conceptualization of Utility in Gabriel Plattes (c. 1600-1644) and William Petty (1623-1687)”. Revision for publication of a paper read at the 2012 Barockkongress of the Wolfenbütteler Arbeitskreis für Barockforschung, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel.

Working title: “Political arithmetic’s eighteenth-century histories: quantification in politics, religion, and the public sphere”. Article looking at the present state of and future directions for studies in “political arithmetic”.

Working title TBA. A book chapter examining continuities in English scientific thought and practice before and after the Restoration of the monarchy and the Church of England 1660, with particular attention to the role of the Royal Society.

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