Research

Most of my research is in philosophy of science. I have particular interest e.g. in scientific realism; scientific and mathematical explanation; philosophy of physics; the nature of scientific theories and models.

Recently I have also also worked on the relationship between science and metaphysics, and on emergence.

Recent and ongoing research projects

Emergence and Laws of Nature (October 2014 – September 2015)
Templeton Trust Grant in affiliation with the Durham Emergence Project

Scientific Realism and the Quantum (March 2015 – February 2018)
AHRC Research Grant

PhD Supervision

I’ve had 50+% responsibility of the following projects.

  1. Non-causal Explanation, Mark Pexton.
  2. Applicability of Mathematics, David Race.
  3. Biological Kinds, Jordan Bartol.
  4. Modelling Interactions in QED, Douglas Earl (ongoing).
  5. Realism, Probability, and Quantum Mechanics, Simon Newey (ongoing).

New Books

Scientific Realism and the Quantum
15 chapters of new research at the intersection of scientific realism and philosophy of quantum physics.
Co-edited with S. French for OUP.
2018

The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism
The contemporary realism debate in historical context in 35 glorious chapters.
2017

Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanation
12 chapters of new research on non-causal explanation, mostly in the context of philosophy of science.
Co-edited with A. Reutlinger for OUP.
2017
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Research Articles

Links to published versions and PDF preprints — please cite published versions only.

On theories of explanation and explanatory inferences

‘Mathematical, Explanatory Generality, and Ontological Commitment’ (with R. Knowles)
Work-in-Progress.

‘Mathematical Explanations in Physics’
For Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Physics.

‘Taking Reductionism to the Limit: How to Rebut the Anti-Reductionist Argument from Infinite Limits’ (with A. Reutlinger)
Forthcoming in …
[PDF]

‘Symmetries and Explanatory Dependencies in Physics’ (with S. French)
Forthcoming. In Explanation Beyond Causation (OUP). 

‘Dynamical Systems Theory and Explanatory Indispensability’
Forthcoming. Philosophy of Science.
[PDF]

‘Explanatory Abstractions’ (with L. Jansson)
Forthcoming. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
[PDF]

‘On the “Indispensable Explanatory Role” of Mathematics’
2016. Mind.
[PDF]

‘On Explanations from “Geometry of Motion”‘
2016. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
[PDF]

‘Explanation and Explanationism in Science and Metaphysics’
2016. Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science: New Essays, OUP.
[PDF]

‘Reassessing Woodward’s Account of Explanation’ (with M. Pexton)
2012. Philosophy of Science, 80, pp. 613–24.
[Web]   [PDF]

‘Mathematics and Program Explanations’
2012. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 90, pp. 579–84.
[Web]   [PDF]

‘The Enhanced Indispensability Argument’
2011. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 62, pp. 143–54.
[Web]   [PDF]

‘Nominalism and the Explanationist Argument for Realism’
2007. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 21, pp. 19–33.
[Web]   [PDF]

On models, representation, and realism

‘Models, Idealisations, and Realism’
2016. Models and Inferences in Science, Springer.
[PDF]

‘Inconsistency and Scientific Realism’
2014. Synthese, 191, pp. 2941–55.
[Web]   [PDF]

‘Idealized Models as Inferentially Veridical Representations’
2011. Models, Representations, and Simulations, pp. 234–49, Routledge.
[Web]   [PDF]

On scientific realism

‘Realism and Antirealism in the Philosophy of Modern Physics’
For Philosophy Compass.

‘Scientific Realism Meets Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics’
For a collection on scientific realism and quantum physics

‘Realism and the Limits of Explanatory Reasoning’
For The Routledge Handbook for Scientific Realism.

‘What is Theoretical Progress of Science?’
2016. Synthese.
[PDF]

‘Replacing Recipe Realism’
2016. Synthese.
[Web]   [PDF]

‘Historical Inductions, Old and New’
2015. Synthese.
[Web]   [PDF]

‘Inconsistency and Scientific Realism’
2014. Synthese, 191, pp. 2941–55.
[Web]  [PDF]

Scientific Realism and Historical Evidence’
2012. EPSA Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009, Springer.
[Web]   [PDF]

‘Miraculous Success? Inconsistency and Untruth in Kirchhoff’s Diffraction Theory’ (with P. Vickers)
2011. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 62, pp. 29–46.
[Web]   [PDF]

‘Form vs. Content-driven Arguments for Realism’
2009. New Waves in Philosophy of Science, pp. 8–28, Palgrave Macmillan.
[Web]    [PDF]

Eclectic Realism – the Proof of the Pudding’
2008. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 39, pp. 273–6.
[Web]   [PDF]

‘Reconsidering the Fresnel-Maxwell Theory Shift’
2005. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 36, pp. 509–38.
[Web]   [PDF]

‘On the Pessimistic Induction and Two Fallacies’
2005. Philosophy of Science, 72, pp. 1088–98.
[Web]   [PDF]

On structuralism / structural realism

‘Analogies and Models: a Challenge to Model-Theoretic Structuralism’
Work-in-progress.

‘Structuralism with and without Causation’
2015. Synthese.
[Web]   [PDF]

‘Whence Ontological Structural Realism?’
2009.  EPSA Epistemology and Methodology of Science, pp. 255–65, Springer.
[Web]   [PDF]

‘Realism about Structure: The Semantic View and Nonlinguistic Representations’ (with S. French)
2006. Philosophy of Science, 73, pp. 548–59.
[Web]   [PDF]

‘Ramseyfication and Theoretical Content’ (with J. Melia)
2006. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 57, pp. 561–85.
[Web]   [PDF]

On naturalism and its repercussions

‘Naturalism and the Benacerraf-Field challenge to Platonism’
Work-in-progress.

‘Explanation and Explanationism in Science and Metaphysics’
2016. Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science: New Essays, OUP.
[PDF]