•  564
    Two accounts of laws and time
    Philosophical Studies 160 (1): 115-137. 2012.
    Among the most important questions in the metaphysics of science are "What are the natures of fundamental laws and chances?" and "What grounds the direction of time?" My aim in this paper is to examine some connections between these questions, discuss two approaches to answering them and argue in favor of one. Along the way I will raise and comment on a number of issues concerning the relationship between physics and metaphysics and consequences for the subject matter and methodology of metaphys…Read more
  •  391
  •  369
    Humean Supervenience
    Philosophical Topics 24 (1): 101-127. 1996.
  •  325
    David Lewis’s Humean Theory of Objective Chance
    Philosophy of Science 71 (5): 1115--25. 2004.
    The most important theories in fundamental physics, quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics, posit objective probabilities or chances. As important as chance is there is little agreement about what it is. The usual “interpretations of probability” give very different accounts of chance and there is disagreement concerning which, if any, is capable of accounting for its role in physics. David Lewis has contributed enormously to improving this situation. In his classic paper “A Subjectivist's …Read more
  •  314
    Determinism and Chance
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4): 609-620. 2001.
    It is generally thought that objective chances for particular events different from 1 and 0 and determinism are incompatible. However, there are important scientific theories whose laws are deterministic but which also assign non-trivial probabilities to events. The most important of these is statistical mechanics whose probabilities are essential to the explanations of thermodynamic phenomena. These probabilities are often construed as 'ignorance' probabilities representing our lack of knowledg…Read more
  •  257
    Why is there anything except physics?
    Synthese 170 (2). 2009.
    In the course of defending his view of the relation between the special sciences and physics from Jaegwon Kim’s objections Jerry Fodor asks “So then, why is there anything except physics?” By which he seems to mean to ask if physics is fundamental and complete in its domain how can there be autonomous special science laws. Fodor wavers between epistemological and metaphysical understandings of the autonomy of the special sciences. In my paper I draw out the metaphysical construal of his view and…Read more
  •  237
    Hector meets 3-d: A diaphilosophical epic
    Philosophical Perspectives 8 389-414. 1994.
  •  228
    Mind matters
    with Ernest Le Pore
    Journal of Philosophy 84 (11). 1987.
  •  224
    The measurement problem: Some “solutions”
    with David Z. Albert
    Synthese 86 (1). 1991.
  •  205
    A guide to naturalizing semantics
    In C. Wright & Bob Hale (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Language, Blackwell: Oxford. pp. 108-126. 1997.
  •  187
    Copenhagen versus Bohmian Interpretations of Quantum Theory1 (review)
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (2): 317-328. 1998.
  •  169
    More on making mind matter
    with Ernest Lepore
    Philosophical Topics 17 (1): 175-191. 1989.
  •  143
    Comments on Jaegwon Kim’s Mind and the Physical World
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3). 2002.
    NRP is a family of views differing by how they understand “reduction” and “physicalism.” Following Kim I understand the non-reduction as holding that some events and properties are distinct from any physical events and properties. A necessary condition for physicalism is that mental properties, events, and laws supervene on physical ones. Kim allows various understandings of “supervenience” but I think that physicalism requires at least the claim that any minimal physical duplicate of the actual…Read more
  •  140
    It is not so much a distinct and established academic discipline as it is a sort of boundary, a sort of frontier, across which theoretical physics and modern western philosophy have been interrogating and informing and unsettling one another, for something on the order of four hundred years now, about the character of matter, the nature of space and time, the question of determinism, meaning of chance, the possibility of knowledge, and much else besides.
  •  134
    Comment on Lockwood
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (2): 229-232. 1996.
  •  87
  •  65
    Wanted Dead or Alive: Two Attempts to Solve Schrodinger's Paradox
    with David Albert
    PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990 277-285. 1990.
    We discuss two recent attempts two solve Schrodinger's cat paradox. One is the modal interpretation developed by Kochen, Healey, Dieks, and van Fraassen. It allows for an observable which pertains to a system to possess a value even when the system is not in an eigenstate of that observable. The other is a recent theory of the collapse of the wave function due to Ghirardi, Rimini, and Weber. It posits a dynamics which has the effect of collapsing the state of macroscopic systems. We argue that t…Read more
  •  63
    Dyadic deontic detachment
    Synthese 54 (2). 1983.
  •  61
    The truth pays
    Synthese 43 (3). 1980.
    Why is truth valuable? Why are true beliefs generally preferable to false beliefs and why should we often be willing to expend energy and resources to obtain the truth? Pragmatist theories of truth, whatever their shortcomings, are the only ones which attempt to answer these questions. According to James’ version of the pragmatic theory.
  •  52
    The value of truth
    Philosophical Issues 4 265-280. 1993.
  •  50
    What Davidson Should Have Said
    with Ernest Lepore
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 36 (1): 65-78. 1989.
    According to Davidson, a theory of meaning for a language L should specify information such that if someone had this information he would be in a position to understand L . He claims that a theory of truth for L fits this description. Many critics have argued that a truth theory is too weak to be a theory of meaning. We argue that these critics and Davidson's response to them have been misguided. Many critics have been misguided because they have not been clear aboutwhat a theory of meaning is s…Read more