University of Leeds
School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science
PhD, 2004
Areas of Interest
 Metaphysics Aesthetics Philosophy of Mathematics Philosophy of Physical Science General Philosophy of Science
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##### Lowe vs Lewis vs Lowe on Temporary Intrinsics Acta Analytica 1-5. forthcoming.
We find that E. J. Lowe’s resolution to David Lewis’s problem of temporary intrinsics is wrong, but not quite for the reasons adduced by Lewis himself. Our discussion hinges on a connection between state-independent properties and intrinsic properties.
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##### Of Lego and Layers In Anthony Aguirre, Brendan Foster & Zeeya Merali (eds.), What is Fundamental?, Springer Verlag. pp. 37-47. 2019.
‘Fundamental’ is a prime example of what philosopher John Post called an “accordion word”: highly flexible and capable of expanding or contracting depending on context. Physicists and many cosmologists will view their domain as fundamental, and one will often see the expression ‘fundamental physics’ to describe an actual subject area—the idea being that such practitioners are dealing in ‘compositional ultimates’.
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##### Interdisciplinary perspectives on the flow of time with Maria Kon Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1326 (1): 1-8. 2014.
Where does the study of the flow of time belong: physics, the cognitive sciences, philosophy, or somewhere else? Physicists and philosophers have set themselves up into two camps: those who believe there is genuine flow or becoming in the world and those who believe there is just a block of events. What had not been considered is whether the subjective feeling of flow of time is the same the world over, whether it could be tampered with by brain injury, or whether it is present at all developmen…Read more
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##### Thinking About Science, Reflecting on Art: Bringing Aesthetics and Philosophy of Science Together (edited book) with Otávio Bueno, Steven French, and George Darby Routledge. 2017.
_Thinking about Science, Reflecting on Art: Bringing Aesthetics and Philosophy of Science togethe_r is the first book to systematically examine the relationship between the philosophy of science and aesthetics. With contributions from leading figures from both fields this edited collection engages with such questions as: Does representation function in the same way in science and in art? What important characteristic do scientific models share with literary fictions? What is the difference betwe…Read more
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##### The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity (edited book) with Steven French and Juha T. Saatsi Oxford University Press. 2006.
What is spacetime? General relativity and quantum field theory answer this question in very different ways. This collection of essays by physicists and philosophers looks at the problem of uniting these two most fundamental theories of our world, focusing on the nature of space and time within this new quantum framework, and the kind of metaphysical picture suggested by recent developments in physics and mathematics. This is a book that will inspire further philosophical reflection on recent adv…Read more
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##### A new spin on the hole argument Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (3): 415-434. 2004.
This brief paper shows how an exact analogue of Einstein's original hole argument can be constructed in the loop representation of quantum gravity. The new argument is based on the embedding of spin-networks in a manifold and the action of the diffeomorphism constraint on them. The implications of this result are then discussed. I argue that the conclusions of many physicists working on loop quantum gravity---Rovelli and Smolin in particular---that the loop representation uniquely supports relat…Read more
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##### Time and Structure in Canonical Gravity In Dean Rickles, Steven French & Juha T. Saatsi (eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity, Clarendon Press. 2004.
In this paper I wish to make some headway on understanding what \emph{kind} of problem the problem of time'' is, and offer a possible resolution---or, rather, a new way of understanding an old resolution. The response I give is a variation on a theme of Rovelli's \emph{evolving constants of motion} strategy. I argue that by giving correlation strategies a \emph{structuralist} basis, a number of objections to the standard account can be blunted. Moreover, I show that the account I offer provide…Read more
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##### Interpreting quantum gravity Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (4): 691-715. 2005.
This is an essay review of two textbooks on quantum gravity by Carlo Rovelli and Claus Kiefer.
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##### Causality in complex interventions Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 12 (1): 77-90. 2009.
In this paper I look at causality in the context of intervention research, and discuss some problems faced in the evaluation of causal hypotheses via interventions. I draw attention to a simple problem for evaluations that employ randomized controlled trials. The common alternative to randomized trials, the observational study, is shown to face problems of a similar nature. I then argue that these problems become especially acute in cases where the intervention is complex (i.e. that involves int…Read more
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##### The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics (edited book) Ashgate. 2008.
"Introducing the reader to the very latest developments in the philosophical foundations of physics, this book covers advanced material at a level suitable for ...
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##### AdS/CFT duality and the emergence of spacetime Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3): 312-320. 2013.
The AdS/CFT duality has been a source of several strong conceptual claims in the physics literature that have yet to be explored by philosophers. In this paper I focus on one of these: the extent to which spacetime geometry and locality can be said to emerge from this duality, so that neither is fundamental. I argue: that the kind of emergence in question is relatively weak, involving one kind of spacetime emerging from another kind of spacetime; inasmuch as there is something conceptually inter…Read more
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##### Quantum Gravity Meets &HPS
I examine the early history of quantum gravity and comment on its suitability as an episode that demands an integrated approach to history and philosophy of science.
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##### Who's afraid of background independence? In Dennis Dieks (ed.), The Ontology of Spacetime II, Elsevier. pp. 133--52. 2008.
Background independence is generally considered to be ‘the mark of distinction’ of general relativity. However, there is still confusion over exactly what background independence is and how, if at all, it serves to distinguish general relativity from other theories. There is also some confusion over the philosophical implications of background independence, stemming in part from the deﬁnitional problems. In this paper I attempt to make some headway on both issues. In each case I argue that a pro…Read more
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