•  240
    Difference-making and deterministic chance
    Philosophical Studies 178 (7): 2215-2235. 2020.
    Why do we value higher-level scientific explanations if, ultimately, the world is physical? An attractive answer is that physical explanations often cite facts that don’t make a difference to the event in question. I claim that to properly develop this view we need to commit to a type of deterministic chance. And in doing so, we see the theoretical utility of deterministic chance, giving us reason to accept a package of views including deterministic chance.
  •  276
    Induction and the Glue of the World
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2): 319-333. 2021.
    Views which deny that there are necessary connections between distinct existences have often been criticized for leading to inductive skepticism. If there is no glue holding the world together then there seems to be no basis on which to infer from past to future. However, deniers of necessary connections have typically been unconcerned. After all, they say, everyone has a problem with induction. But, if we look at the connection between induction and explanation, we can develop the problem of in…Read more
  •  515
    Humeanism about laws of nature
    Philosophy Compass 15 (8): 1-10. 2020.
    Humeanism about laws of nature is, roughly, the view that the laws of nature are just patterns, or ways of describing patterns, in the mosaic of events. In this paper I survey some of the (many!) objections that have been raised to Humeanism, considering how the Humean might respond. And I consider how we might make a positive case for Humeanism. The common thread running through all this is that the viability of the Humean view relies on the Humean having an importantly different conception of…Read more
  •  693
    Coincidences and the Grain of Explanation
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3): 677-694. 2020.
    I give an account of what makes an event a coincidence. I start by critically discussing a couple of other approaches to the notion of coincidence -- particularly that of Lando (2017) -- before developing my own view. The central idea of my view is that the correct understanding of coincidences is closely related to our understanding of the correct 'level' or 'grain' of explanation. Coincidences have a kind of explanatory deficiency — if they did not have this deficiency they would not be coinci…Read more
  •  738
    Nomothetic Explanation and Humeanism about Laws of Nature
    Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. forthcoming.
    Humeanism about laws of nature — the view that the laws reduce to the Humean mosaic — is a popular view, but currently existing versions face powerful objections. The non-supervenience objection, the non-fundamentality objection and the explanatory circularity objection have all been thought to cause problems for the Humean. However, these objections share a guiding thought — they are all based on the idea that there is a certain kind of divergence between the practice of science and the metaphy…Read more
  •  476
    Minimal Anti-Humeanism
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3): 447-460. 2017.
    There is a tension in our theorizing about laws of nature: our practice of using and reasoning with laws of nature suggests that laws are universal generalizations, but if laws are universal generalizations then we face the problem of explanatory circularity. In this paper I elucidate this tension and show how it motivates a view of laws that I call Minimal Anti-Humeanism. This view says that the laws are the universal generalizations that are not grounded in their instances. I argue that this v…Read more
  •  853
    What the Humean Should Say About Entanglement
    with Zee Perry
    Noûs 51 (1): 74-94. 2017.
    Tim Maudlin has influentially argued that Humeanism about laws of nature stands in conflict with quantum mechanics. Specifically Humeanism implies the principle Separability: the complete physical state of a world is determined by the intrinsic physical state of each space-time point. Maudlin argues Separability is violated by the entangled states posited by QM. We argue that Maudlin only establishes that a stronger principle, which we call Strong Separability, is in tension with QM. Separabilit…Read more