•  297
    Intrinsicality and Entanglement
    Mind 131 (521): 35-58. 2022.
    I explore the relationship between a prominent analysis of intrinsic properties, due to Langton and Lewis, and the phenomenon of quantum entanglement. As I argue, the analysis faces a puzzle. The full analysis classifies certain properties of entangled particles as intrinsic. But when combined with an extremely plausible assumption about duplication, the main part of the analysis classifies those properties as non-intrinsic instead. I conclude that much of Lewis’s metaphysics is in trouble: Lewi…Read more
  •  293
    Centering the Principal Principle
    Philosophical Studies 178 (6): 1897-1915. 2020.
    I show that centered propositions—also called de se propositions, and usually modeled as sets of centered worlds—pose a serious problem for various versions of Lewis's Principal Principle. The problem, put roughly, is that in scenarios like Elga's `Sleeping Beauty' case, those principles imply that rational agents ought to have obviously irrational credences. To solve the problem, I propose a centered version of the Principal Principle. My version allows centered propositions to be objectively c…Read more
  •  202
    Pluralities, counterparts, and groups
    Philosophical Studies 179 (7): 2133-2153. 2022.
    I formulate a theory of groups based on pluralities and counterparts: roughly put, a group is a plurality of entities at a time. This theory comes with counterpart-theoretic semantics for modal and temporal sentences about groups. So this theory of groups is akin to the stage theory of material objects: both take the items they analyze to exist at a single time, and both use counterparts to satisfy certain conditions relating to the modal properties, temporal properties, and coincidence properti…Read more
  •  180
    Centering the Everett Interpretation
    Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4): 1019-1039. 2022.
    I propose an account of probability in the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. According to the account, probabilities are objective chances of centered propositions. As I show, the account solves a number of problems concerning the role of probability in the Everett interpretation. It also challenges an implicit assumption, concerning the aim and scope of fundamental physical theories, that is made throughout the philosophy of physics literature.
  •  141
    Grounding and propositional identity
    Analysis 81 (1): 80-81. 2021.
    I show that standard grounding conditions contradict standard conditions for the identities of propositions.
  •  123
    Explanatory priority monism
    Philosophical Studies 178 (4): 1339-1359. 2020.
    Explanations are backed by many different relations: causation, grounding, and arguably others too. But why are these different relations capable of backing explanations? In virtue of what are they explanatory? In this paper, I propose and defend a monistic account of explanation-backing relations. On my account, there is a single relation which backs all cases of explanation, and which explains why those other relations are explanation-backing.
  •  121
    The Counteridentical Account of Explanatory Identities
    Journal of Philosophy 118 (2): 57-78. 2021.
    Many explanations rely on identity facts. In this paper, I propose an account of how identity facts explain: roughly, the fact that A is identical to B explains another fact whenever that other fact depends, counterfactually, on A being identical to B. As I show, this account has many virtues. It avoids several problems facing accounts of explanatory identities, and when precisified using structural equations, it can be used to defend interventionist accounts of causation against an objection.
  •  98
    This paper presents new data on the representation of women who publish in 25 top philosophy journals as ranked by the Philosophical Gourmet Report for the years 2004, 2014, and 2015. It also provides a new analysis of Schwitzgebel’s 1955–2015 journal data. The paper makes four points while providing an overview of the current state of women authors in philosophy. In all years and for all journals, the percentage of female authors was extremely low, in the range of 14–16%. The percentage of wome…Read more
  •  88
    The Ontology of Mechanisms
    Journal of Philosophy 116 (11): 615-636. 2019.
    I propose a metaphysical theory of mechanisms based on the notion of causation. In particular, I use causation to formulate existence, identity, and parthood conditions for mechanisms. These conditions provide a sound metaphysical basis for accounts of mechanistic explanation, mechanistic organization, and for more restrictive theories of mechanisms.
  •  83
    Typical: A Theory of Typicality and Typicality Explanation
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (2): 561-581. 2022.
    Typicality is routinely invoked in everyday contexts: bobcats are typically short-tailed; people are typically less than seven feet tall. Typicality is invoked in scientific contexts as well: typical gases expand; typical quantum systems exhibit probabilistic behaviour. And typicality facts like these support many explanations, both quotidian and scientific. But what is it for something to be typical? And how do typicality facts explain? In this paper, I propose a general theory of typicality. I…Read more
  •  82
    An argument for entity grounding
    Analysis 80 (3): 500-507. 2020.
    In this paper, I give an argument for the view that non-fact entities – such as physical objects, abstract objects, events and so on – can ground other entities. Roughly put, the argument is as follows: those who accept this view can provide a more plausible account of the grounds of identity facts than those who deny this view.
  •  81
    Worlds are Pluralities
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 1-11. forthcoming.
    I propose an account of possible worlds. According to the account, possible worlds are pluralities of sentences in an extremely large language. This account avoids a problem, relating to the total number of possible worlds, that other accounts face. And it has several additional benefits.
  •  75
    The Typical Principle
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. forthcoming.
    If a proposition is typically true, given your evidence, then you should believe that proposition; or so I argue here. In particular, in this paper, I propose and defend a principle of rationality---call it the `Typical Principle'---which links rational belief to facts about what is typical. As I show, this principle avoids several problems that other, seemingly similar principles face. And as I show, in many cases, this principle implies the verdicts of the Principal Principle: so ultimately, t…Read more
  •  69
    Comparing Mathematical Explanations
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. forthcoming.
    Philosophers have developed several detailed accounts of what makes some mathematical proofs explanatory. Significantly less attention has been paid, however, to what makes some proofs more explanatory than other proofs. That is problematic, since the reasons for thinking that some proofs explain are also reasons for thinking that some proofs are more explanatory than others. So in this paper, I develop an account of comparative explanation in mathematics. I propose a theory of the `at least as …Read more
  •  64
    Tractability and laws
    Synthese 200 (4): 1-17. 2022.
    According to the Best System Account of lawhood, laws of nature are theorems of the deductive systems that best balance simplicity and strength. In this paper, I advocate a different account of lawhood which is related, in spirit, to the BSA: according to my account, laws are theorems of deductive systems that best balance simplicity, strength, and also calculational tractability. I discuss two problems that the BSA faces, and I show that my account solves them. I also use my account to illumina…Read more
  •  63
    The Stage Theory of Groups
    Tandf: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4): 661-674. 2020.
    I propose a `stage theory’ of groups: a group is a fusion of group-stages, where a group-stage is a plurality of individuals at a world and a time. The stage theory consists of existence conditions, identity conditions, and parthood conditions for groups.
  •  55
    A statistical analysis of luck
    Synthese (2): 1-19. 2018.
    A modal analysis of luck, due to Duncan Pritchard, has become quite popular in recent years. There are many reasons to like Pritchard’s analysis, but at least two compelling problems have been identified. So I propose an alternative analysis of luck based on the laws of statistical mechanics. The statistical analysis avoids the two problems facing Pritchard’s analysis, and it has many other attractive features.
  •  49
    According to Interventionism, explanations cite invariant relations which hold among multiple variables. Interventionism incorrectly implies, however, that many common scientific explanations—which cite single‐variable boundary constraints—are not actually explanatory. So I propose a different account of explanation, similar in spirit to Interventionism, which gets those cases of scientific explanation right.
  •  42
    The Representation of Belief
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (4): 715-732. 2018.
    I derive a sufficient condition for a belief set to be representable by a probability function: if at least one comparative confidence ordering of a certain type satisfies Scott’s axiom, then the belief set used to induce that ordering is representable. This provides support for Kenny Easwaran’s project of analyzing doxastic states in terms of belief sets rather than credences.
  •  40
    Comparing the structures of mathematical objects
    Synthese 199 (3-4): 6357-6369. 2021.
    A popular method for comparing the structures of mathematical objects, which I call the ‘subset approach’, says that X has more structure than Y just in case X’s automorphisms form a proper subset of Y’s automorphisms. This approach is attractive, in part, because it seems to yield the right results in some comparisons of spacetime structure. But as I show, it yields the wrong results in a number of other cases. The problem is that the subset approach compares structure using automorphism sets. …Read more
  •  25
    Celestial chaos: The new logics of theory-testing in orbital dynamics
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 65 97-102. 2019.
    I explore how the nature, scope, and limits of the knowledge obtained in orbital dynamics has changed in recent years. Innovations in the design of spacecraft trajectories, as well as in astronomy, have led to new logics of theory-testing—that is, new research methodologies—in orbital dynamics. These methodologies—which combine resonance overlap theories, numerical experiments, and the implementation of space missions—were developed in response to the discovery of chaotic dynamical systems in ou…Read more