•  242
    Quantitative Parsimony: Probably for the Better
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (3). 2017.
    ABSTRACT Our aim in this article is to offer a new justification for preferring theories that are more quantitatively parsimonious than their rivals. We discuss cases where it seems clear that those involved opted for more quantitatively parsimonious theories. We extend previous work on quantitative parsimony by offering an independent probabilistic justification for preferring the more quantitatively parsimonious theories in particular episodes of theory choice. Our strategy allows us to avoid …Read more
  •  182
    The notions of ground and ontological dependence have made a prominent resurgence in much of contemporary metaphysics. However, objections have been raised. On the one hand, objections have been raised to the need for distinctively metaphysical notions of ground and ontological dependence. On the other, objections have been raised to the usefulness of adding ground and ontological dependence to the existing store of other metaphysical notions. Even the logical properties of ground and ontologica…Read more
  •  120
    Alisa Bokulich, Reexamining the Quantum-Classical Relation: Beyond Reductionism and Pluralism , Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2008) ISBN 978-0-521-85720-8 pp. x+195 (review)
    with Gordon Belot
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (1): 81-83. 2010.
  •  107
    Explanatory Asymmetries: Laws of Nature Rehabilitated
    Journal of Philosophy 112 (11): 577-599. 2015.
    The problem of explanatory non-symmetries provides the strongest reason to abandon the view that laws can figure in explanations without causal underpinnings. I argue that this problem can be overcome. The solution that I propose starts from noticing the importance of conditions of application when laws do explanatory work, and I go on to develop a notion of nomological dependence that can tackle the non-symmetry problem. The strategy is to show how a strong notion of counterfactual dependence a…Read more
  •  59
    Everettian quantum mechanics and physical probability: Against the principle of “State Supervenience”
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53 45-53. 2016.
    Everettian quantum mechanics faces the challenge of how to make sense of probability and probabilistic reasoning in a setting where there is typically no unique outcome of measurements. Wallace has built on a proof by Deutsch to argue that a notion of probability can be recovered in the many worlds setting. In particular, Wallace argues that a rational agent has to assign probabilities in accordance with the Born rule. This argument relies on a rationality constraint that Wallace calls state sup…Read more
  •  56
    When evaluating the success of causal theories of explanation the focus has typically been on the legitimacy of causal relations and on putative examples of explanations that we cannot capture in causal terms. Here I motivate the existence of a third kind of problem: the difficulty of accounting for explanatory disputes. Moreover, I argue that this problem remains even if the first two are settled and that it threatens to undercut one of the central motivations for causal accounts of explanation…Read more
  •  54
    Newton’s “satis est”: A new explanatory role for laws
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (4): 553-562. 2013.
    In this paper I argue that Newton’s stance on explanation in physics was enabled by his overall methodology and that it neither committed him to embrace action at a distance nor to set aside philosophical and metaphysical questions. Rather his methodology allowed him to embrace a non-causal, yet non-inferior, kind of explanation. I suggest that Newton holds that the theory developed in the Principia provides a genuine explanation, namely a law-based one, but that we also lack something explanato…Read more
  •  42
    Depth: An Account of Scientific Explanation (review)
    Philosophical Review 121 (4): 625-630. 2008.
  •  28
    The Nature of Scientific Thinking: On Interpretation, Explanation, and Understanding (review)
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (2): 218-221. 2015.
  • Book Review (review)
    with Gordon Belot
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (1): 81-83. 2010.