•  139
    The Metaphysical Consequences of Counterfactual Skepticism
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (2): 399-432. 2017.
    A series of recent arguments purport to show that most counterfactuals of the form if A had happened then C would have happened are not true. These arguments pose a challenge to those of us who think that counterfactual discourse is a useful part of ordinary conversation, of philosophical reasoning, and of scientific inquiry. Either we find a way to revise the semantics for counterfactuals in order to avoid these arguments, or we find a way to ensure that the relevant counterfactuals, while not …Read more
  •  135
    Laws and their instances
    Philosophical Studies 176 (6): 1535-1561. 2019.
    I present an argument for the view that laws ground their instances. I then outline two important consequences that follow if we accept the conclusion of this argument. First, the claim that laws ground their instances threatens to undermine a prominent recent attempt to make sense of the explanatory power of Humean laws by distinguishing between metaphysical and scientific explanation. And second, the claim that laws ground their instances gives rise to a novel argument against the view that gr…Read more
  •  121
    Chance, Possibility, and Explanation
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1). 2013.
    I argue against the common and influential view that non-trivial chances arise only when the fundamental laws are indeterministic. The problem with this view, I claim, is not that it conflicts with some antecedently plausible metaphysics of chance or that it fails to capture our everyday use of ‘chance’ and related terms, but rather that it is unstable. Any reason for adopting the position that non-trivial chances arise only when the fundamental laws are indeterministic is also a reason for adop…Read more
  •  119
    In this critical notice of Kment's _Modality and Explanatory Reasoning_, we focus on Kment’s arguments for impossible worlds and on a key part of his discussion of the interactions between modality and explanation – the analogy that he draws between scientific and metaphysical explanation.
  •  102
    A Naturalist’s Guide to Objective Chance
    Philosophy of Science 84 (3): 480-499. 2017.
    I argue that there are such things as nomological probabilities—probabilities that play a certain explanatory role with respect to stable, long-run relative frequencies. Indeed, I argue, we should be willing to accept nomological probabilities even if they turn out to be metaphysically weird or even wholly sui generis entities. I then give an example of one way in which this argument should shape future work on the metaphysics of chance by describing a challenge to a common group of analyses of …Read more
  •  93
    Against Radical Quantum Ontologies
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3): 564-591. 2017.
    Some theories of quantum mechanical phenomena endorse wave function realism, according to which the physical space we inhabit is very different from the physical space we appear to inhabit. In this paper I explore an argument against wave function realism that appeals to a type of simplicity that, although often overlooked, plays a crucial role in scientific theory choice. The type of simplicity in question is simplicity of fit between the way a theory says the world is and the way the world app…Read more
  •  81
    Actualism is the view that only actually existing things exist. Presentism is the view that only presently existing things exist. In this paper, I argue that being an actualist without also being a presentist is not as easy as many philosophers seem to think. A common objection to presentism is that there is an unavoidable conflict between presentism and relativity theory. But actualists who do not wish to be presentists cannot point to this relativity objection alone to support their position. …Read more
  •  78
    Actualism, Presentism and the Grounding Objection
    Erkenntnis 85 (1): 23-43. 2020.
    Presentism is the view that only presently existing things exist. Actualism is the view that only actually existing things exist. Although these views have much in common, the position we take with respect to one of them is not usually thought to constrain the position that we may take toward the other. In this paper I argue that this standard attitude deserves further scrutiny. In particular, I argue that the considerations that motivate one common objection to presentism—the grounding objectio…Read more
  •  72
    Chance, Possibility, and Explanation
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (1): 95-120. 2015.
    I argue against the common and influential view that non-trivial chances arise only when the fundamental laws are indeterministic. The problem with this view, I claim, is not that it conflicts with some antecedently plausible metaphysics of chance or that it fails to capture our everyday use of ‘chance’ and related terms, but rather that it is unstable. Any reason for adopting the position that non-trivial chances arise only when the fundamental laws are indeterministic is also a reason for adop…Read more
  •  70
    Temporal ersatzism
    Philosophy Compass 12 (9). 2017.
    Temporal ersatzism is the view that past entities exist, but are not concrete. The view is analogous to modal ersatzism, according to which merely possible worlds exist, but are not concrete. The goal of this paper is to give the reader a sense of the scope of available temporal ersatzist views, the ways in which the analogy with modal ersatzism may be helpful in characterizing and defending those views, and the sorts of considerations that are relevant when evaluating particular versions of tem…Read more
  •  38
    Temporal Ersatzism and Relativity
    Tandf: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 1-14. forthcoming.
    Temporal eliminativism is the view that the present is privileged because past and future entities do not exist. Temporal ersatzism is the view that the present is privileged because, although past and future entities exist, they are not concrete. I argue that shifting from temporal eliminativism to temporal ersatzism can help address objections to the former theory that are due to relativity theory—but only if temporal ersatzism is understood in a fairly specific way and only insofar as the tem…Read more
  •  8
    Temporal Ersatzism and Relativity
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (3): 490-503. 2021.
    ABSTRACT Temporal eliminativism is the view that the present is privileged because past and future entities do not exist. Temporal ersatzism is the view that the present is privileged because, although past and future entities exist, they are not concrete. I argue that shifting from temporal eliminativism to temporal ersatzism can help to address objections to the former theory that are due to relativity theory—but only if temporal ersatzism is understood in a fairly specific way and only in so …Read more