•  22
    Explanatory Problems for Mass Additivity and Dynamics
    Critica 55 (163): 45-80. 2023.
    I present an argument against the view that the additivity of mass (i.e., the property according to which a composite object’s mass is the “sum” of its parts’) is metaphysically independent of dynamical laws governing massive bodies. In particular, taking additivity to be independent of dynamics commits you to widespread unexplained correlations between the mass properties of composites and the dynamic behavior of massive bodies. The second half of the paper extends this explanatory worry, showi…Read more
  •  300
    On Mereology and Metricality
    Philosophers' Imprint 23. 2023.
    This article motivates and develops a reductive account of the structure of certain physical quantities in terms of their mereology. That is, I argue that quantitative relations like "longer than" or "3.6-times the volume of" can be analyzed in terms of necessary constraints those quantities put on the mereological structure of their instances. The resulting account, I argue, is able to capture the intuition that these quantitative relations are intrinsic to the physical systems they’re called u…Read more
  •  698
    Humean nomic essentialism
    Noûs 57 (1): 81-99. 2021.
    Humeanism – the idea that there are no necessary connections between distinct existences – and Nomic Essentialism – the idea that properties essentially play the nomic roles that they do – are two of the most important and influential positions in the metaphysics of science. Traditionally, it has been thought that these positions were incompatible competitors. We disagree. We argue that there is an attractive version of Humeanism that captures the idea that, for example, mass essentially plays t…Read more
  •  1374
    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
  •  100
    How to Be a Substantivalist Without Getting Shifty About It
    Philosophical Issues 27 (1): 223-249. 2017.
    According to substantivalism, spacetime points and regions are real entities whose existence is not dependent on matter. In this paper, I motivate and defend a version of substantivalism which takes the totality of spacetime as fundamental, and show how this position avoids certain problem cases, in particular the objection from static Leibniz shifts, and better conforms to how we think about space in physics. I argue that, even though the static Leibniz shifts do not show ordinary substantivali…Read more
  •  91
    Quantities are properties and relations which exhibit "quantitative structure". For physical quantities, this structure can impact the non-quantitative world in different ways. In this paper I introduce and motivate a novel distinction between quantities based on the way their quantitative structure constrains the possible mereological structure of their instances. Specifically, I identify a category of “properly extensive” quantities, which are a proper sub-class of the additive or extensive qu…Read more
  •  228
    Properly Extensive Quantities
    Philosophy of Science 82 (5): 833-844. 2015.
    This article introduces and motivates the notion of a “properly extensive” quantity by means of a puzzle about the reliability of certain canonical length measurements. An account of these measurements’ success, I argue, requires a modally robust connection between quantitative structure and mereology that is not mediated by the dynamics and is stronger than the constraints imposed by “mere additivity.” I outline what it means to say that length is not just extensive but properly so and then bri…Read more