My natural mode of thought is exploratory, and I often struggle to get my papers wrapped into tight little well-organized packages that seem to fit into journals. So here are stray papers, not (up)-tightly written, and descriptions of work in progress. Comments and correspondence are always welcome.
- Sleeping Beauty Without Self-Location and Without Chance?
- The Tension in Humeanism: undermining problems and how to resolve them
- Simplicity as a Guide to a Scientific Metaphysics
- A Swan Song for Analytic Metaphysics?
- Symmetry and Superfluous Structure: lessons from history and tempered enthusiasm
The idea that simplicity has a role in guiding our ideas about nature is an old and recurrent theme in philosophy.There is one kind of simplicity that plays a basic role guiding the construction of models and has special importance for philosophers interested in the ontological content of physics. I introduce it, convey a sense of how it works, and articulate the intuitive justification for its role. sense of how it works, and articulate the intuitive justification for its role.
This paper discusses the question of whether cognitive science should displace analytic metaphysics in the search for an account of the relationship between physics and phenomenology.
One of the most powerful methods for zeroing in on the physical structure underlying a body of data uses symmetries as guides to the identification of excess structure. The guiding idea of the method is that regularity of the right kind is a sign of redundancy in the mathematical representation rather than relations between physically distinct entities, quantities, or situations. This paper lays bare the logical structure of the method and the reasoning behind it. Some of the delicacies of deploying it are introduced, and I look at the physical assumptions underlying its application.