I'm interested in scientific method: how do scientists generate knowledge and why does it work? I don't think there's a particularly interesting general answer to this question. After all, scientists are a motley, opportunist bunch. They utilize a wide variety of methods and techniques in order to exploit varying lines of evidence towards a variety of different aims. Much of the philosophical action is local. This doesn't mean that us philosophers of science can't say anything general about knowledge, knowledge-generation, or the world. Rather, it means that such claims are best constructed in a piecemeal fashion. Much of my research focuses on the 'historical' sciences: paleontology, archaeology, geology and so forth. I argue that both philosophers and methodologically reflective scientists have underestimated the epistemic resources available for uncovering the deep past, and have missed the power of such sciences. Instead, I provide an expansive account of those resources: we should be optimists about our capacity to uncover much about the deep past.

My research isn't restricted to the historical sciences. I'm interested in science in general, particularly the relationship between different epistemic practices like experiments and simulations. I've also investigated the 'comparative method': how biologists exploit ancestral relations and similarities in environment to inform their studies. I enjoy reflecting on philosophical method, particularly the use of case studies in the philosophy of science, truth-telling in philosophical pedagogy and method in historiography. I also touch upon how the structure of scientific communities - what counts as good evidence, publications standards, and so forth - shape how research develops. I'm in the early stages of writing a book exploring the idea that the byproducts of scientific investigations are typically where their value lies. I also have work on the aesthetic and scientific aspects of music. I love collaborating. 

I'm one of the founders of, and a regular contributor to, Extinct, a blog covering the intersection between philosophy and paleontology.

I grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand and have studied and taught at Victoria University of Wellington, Australian National University, the University of Sydney, the University of Calgary, Cambridge and Exeter(my current abode). I enjoy tramping (in New Zealand), bushwalking (in Australia), hiking (in North America) and rambling (in the UK) - but don't for goshsakes ask me to navigate.


Email me on a.currie [at] exeter [dot] ac [dot] uk