Hello! I am a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of Virginia. I am on teaching leave this year, thanks to a generous fellowship from the ACLS and the Mellon Foundation. I'm also a member of UVA's Human and Machine Intelligence Group.

I work at the intersections of general philosophy of science with contemporary metaphysics and epistemology. My dissertation examines a neglected kind of modal discourse prevalent in science: counternomic discourse. I identify and distinguish the ways in which counternomics appear within various scientific practices, and show how they raise special problems for established theories of counterfactuals, laws, modality, and scientific explanation. This is part of an ongoing research project on the metaphysics and epistemology of modality in science. 

My broader research agenda concerns the nature of scientific explanation and its relation to scientific representationI'm especially interested in understanding how idealization, inconsistency, and epistemic opacity in models and simulations can be reconciled with their epistemic utility and explanatory capacities. I'm currently writing on how to characterize scientific explanation in contexts where idealized models are transferred from one scientific discipline to another.

If you'd like to contact me, please emailpetertan@virginia.edu.