Research interests

For a while now I've been working in three areas.

In addition to writing on general topics in philosophy of science (especially explanation and understanding), I am interested in certain issues in philosophy of physics. In particular, I am intrigued by several conceptual difficulties arising within the (so-called) 'non-fundamental' physics, more precisely in the less-studied domain of the condensed matter theory (including phase transitions, superconductivity, etc.) I try to understand the 'more-is-different' idea (and its variations), so I investigate the relation between emergence and reduction, and how spelling out this relation bears on more traditional themes such as explanation, prediction, complexity, etc.

In the philosophy of mathematics, I continue to work on issues having to do with the applicability of mathematics (including indispensability arguments, realism, nominalism, etc.) New angles on the connection between mathematics and the world are: i) an interest in the computational/numerical aspects of math (v. 'conceptual' ones), as well as ii) an attempt to evaluate how the experimental evidence collected by cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists is relevant for the philosophical debates on the nature of mathematics. I just finished putting together an edited volume collecting work in this area by philosophers, psychologists and cognitive scientists.

My interests in the history of analytical philosophy focus on the study of the philosophical methodologies of Wittgenstein and Quine (whom, despite obvious differences, I would both describe as 'naturalist'). In particular, I seek to understand how their views on what philosophy is impact their take on venerable topics such as modality and skepticism.

H. Pushwagner The Conductor (2002?)