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 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 ideas about what philosophy is impact venerable topics such as modality and skepticism.

More schematically, here are my areas of interest:
  • General Philosophy of Science
Scientific explanation and understanding | Prediction and confirmation
Induction (incl. New Riddle of Induction)| Underdetermination|Realism | Scientific progress
  • Philosophy of Physics

Idealizations and modeling | Reduction, emergence, inter-theoretic relations
Foundations of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics | Mathematical formalism in physics | Symmetry, symmetry-breaking
Methodology of science in historical context, aka 'HPS'

  • Philosophy of Mathematics
Applicability of mathematics | Realism v. Nominalism
Indispensability arguments
Methodology of mathematics in historical context | Numerical methods and their philosophical relevance
Empirical research in the psychological basis of mathematics
    • Philosophy of Probability

Objective & subjective Bayesianism | MAXENT | Applied statistical inference

    • Epistemology
Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (aka 'SSK')
    • Wittgenstein
Later philosophy of mathematics and logic
Philosophical method
    • Quine
Naturalism
Philosophical method 
H. Pushwagner The Conductor, 2002?
Subpages (1): Professional activities