Research

My research is in the history of philosophy and philosophy of science. I'm also interested in what philosophy of language might have to contribute to philosophy of science, and historical intersections between the fields.

In philosophy of science, I'm interested in the role epistemic and non-epistemic values play in scientific practices.

My work in the history of philosophy focuses on debates about philosophical methodology in early to mid-20th century analytic philosophy.

My 2011 dissertation was on Kantian accounts of the role of the a priori in empirical knowledge in 20th century philosophy of science. I still work on that topic occasionally.

I also have written popular things that touch on my philosophical interests. I feature edited an issue of ARCADE magazine, on the topic of authenticity in art and building preservation, architecture, and art. The issue reflects a methodological commitment to study concepts in their sites (as Ian Hacking understands methodological recommendations of ordinary language philosophy). I published a piece in Seattle's alt-weekly, The Stranger, about Kant and giant drills, and, with Doug Paletta, I wrote for Arrested Development and Philosophy on the topic of treason.

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2019 Conference Presentations

"Longino on Feminist & Traditional Values: Lessons for & in History of Modern Philosophy" | Society for the Study of Early Modern Women Group Session | Pacific APA, Vancouver, BC

"Ordinary Language Philosophy and the Historical Turn in Philosophy of Science" | Greater Cascadia Workshop in History & Philosophy of Science | Vancouver, BC

"Covert Exercitives in Popular Discussions about Science" | Values in Medicine, Society, & Technology | Dallas, TX

Peer-reviewed publications (See also my PhilPeople site | Essay reviews below)

5. "Hans Reichenbach’s and C.I. Lewis’s Kantian Philosophies of Science” | Accpeted to Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Part A | Approx. 11k words

Short Abstract: In this paper, I highlight three related differences between Reichenbach and Lewis as concerns their motivations in analyzing scientific knowledge and scientific practice, their differing conceptions of constitutivity, and their relativization of constitutive a priori principles. In light of these differences, I argue Lewis’s Kantianism is more similar to Kuhn’s Kantianism than Reichenbach’s, and so might be of more contemporary relevance to social and practical approaches to the philosophy of science.

4. “Speech Act Theory and the Multiple Aims of Science” | Accepted for publication in the December 2019 proceedings issue of Philosophy of Science | Approx. 5k words

Short Abstract: I draw upon speech act theory to understand the speech acts appropriate to the multiple aims of scientific practice and the role of nonepistemic values in evaluating speech acts made relative to those aims.

3. "Ordinary Language Criticisms of Logical Positivism," HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8, no. 1 (Spring 2018): 157-190. | https://doi.org/10.1086/695759

Short Abstract: In this paper, I fill out the received view of logical positivism within professional philosophy against which Thomas Kuhn’s Structure appeared. To do this, I look at the methodological dimensions of ordinary language criticisms of logical positivist analysis from P.F. Strawson and J.L. Austin. I show how these methodological criticisms run parallel to points Kuhn makes against logical positivist approaches to the study of scientific knowledge. The parallels I draw emphasize methodological, rather than doctrinal dissatisfaction in mid-20th century philosophy with logical positivism’s perceived neglect of linguistic and scientific practices.

2. "Assertion, Nonepistemic Values, and Scientific Practice," Philosophy of Science 84, no. 1 (January 2017): 160-180. | DOI: 10.1086/688939

Short Abstract: Certain strands of the debate over legitimate roles for non-epistemic values in scientific practice concern how to characterize the acceptance of empirical hypotheses by individuals or groups of individuals and what values should or should not inform such acceptance. In this paper, I motivate a shift in perspective in this debate from investigating what is involved in taking cognitive attitudes like acceptance towards an empirical hypothesis to looking at a social understanding of assertion, the act of communicating that hypothesis to others.

1. “Are Kant’s Concepts & Methodology Inconsistent with Scientific Change? Constitutivity & the Synthetic Method in Kant,” HOPOS 2, no. 2: 321–353 (2012)| Please note the unconventional citation format; instead of A/B for the 1st/2nd edition of the first Critique, it is cited 1:/2:. (An oversight on my part in not insisting on A/B during the page proof process.)

Short Abstract: Sympathetic commentators on Kant’s account of physical knowledge agree that while philosophy of science has much to gain from Kant’s notion of constitutive a priori principles, Kant’s conceptual and methodological resources are inconsistent with the possibility of scientific change. In this article, I argue that this received view is lacking since Kant’s claim that a unique set of a priori principles structures our knowledge for all time is not central to his account of the constitutive a priori.

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Essay Reviews in History of Analytic Philosophy & History of Philosophy of Science

B. Peter Olen and Carl Sachs (eds). Pragmatism in Transition: Contemporary Perspectives on C.I. Lewis | Transactions of the C.S. Peirce Society Vol. 54, No.2: 273 - 280 (2018) | https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/trancharpeirsoc.54.2.08

In this essay review, I consider C.I. Lewis's place in the history of analytic philosophy and the history of philosophy of science.

A. Nathaniel Goldberg's Kantian Conceptual Geography (2016) | Online: https://virtualcritique.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/paul-franco-on-nathaniel-goldbergs-kantian-conceptual-geography/

In this essay review of Goldberg's book, I discuss Hans Reichenbach's and Michael Friedman's neo-Kantian accounts of the role of the a priori in empirical knowledge, and general methodological themes in historical epistemology, among other topics.