I'm an Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics. My research is on the philosophy of physics and its mathematical foundations. Here you can see some photos of life at LSE, or a video of me talking about time travel, or me in a panel discussion on Radio 4's Moral Maze discussing whether science is morally neutral, or a podcast on philosophy of mathematics. Here is my Boring Official Bio and my Curriculum Vitae.
Philosophico-Scientific Adventures. Read Now I have a free online textbook introducing the philosophy of science. It's under continual development; feel free to contact me with suggestions.
Thoughts on Artificial Intelligence. Read Now My Atlantic article with Google software engineer Zach Musgrave on the special nature of weapons built with Artificial Intelligence.
Click a topic to filter. You can see a complete list of publications on my CV.
Curie's principle only works in special cases, but is still useful in particle physics.
A general perspective on the dipole approach to time asymmetry.
How it's possible to detect an arrow of time in particle physics.
Time is not an ordinary quantum observable. But it is in extensions of the standard model.
2013 Philosophy of Science
Classical physics is not necessarily time-symmetric. But with some symmetry constraints it is.
2013 Philosophy of Science
Pierre Curie and many commentators after him have said causes and effects must have the same symmetries. They're wrong.
2012 Physical Review A
Generalisation of a theorem by Kramers and Wigner showing how time symmetry is connected to energy.
(with John D. Norton) Our reply to critics.
(with John D. Norton) A famously mysterious passage by Galileo is actually correct and powerful physics.
Fermat managed to reconstruct Galileo's confusing refutation of an Aristotelian law of freefall.
Some think symmetry is what's fundamental about reality. Here is what that might mean, and why it is problematic.
2006-2012 Pittsburgh ETD
My dissertation at the University of Pittsburgh under John Earman and John D. Norton.
Here are some recent works in progress.
Disregarding the 'Hole Argument' - On an interesting recent objection to the Hole Argument by Jim Weatherall.
Three myths about time reversal in quantum theory - Where time reversal gets its unusual meaning.
Does quantum time have a preferred direction? - A link between particle ontology and the direction of time.
|PH103: Reason, Knowledge and Values: A science-oriented introduction to philosophy. Course Website|
|PH201/400 Philosophy of Science. How does science work? When does something come to be called a science? Why is it so effective? What are the basic concepts, and what are their philosophical implications? This course is a cheerful, surprising, and deep journey into the philosophical foundations of science. Course Website|
|PH227/427 Genes, Brains and Society: Philosophical issues in the biomedical sciences. Course Website|
|PH230/PH430 Einstein for Everyone: From time travel to the edge of the universe. PH230 Course Guide PH430 Course Guide Course Overview|
|PH232/PH431 Physics and the City: From Quantum Jumps to Stock Market Crashes. PH232 Course Guide PH431 Course Guide Course Overview|
7 Steps to a Better Philosophy Paper: 3 pages, 7 steps, 10 tips to help you write better philosophy.
Writing an MSc Dissertation: Guide for MSc students on writing an MSc dissertation.
|Methodologies of the Sciences (USC Phil-486). Website / Syllabus.|
|Intro to Bioethics (Pitt HPS 0613). Website / Syllabus.|
|Principles of Scientific Reasoning (Pitt HPS 0611). Website / Syllabus.|
I am a board member and Conference and Volumes coordinator for PhilSci-Archive. If you're a philosopher of science that doesn't use PhilSci-Archive, stop what you're doing and go sign up. PhilSci-Archive is the official online preprint server of the Philosophy of Science Association. Visit us at philsci-archive.pitt.edu.
I am a former organiser and regular participant in the Forum of European Philosophy. The forum is an educational charity, which brings lively public dialogues, panel discussions, and lectures to the people of London. No stuffy academic dribble allowed! Visit the forum website for a schedule and podcast of recent events.
I grew up on the West Coast of the United States and like paint brushes and musical instruments. I'm a sport skydiver. I climb at The Arch climbing wall. My wife Alma Roberts works at WWF-UK. We have a black cat named Wendy Lou and a black and white one named Lady Crumpet.
|Emacs Zen: I write everything in emacs. You can see my setup on github.|
|Dirt Simple ToDo List: My work flow, explained as a screencast by me in 2010. I still do basically the same thing.|
|Handling academic citations. If you use something a lot, you may as well make it easier on yourself: screencast from 2009. Know a better way? Tell me!|
|Be more efficient. The Pomodoro Technique is hands-down the most important trick I used to complete my dissertation on time in grad school, and I still use it regularly. There are lots of free timer apps online.|
|Give better talks. Giving an academic talk? Read Paul Edwards' How to Give an Academic Talk, but also watch this video on how to give great talks in any context. Giving a talk on a technical subject? Check out this excellent advice from Bob Geroch and from David Tong.|