Specialization: philosophy of science
Areas of research include underdetermination, scientific realism, and natural kinds.
Teaching interests also include logic, history of modern philosophy, pragmatism, metaphysics, and
Positions held & Degrees earned
- University at Albany, State University of New York: Philosophy, 2004– . As associate
professor since 2010.
- Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh: Visiting fellow, Fall 2010.
- Bowdoin College: Visiting assistant professor in Philosophy, 2003–2004.
- Ph.D. in Philosophy. 2003. University of California, San Diego.
Underdetermination and the Claims of Science
committee: Paul Churchland (chair), Donald Rutherford, Nancy Cartwright, Naomi
Oreskes, Martin Sereno
- UC San Diego: Associate or teaching assistant in Philosophy for nine terms between
1998 and 2003. Philosophy Department webmaster, 1998–2000.
- M.A. in Philosophy. 2000. UC San Diego.
- Editorial assistant for the journal Philosophy of Science. 1998–1999.
- B.A. major in Philosophy and Physics, minor in Russian and Mathematics. 1996. Texas
Christian University; University Honors, summa cum laude.
- Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards. Palgrave Macmillan.
- co-editor and co-author of introduction, with Jacob Busch. New Waves in Philosophy
of Science. Palgrave MacMillan. 2010.
- forall x: an introduction to formal logic. Released under an open license. 2005.
Downloaded over 100,000 times and used as a course text at numerous institutions,
including University at Albany, Bentley College, University of California Irvine,
University of California San Diego, Cambridge University, Carnegie Mellon, University
of Houston, Hunter College, University of Lethbridge, Imperial College London, Loraine
County Community College, University of Pittsburgh, Rhode Island College, University
of Manchester, University of Warsaw, University of Washington, and University of West
Parts of forall x were incorporated into Proofs and Concepts: the fundamentals of
abstract mathematics by Dave Witte Morris and Joy Morris (2009).
- with Heather Douglas. ‘Why novel prediction matters.’ Under review.
- with Cristyn Magnus and Christy Mag Uidhir. ‘Judging Covers.’ Under review.
- ‘What scientists know is not a function of what scientists know.’ Philosophy of Science.
- ‘No grist for Mill on natural kinds.’ Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy.
- ‘Historical individuals like Anas platyrhynchos and ‘Classical Gas’’ in Art & Abstract
Objects. Christy Mag Uidhir, ed. Oxford University Press. Forthcoming, 2013.
- Review of Carving Nature at Its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science.
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. February 2012.
- ‘Drakes, seadevils, and similarity fetishism.’ Biology&Philosophy, 26(6): 857–870.
- ‘Miracles, trust, and ennui in Barnes’ Predictivism.’ Logos&Episteme, 2(1): 103–115.
- with Christy Mag Uidhir. ‘Art concept pluralism.’ Metaphilosophy, 42(1–2): 83–97.
- ‘Philosophy of science in the 21st century.’ In Russian, Istoriko-Philosophskii
Almanach, Moscow; third issue, 2010: 469–473. In English, Metaphilosophy;
- ‘Inductions, red herrings, and the best explanation for the mixed record of science.’
The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 61(4): 803–819. December 2010.
- with Greg Frost-Arnold. ‘The Identical Rivals Response to underdetermination’ in
New Waves in Philosophy of Science. P.D. Magnus and Jacob Busch, eds. Palgrave
- ‘On trusting Wikipedia.’ Episteme. 6(1): 74–90. February 2009.
- ‘Demonstrative induction and the skeleton of inference.’ International Studies in the
Philosophy of Science. 22(3): 303–315. October 2008.
- ‘Early response to false claims in Wikipedia.’ First Monday. 13(9): September 2008.
- ‘Mag Uidhir on performance.’ British Journal of Aesthetics. 48(3): 338–345. July 2008.
- ‘Reid’s defense of common sense.’ Philosophers’ Imprint, 8(3): 1–14. May 2008.
- with Lawrence Schell. ‘Is there an elephant in the room? Addressing rival approaches
to the interpretation of growth perturbations and small size.’ American Journal of
Human Biology, 19(5): 606–614. September/October 2007.
- ‘Distributed cognition and the task of science.’ Social Studies of Science, 37(2):
297–310. April 2007.
- ‘What’s new about the New Induction?’ Synthese, 148(2): 295–301. January 2006.
- ‘Underdetermination of theories’ in The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia.
Sahotra Sarkar and Jessica Pfeifer, eds. Routledge. 2005.
- ‘Background theories and total science.’ Philosophy of Science, 72(5): 1064–1075.
- ‘Reckoning the shape of everything: Underdetermination and cosmotopology.’ British
Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 56(3): 541–557. September 2005.
- ‘Hormone research as an exemplar of underdetermination.’ Studies in History and
Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 36(3): 559–567. September 2005.
- ‘Peirce: Underdetermination, agnosticism, and related mistakes.’ Inquiry, 48(1): 26–37.
- with Craig Callender, ‘Realist ennui and the base rate fallacy.’ Philosophy of Science,
71(3): 320–338. July 2004.
- ‘The price of insisting that Quantum Mechanics is complete.’ British Journal for the
Philosophy of Science, 55(2): 257–267. June 2004.
- ‘Reid’s dilemma and the uses of pragmatism.’ Journal of Scottish Philosophy, 2(1):
69–72. March 2004.
- ‘Underdetermination and the Problem of Identical Rivals.’ Philosophy of Science, 70(5):
1256–1264. December 2003.
- with Jonathan Cohen, ‘Williamson on knowledge and psychological explanation.’
Philosophical Studies, 116(1): 37–52. October 2003.
- ‘Success, truth, and the Galilean Strategy.’ British Journal for the Philosophy of
Science, 54(3): 465–474. September 2003.
- with Michael Kalichman, education resources for the Responsible Conduct of Research
Education Consortium. September 2002. Reprinted in the University of Arizona’s
Program in Research Integrity Education PRIE Newsletter, 6(6): June 2006 through
7(4): April 2007.
- ‘What scientists know is not a function of what scientists know.’ Presented at the
Philosophy of Science Association biennial meeting in San Diego, California (November
- ‘Drakes, seadevils, and similarity fetishism.’ Presented at Metaphysics & the Philosophy
of Science at the University of Toronto (May 2011).
- ‘Nine planets, fine planets — or eight planets, great planets?’ Invited presentation to
the philosophy department at the City College of New York (November 2010).
- ‘Miracles, trust, and ennui in Barnes’ Predictivism.’ Part of a book symposium at the
Philosophy of Science Association biennial meeting in Montreal, Quebec (November
- ‘What to say about natural kinds.’ Lunchtime talk at the Center for Philosophy of
Science, University of Pittsburgh (October 2010).
- ‘Ubiquity and relativity of natural kinds.’ Invited presentation to the Cornell University
Philosophy Department (May 2010).
- ‘The Identical Rivals Response to underdetermination.’ Invited presentation,
Underdetermination in Science workshop, Center for Philosophy of Science, University
of Pittsburgh (March 2009).
- ‘Philosophy of science in the 21st century.’ Presented at a telematic symposium on
developments in philosophy, held between UAlbany and Moscow State University
- ‘Theory concept pluralism.’ Presented to the University of Nevada Las Vegas
philosophy department (February 2009).
- ‘Philosophy and Wikipedia.’ Presented to the UAlbany philosophy department
- ‘What SPECIES can teach us about THEORY.’ Presented to the Creighton Club
New York State Philosophical Association and published in conference proceedings
- ‘The skeleton of inference.’ Invited presentation to the Southern Methodist University
philosophy department (March 2007).
- ‘Epistemology and the Wikipedia.’ Presented at the North American Computing and
Philosophy Conference in Troy, New York (August 2006).
- ‘Eliminating induction.’ Presented at the Society for Exact Philosophy annual meeting
in La Jolla, California (May 2006).
- ‘Tom Reid meets Tom Bayes: skepticism, dogmatism and common sense.’ Presented at
Hume and His Critics, a conference on the Scottish Enlightenment at Baylor University
- ‘Background theories and total science.’ Presented at the Philosophy of Science
Association biennial meeting in Austin, Texas (November 2004).
- ‘The value of philosophy.’ Presented at the Maine Philosophical Institute (May 2004).
- ‘The promise and perils of science as distributed cognition.’ Presented to the UC San
Diego Experimental Philosophy Lab (January 2004).
- ‘Williamson on knowledge and psychological explanation.’ Presented at the Inland
Northwest Philosophy Conference (May 2003).
- ‘Science, underdetermination, and the structure of space.’ Presented under various
titles as a colloquium at UC San Diego (January 2003), as an invited talk to the
Bowdoin College philosophy department (April 2003), and as an invited talk to the
UAlbany philosophy department (January 2004).
- ‘Underdetermination and aspirations of certainty.’ Presented to the UC San Diego
History of Philosophy Roundtable (June 2002).
- ‘Underdetermination and the Problem of Identical Rivals.’ Presented at the Southern
California Philosophy Conference at UC Irvine (October 2001) and at the Philosophy
of Science Association biennial meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (November 2002).
- ‘Reliability on the crowded net: Finding the truth in a web of deceit.’ Presented at
MacHack and published in conference proceedings (June 2001).
- ‘Underdetermination and the inference against value freedom.’ Presented at Value-Free
Science: Ideal or Illusion?, a conference sponsored by the Ethics Center at the
University of Alabama, Birmingham (February 2001).
- ‘Reality, sex, and cyberspace: an exercise in philosophy of technology.’ Presented at
MacHack in Detroit, Michigan and published in conference proceedings (June 2000).
- ‘The logic of normative structure.’ Presented at Philosophy and the Social Sciences, a
graduate student conference at the University of Texas, Austin (March 2000).
Academic Awards and Fellowships
- Visiting Fellowship at the Center for Philosophy of Science, Pittsburgh (Fall 2010)
- UAlbany, College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2009)
- National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship (1996–2001)
- A. Campbell Garnet Memorial Award for a Philosophical Essay (1996)
- TCU Senior Scholar in Philosophy, Senior Scholar in Physics (1996)
- Phi Beta Kappa: elected (1995), ΦBK Senior Scholar (1996)
- Sigma Xi Essay Award (1995)
- Introduction to logic; sentential and first-order logic
- Understanding science; an introduction to philosophy of science and science studies
- History of modern philosophy; Descartes to Kant
- American philosophy; the transcendentalist and pragmatist traditions
- Scientific revolutions; science studies before and after Kuhn
Shared-resource courses, for graduate students and advanced undergraduates
- Philosophy of science
- Theory of knowledge
- Causality and determinism
- Underdetermination of theory
- Realism and natural kinds
Webpages for all courses are at www.fecundity.com/courses
Dissertation and thesis advisement
- Member, Ph.D. committee for Tom Fowler. In progress.
- Member, Ph.D. committee for Kevin Olbrys. In progress.
- Member, Ph.D. committee for Kimberley Van Orman. In progress.
- Member, Ph.D. committee for Juliette Stevens. Mental Causation: A Nonreductivist
Perspective. Summer 2008.
- Advisor, undergraduate honors thesis for Brett Bustamante. Applied Humor Theory.
- Chair, Ph.D. committee for John Styles. Empirically Grounded Metaphors in Science.
- Examiner in History for Dan Spanjer. Spring 2007.
- Service within the UAlbany Philosophy Department:
- Undergraduate studies committee (2004–6, 2007–11)
- Director of undergraduate studies (2005–6, 2007–10)
- Graduate studies committee (2004–5, 2011–3)
- Director of graduate studies (2012–3)
- Department webmaster (2004– )
- Program review and assessment (2006–13)
- Hiring committee (2005–6, 2006–7)
- Colloquium committee (2005–6)
- UAlbany, service at the university level:
- Council on Research (2007–08)
- Committee on Promotion and Continuing Appointment (2012–3)
- Chair and co-organizer, first annual Graduate Mini-Conference, UC San Diego Philosophy
- MacHack papers committee (2001, 2002)
- Article referee for journals including The American Journal of Bioethics, The British Journal
for the Philosophy of Science, Erkenntnis, European Journal of the Philosophy of Science,
Inquiry, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, the Internet Encyclopedia
of Philosophy, Logos&Episteme, Perspectives on Science, Philosophical Studies,
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Philosophy of Science, The Polish
Journal of Philosophy, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Synthese, and
- Book referee for McGraw-Hill and Palgrave Macmillan.
Current as of November 3, 2012.