I am an assistant professor in the philosophy department at the University of Florida. My primary interests are in philosophy of science, as well as some overlapping areas in philosophy of physics, metaphysics, and epistemology. My dissertation developed a novel account of laws of nature in the Best Systems tradition, which I call the "Best Predictive System Account." My MA thesis was on Goodman’s New Riddle of Induction. My current research focuses on various issues connected with laws of nature, such as the question of why they support counterfactuals, and whether Humean laws can explain particular matters of fact.
Philosophy 100.01: Introduction to Logic
Philosophy 100.02: Introduction to Logic
Philosophy 120.01: Problems in Philosophy
Why do the Laws Support Counterfactuals?
When we engage in counterfactual reasoning, we tend to hold the actual laws of nature fixed. Prima facie, this presents a problem for Humeanism, because Humean laws have no special metaphysical status that can justify their being held fixed. This paper presents a Humean-friendly rationale for our engagement in counterfactual reasoning that explains why it serves our interest to hold the laws fixed.
Humean Laws, Explanatory Circularity, and the Aim of Scientific Explanation
A common criticism of Humean accounts of natural law is that they are unable to play the explanatory role of laws in scientific practice. The worry is roughly that if the laws are just certain sorts of regularities in the particular matters of fact, then they cannot also explain the particular matters of fact, on pain of circularity. I argue here that the Humean can avoid this worry by distinguishing between the different explanatory aims of science and metaphysics.