Princeton
University

professor: dept of
philosophy

associated faculty: dept of
mathematics

office: 1879
hall, room 220

department phone: 609.258.4289

**curriculum vitae: PDF**

**research summary:** My research focuses on the "logical
analysis" of scientific theories — an idea that started with the
logical positivists, although they became sidetracked by worries about
verification. The goal now is to figure out how to renew this
enterprise, and how to do it right this time. (For an overview, see:
logical philosophy of science.)
Of course, the main tools for this project are (a) formal logic, and
(b) knowledge of contemporary science. But old fashioned formal logic
is too clunky to keep up with contemporary science. For example, just
imagine trying to regiment quantum field theory in the predicate
calculus! New science needs new tools, and the new tools are category
theory
and categorical
logic. The book of the world is written in mathematics —
and the book of mathematics is written in category theory.

Category theory is quite useful in many areas of philosophy. For example, it raises raises interesting issues in the philosophy of mathematics, such as category-theoretic foundations, and univalent foundations.

When it comes to contemporary science, I've focused primarily on physics, and more particularly: quantum field theory, quantum information theory, and experimental metaphysics.

So what's the point of philosophical reflection upon science?
Well, science gives us knowledge, and I'd like to understand how it
does so, and whether it has limits. Should we adopt the doctrine of
*sola scientia*, i.e. that science should be our only guide?
To the end of thinking about these bigger questions, I occasionally
delve into the relationship between science and religion. For
example: cosmology
and theology,
the fine-tuning
design argument, and
methodological
naturalism.