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Philosophy of Science, Metaphysics, Philosophical Logic, Philosophy of Mind

Current Research Project

What Breathes Fire into the Equations: The Metaphysics of laws of nature

My current research project explores possible answers to Stephen Hawking’s question “What breathes fire into the equations?” In other words, what makes an equation or generalization express a law of nature. Accounts of the metaphysics of laws have consequences for many other issues in philosophy including the natures of objective chance, causation, counterfactuals, fundamental ontology, time and space, and free will. The metaphysics of laws of nature are also relevant to some issues in the foundations of physics (interpretations of quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics) and theology (fine-tuning arguments and why the universe obeys laws).

Central to my project is a new book I am writing which exposits and defends of a novel view about the metaphysical laws that I have been developing. I call this view the Package Deal Account (the PDA). In addition to the book, I am organizing two workshops at Rutgers on the metaphysics of laws and chance during the 2019-2020 academic year. I am also directing a summer school for graduate students and early career academics at the CEU in Budapest in the Summer of 2020.