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metaphysics of science

an AHRC funded research project

Core Researchers - Work in Progress

Alexander Bird

Nature’s Metaphysics: Laws and Properties Book; completed May 2007; due to be published with Oxford University Press July 2007.

“The Regress of Pure Powers” Article; completed and submitted November 2006; accepted by Philosophical Quarterly January 2007; forthcoming September 2007. Also winner Philosophical Quarterly Essay Prize 2006.

“Dispositions, Rules, and Finks” Article (co-authored with Toby Handfield, Monash University); completed and submitted May 2007; accepted by Philosophical Studies June 2007.

“Structural Properties Revisited” Article; completed December 2006; forthcoming in T. Handfield (ed.) Dispositions and Causes Oxford University Press.

“Natural Kinds” Article (co-authored with Emma Tobin); completion due September 2007; commissioned for Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

“Lowe on A Posteriori Essentialism” Article; work in progress.

“A Posteriori Knowledge of Necessity and Essence” Article; work in progress. Given as talk at workshops in Lund (5 June 2007) and Trondhiem (15 June 2007).

Nigel Leary

“Natural Kinds : (Thick) Essentialism or Promiscuous Realism?”

Francis Longworth


  1. “Causation, Pluralism and Responsibility”, forthcoming in Philosophica (2007).
  2. Review of Carlos E. Garcia’s “Popper's Theory of Science: An Apologia”, forthcoming in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  3. Review of “Thinking About Causes” (eds. Machamer and Wolters), forthcoming in Metascience.

To be Submitted/In Preparation

  1. “True Causes and the Uniformity of Nature: The Historical Foundations of the Earth Sciences.” To be submitted to Studies in History and Philosophy of Science.
  2. Four papers from Ph.D. Dissertation:
    • a. “Causation is not Conditional Counterfactual Dependence.” To be submitted to Philosophical Studies.
    • b. “Causation, Counterfactual Dependence and Default Events.”
    • c. “Pluralistic Theories of Causation: A Critique”
    • d. “Causation as a Cluster Concept.”
  3. “How to Define Folk Concepts” with A. Scarantino (Georgia State University) on descriptive semantic analysis of vague/polysemous concepts. Examples taken from causation and emotions literatures.
  4. “Explication of Theoretical Terms” with A. Scarantino on evaluation criteria for revisionary analysis. Examples taken from causation and emotions literatures.
  5. “Genetic Classification in the Earth Sciences” for conference volume Nature and its Classification.
  6. “Nature and its Classification” (eds. H. Beebee, N. Leary, F. Longworth). Edited anthology in association with AHRC-funded conference “Nature and its Classification’, University of Birmingham.


  1. “Against Counterfactual Theories of Causation”. University of Exeter, Nov 2007.
  2. “Genetic Classification in the Earth Sciences” at the conference ‘Nature and its Classification”, University of Birmingham, Oct 2007.
  3. “Two Natural Kinds of Causation?” Joint Session of the Mind and Aristotelian Societies, Bristol, July 2007.
  4. Commentator on Jane Stapleton’s “Causation and the Law” at University of Birmingham Conference ‘Causation and the Law’, April 2007.
  5. Hosted workshop “Causation, Epidemiology and Modeling” at York University with S. Butterfill (University of Warwick), Feb 2007.
  6. “Pluralistic Theories of Causation”. University of Nottingham in Metaphysics of Science Workshop, Feb 2007.
  7. Appeared on science program “Conversations from Studio B” on NPR station WOUB (Ohio, USA), talking about philosophy of science and its relation to science. Jan 2007.
  8. “Pluralistic Theories of Causation” presented at Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science, Oct 2006.
  9. “Causation as a Polysemous Cluster Concept” presented at London School of Economics, Oct 2006.

Markus Schrenk

“Can Physics be Complete if there is no Fundamental Level?”

“Interfering with Nomological Necessity”

Emma Tobin

“The Janus-Faced Ceteris Paribus Condition : Why There is Still a Problem with Provisos” (Under Review)

“Natural Kinds & Symbiosis” Draft Article; Work-In-Progress. Comments Welcome

“Natural Kinds and Natural Necessities” Article; Work-in-Progress. Presented at the Metaphysics of Science Workshop on Natural Kinds in March 2007

“Structural Realism & The Metaphysics of Natural Kinds” Article; Work-In-Progress. Presented at the BSPS Annual Conference (July 2007) Abstract

“Natural Kinds, Causal Relata and Causal Relations” Article, Work-In-Progress. Presented at the Joint Session (July 2007) Abstract

“Natural Kinds“ Article (co-authored with Alexander Bird); completion due September 2007; commissioned for Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Review of “The Software of the Universe” (by Mauro Dorato) Review; competion due September 2007; commissioned for International Studies in the Philosophy of Science

Associate Members - Work In Progress

Rani Lill Anjum

“Causation & Context”

“On the Necessity of Causal Necessity”

Kristina Engelhard

The Reality of Powers

Andreas Hüttemann

“Dispositions in Physics”

E.J. Lowe

“Essentialism & Chemical Kinds”

Gerhard Schurz

“A review of Alexander Bird’s Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties by Gerhard Schurz”