I am a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah.  After earning my Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1993, I taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo, before joining the faculty of the University of Utah Department of Philosophy in 2001.


My work focuses primarily on foundational questions in the sciences, especially the physical, social and decisional sciences, as well as on the relations amongst the sciences. My book on these subjects, called Without Hierarchy; The Scale Freedom of the Universe, was published in June 2013, by Oxford University Press. I apply as much of my findings as I can to issues of public policy. I am currently being funded by the NSF to study precautionary decision making in relation to catastrophic risk, especially in public contexts. The goal is a prescriptive theory of precaution (an account of how best to proceed in the context of major uncertainty) that does more than simply endorse aversion to risk.


I’ve authored numerous articles on causation, explanation and how relations between micro and macro are handled by a range of scientific theories; as well as articles in political philosophy, action theory, metaphysics, epistemology, logical paradox and feminism. My work has won the Royal Institute of Philosophy inaugural Essay Prize in 2012, and again in 2013, and the American Philosophical Assn’s Kavka Prize (1999). I’m a former fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Advanced Studies of the Australian National University, the Tanner Humanities Center, the University of Sydney Center for Foundations of Science, and the Institute of Philosophy, University of London. At the present time I’m working on two new book-length projects: “Intelligent Navigation: Foundations for a comprehensive decision science” and “A New Theory of Freedom”.


The “Publications” tab above will take you to a listing of some published research, with PDFs of such as I am at liberty to make freely accessible.     And the “Papers” tab takes you to where you can download copyrighted material for your own scholarly or educational purposes: by clicking on “Papers” you are promising that you will not publicly distribute items you download from this site. At my site on Academia.edu, you will find (among other things) pieces of my work in progress. And here’s a more traditional CV.

Welcome to my philosophy-related webpages!