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. I have written a book on topics common to these areas, called Without Hierarchy; The Scale Freedom of the Universe, which was published in 2013 by Oxford University Press. I apply as much of my findings as I can to issues of public policy. I have been 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 in 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, and the University of Sydney Center for Foundations of Science.  I have been a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Philosophy, University of London and the Center for Excellence in the Philosophy of Social Science, University of Helsinki. 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”.


You can access some of my publications, as well as information about current projects, at my Google website. 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!