Feminist, Social, and Formal Epistemology Epistemic Advantage on the Margin: A Network Standpoint EpistemologyPhilosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2022 (Early View). http://doi.org/10.1111/phpr.12895 I use network models to simulate social learning situations in which the dominant group ignores or devalues testimony from the marginalized group. I find that the marginalized group ends up with several epistemic advantages due to testimonial ignoration and devaluation. The results provide one possible explanation for a key claim of standpoint epistemology, the inversion thesis, by casting it as a consequence of another key claim of the theory, the unidirectional failure of testimonial reciprocity. Moreover, the results complicate the understanding and application of previously discovered network epistemology effects, notably the Zollman effect. Penultimate Draft; PhilPapers; PhilSci Archive; Publisher Link (Open Access); Poster Simulation Codes: Base Model, Variation 1, Variation 2 (all in Python 2.7) Withholding KnowledgeIf scientists are purely motivated by the truth of their findings, are they incentivized to share their evidence with each other? I use computer simulations of two paradigmatic models of scientific inquiry to argue that there are distinct epistemic advantages in unilaterally withholding evidence from the outside, even compared to a mutually sharing community in many cases. I further analyze the sharing and withholding dynamics from a game theoretic perspective by constructing epistemic games from simulation results. Manuscript Draft A paper on how best to promote social and cognitive diversity in science given results from the modeling literature (with Cailin O'Connor) (under review--title redacted)Diversity of practice is widely recognized as crucial to scientific progress. If all scientists perform the same tests in their research, they might miss important insights that other tests would yield. If all scientists adhere to the same theories, they might fail to explore other options which, in turn, might be superior. But the mechanisms that lead to this sort of diversity can also generate epistemic harms when scientific communities fail to reach swift consensus on successful theories. In this paper, we draw on extant literature using network models to investigate diversity in science. We evaluate different mechanisms from the modeling literature that can promote transient diversity of practice, keeping in mind ethical and practical constraints posed by real epistemic communities. We ask: what are the best ways to promote the right amount of diversity of practice in such communities? MetaArXiv; PhilSci Archive The Cultural Evolution of Science (with Cailin O'Connor and Paul E. Smaldino)To appear in The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Evolution, edited by Jeremy Kendal, Rachel Kendal, and Jamshid Tehrani, Oxford University Press. Expected 2023.MetaArXiv |
Philosophy of Physics Explaining Universality: Infinite Limit Systems in the Renormalization Group Method Synthese, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-021-03448-2Winner of the Hanneke Janssen Memorial Prize, 2021;Winner of the Justine Lambert Prize, 2022.I analyze the role of infinite idealizations used in the renormalization group (RG hereafter) method in explaining universality across microscopically different physical systems in critical phenomena. I argue that despite the reference to infinite limit systems such as systems with infinite correlation lengths during the RG process, the key to explaining universality in critical phenomena need not involve infinite limit systems. I develop my argument by introducing what I regard as the explanatorily relevant property in RG explanations: linearization* property; I then motivate and prove a proposition about the linearization* property in support of my view. As a result, infinite limit systems in RG explanations are dispensable. Penultimate Draft; PhilSci Archive; Publisher Link (Free to Read) Mathematical AnalysisA Bohr Mollerup Theorem for Interpolating the Triangular Numbers (with Stephen Abbott) Journal of Convex Analysis, 2018.The Bohr-Mollerup Theorem (1922) provides an elegant criterion under which the gamma function is the unique function interpolating n!. We prove an analogous uniqueness theorem for interpolating the triangular numbers that, like the original, is grounded in the theory of convex functions. We then explore parallels with the class of quasi-gamma functions defined in a recent paper by Bermúdez, Martinón and Sadarangani (2014). |

**Works-in-Progress**

I have a number of works-in-progress at various stages, many of which are collaborative. The topics I'm working on include:

- epistemic landscapes and diversity of practice in science;
- the Hausdorff condition and its relationship to the substantivalism/relationalism debate in spacetime theories (with James Owen Weatherall);
- structurally explaining the credit gap between mainstream and marginalized research topics (with Liam Kofi Bright);
- a book project on the spacetime structures of Newtonian physics, special relativity, and electromagnetism using the framework of affine geometry (with James Owen Weatherall);
- signal propagation direction as determined by partial differential equations of physical theories versus by the metric light cone, and its relationship to physical "energy" (with James Owen Weatherall).

I'm happy to discuss my works-in-progress further via email.