Philosophy of Science

The Correlation Argument for Reductionism

Philosophy of Science (Forthcoming)

Final Draft (Open Access)

Abstract: Reductionists say things like: all mental properties are physical properties; all normative properties are natural properties. I argue that the only way to resist reductionism is to deny that causation is difference making (thus making the epistemology of causation a mystery) or to deny that properties are individuated by their causal powers (thus making properties a mystery). That is to say, unless one is happy to deny supervenience, or to trivialize the debate over reductionism. To show this, I argue that if properties are individuated by their causal powers then, surprisingly, properties are individuated by necessary co-exemplification.

Preferences and Positivist Methodology in Economics (2016)

Philosophy of Science 83: 192-212

Final Draft (Open Access)

doi.org/10.1086/684958 (Requires Subscription)

Abstract: I distinguish several doctrines that economic methodologists have found attractive, all of which have a positivist flavour. One of these is the doctrine that preference assignments in economics are just shorthand descriptions of agents' choice behaviour. Although most of these doctrines are problematic, the latter doctrine about preference assignments is a respectable one, I argue. It doesn't entail any of the problematic doctrines, and indeed it is warranted independently of them.

Neuroeconomics and Confirmation Theory (2014)

Philosophy of Science 81: 195-215

Published Version (Open Access)

doi.org/10.1086/675669 (Requires Subscription)

Abstract: Neuroeconomics is a research programme founded on the thesis that cognitive and neurobiological data constitute evidence for answering economic questions. I employ confirmation theory in order to reject arguments both for and against neuroeconomics. I also emphasize that some arguments for neuroeconomics will not convince the skeptics because these arguments make a contentious assumption: economics aims for predictions and deep explanations of choices in general. I then argue for neuroeconomics by appealing to a much more restrictive (and thereby skeptic-friendly) characterization of the aims of economics.