The Role of Naturalism in Ontology and Scientific Method
University of Queensland, Australia (2002-2006)
Mark Colyvan is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. He has held visiting appointments in the Department of Logic and Philoso phy of Science at the University of California, Irvine, and in the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences at the California Institute ofTechnology. He works on philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of logic, decision theory, metaphysics, and philosophy of science (especially philosophy of ecology and the role of mathematics in science). He is the author of The Indispensability of Mathematics, (Oxford University Press, 2001) and (with Lev Ginzburg) Ecological Orbits: How Planets Move and Populations Grow (Oxford University Press, 2004). While at the Center for Philosophy of Science he worked on the role of naturalism in various debates in the philosophy of science and in metaphysics. (Although he is too easily distracted by other interesting topics, so while at the Center he also found himself working on decision theory and philosophy of logic.) As for life outside philosophy, he enjoys watching movies and listening to 1960s pop music.
I’m now a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, Sydney Australia. I was t the University of Queensland from 2002 to 2006.
I am now director of the new Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science. This centre is devoted to history and philosophy of science (including medicine and logic) and has around 20 people associated with it, including deputy director Paul Griffiths and other leading researchers at the University of Sydney. We also have many postdoctoral research fellows ssociated with the centre and regular visiting fellows.
In my own research I have been working mostly on decision theory, both on the applied side (in conservation biology and in law) and on foundational issues. Recent publications in the former include:
Colyvan, M. and Steele, K. ‘Environmental Ethics and Decision Theory: Fellow Travellers or Bitter Enemies?’, in B. Brown, K. de Laplante, and K. Peacock (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Science Volume 11: Philosophy of Ecology, North Holland/Elsevier, forthcoming.
Colyvan, M. and Regan, H.M. ‘Legal Decisions and the Reference-Class Problem’, International Journal of Evidence and Proof, Vol. 11, No. 4 (2007), pp. 274–85.
Recent publications in foundational issues in decision theory include:
Colyvan, M. ‘Relative Expectation Theory’, Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 105, No. 1 (January 2008), pp. 37–44.
Colyvan, M., Cox, D. and Steele, K. Modelling the Moral Dimension of Decisions’, Noûs, forthcoming.
I also continue to work on the philosophy of mathematics (especially mathematical explanation) and have recently become interested in inconsistent mathematics and inconsistent theories in general.
Publications in these areas include:
Colyvan, M. ‘Who’s Afraid of Inconsistent Mathematics?’, Protosociology, 2008, forthcoming.
Colyvan, M. ‘The Ontological Commitments of Inconsistent Theories’, Philosophical Studies, forthcoming
Lyon , A. and Colyvan, M. ‘The Explanatory Power of Phase Spaces’, Philosophia Mathematica (3), Vol. 16, (2008), forthcoming.