Nicholas Murphy 2017-09-13T10:53:44+00:00

Project Description


  • Philosophy of Science

  • Philosophy of Mathematics

  • Epistemology



Doctoral Student;
Department of Philosophy, Western University

Nicholas Murphy is a doctoral student at UWO. He received his B.A. (Honours) from the University of Guelph and his MA from the University of Western Ontario. His primary research interests are in the philosophy of science, mathematics and experimentation.

I work primarily in the philosophy of science and mathematics. My research consists in the investigation of the role of mathematical models and simulations in scientific theories and how they relate to reality. My PhD dissertation will seek to understand and articulate how mathematical models of external phenomena can play a fundamental role in science without necessitating any form of mathematical realism. Despite the many plausible accounts of the role of mathematical models in science, there seems to be no consensus on just what these models consist in, nor is it at all clear that these plausible accounts are consistent with our understanding of the scientific process. Thus my doctoral research will answer questions such as: are models isomorphic mappings-on of the world? In what sense are they representations of external phenomena? What are the epistemological credentials of model-based computer simulations? Do simulations represent a genuinely new method in science? From an epistemological standpoint, the value of this work will be to contribute to a greater understanding of how we can come to have knowledge of the unobservable external world through mathematical models and simulations.

MA Thesis: My MA thesis at the University of Western Ontario consisted in a research project that explored the question of how indispensability arguments for abstract objects can be undermined by the scientific realist. In it I argued that indispensability arguments for abstract objects in the context of science fail, and therefore do not commit us to their real existence.

Fall, Winter, 2014, Introduction to Philosophy (TA, Grader)
Fall, Winter, 2016, Introduction to Philosophy (TA, Grader)