Robert W. Batterman 2017-09-07T13:35:05+00:00

Project Description

RESEARCH AREAS:

  • Philosophy of Science

  • History of Science

  • Philosophy of Physics

CONTACT:

  • The University of Pittsburgh
    Cathedral of Learning 1028-F
    Pittsburgh, PA 15260

  • (412) 624-5782

ROBERT W. BATTERMAN

Professor;
Department of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh

Robert Batterman is one of the Co-founders of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Robert Batterman’s research examines a topic that straddles the border between philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of science. This topic concerns the role of mathematics in the formation and application of physical theories.

Books:

The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction, and Emergence, Oxford University Press (New York), 2002.

The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction, and Emergence, Oxford University Press (New York), paperback edition, 2007.

Articles:

“The Inconsistency of Physics (With a Capital ‘P’)” Forthcoming in Synthese.

“Emergence, Singularities, and Symmetry Breaking,” Foundations of Physics, 41, No. 6, pp. 1031–1050 (doi: 10.1007/s10701-010-9493-4).

“On the Explanatory Role of Mathematics in Empirical Science,” The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 61, 2010, pp. 1–25. (doi:10.1093/bjps/axp018).

“Reduction and Renormalization,” in A. Hüttemann and G.Ernst, eds. Time, Chance, and Reduction: Philosophical Aspects of Statistical Mechanics, Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp. 159– 179.

“Idealization and Modeling,” Synthese, 169, 2009, pp. 427-446.

“On the Specialness of Special Functions (The Nonrandom Effusions of the Divine Mathematician),” The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, vol. 58, No. 5, 2006, pp. 263-283.

“Hydrodynamics versus Molecular Dynamics: Intertheory Relations in Condensed Matter Physics,” Philosophy of Science vol. 73, 2006, pp. 888-904.

“Reduction,” Entry in Borchert, Donald, ed. Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition. Detroit: Macmillion Reference USA, 2006

“Critical Phenomena and Breaking Drops: Infinite Idealizations in Physics,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, Vol. 36, No. 2, 2005, pp. 225-244.

“Response to Belot’s ‘Whose Devil? Which Details?’,” Philosophy of Science, Vol. 72, No. 1, 2005, pp. 154-163.

“Falling Cats, Parallel Parking, and Polarized Light,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, Vol. 34B, No. 4, 2003, pp. 527-557

“George Gabriel Stokes,” The Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century British Philosophers (2002), Thoemmes Press, pp. 1082-1084.

“Asymptotics and the Role of Minimal Models,” The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 53, No. 1, 2002, pp. 21-38.

“Intertheory Relations in Physics,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (January, 2001), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),
URL = http://plato.standford.edu/entries/physics-interrelate/

“A ‘Modern’ (=Victorian?) Attitude Towards Scientific Understanding,” The Monist, Vol. 83, No. 2, 2000, pp. 228-257.

“Multiple Realizability and Universality,” The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 51, 2000, pp. 115–145.

“Why Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics Works: Universality and the Renormalization Group,” Philosophy of Science, Vol. 65, No. 2, 1998, 183–208.

“Game Theoretic Explanations and the Evolution of Justice,” with Justin D’Arms and Krzysztof G ́orny, Philosophy of Science, Vol. 65, No. 1, 1998, pp. 76–102.

” ‘Into a Mist’: Asymptotic Theories on a Caustic,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, Vol. 28, No. 3, 1997, pp. 395–413.

“Chaos and Algorithmic Complexity,” with Homer White, Foundations of Physics, 26, No. 3, 1996, pp. 307–336.

“Chaos: Algorithmic Complexity vs. Dynamical Instability,” Law and Prediction in the Light of Chaos Research, Paul Weingartner and Gerhard Schurz (eds.), Lecture Notes in Physics (Springer, Berlin), 1996, pp 211–235.

“Theories Between Theories: Asymptotic Limiting Intertheoretic Relations,” Synthese, 103, 1995, pp. 171–201.

“Defining Chaos,” Philosophy of Science, Vol. 60, No 1, 1993, pp. 43–66.

“Explanatory Instability,” Nous, 26, 1992, pp 325–348.

“Quantum Chaos and Semiclassical Mechanics,” PSA 1992, volume 2, 1993, pp. 50–65.

“Chaos, Quantization, and the Correspondence Principle,” Synthese 89, 1991, pp. 189–227.

“Randomness and Probability in Dynamical Theories: On the Proposals of the Prigogine School,” Philosophy of Science, Vol. 58, No. 2, 1991, pp. 241–263.

“Irreversibility and Statistical Mechanics: A New Approach?,” Philosophy of Science, Vol. 57, No. 3, 1990, pp. 395–419.

Invited Talks:

“Bridging Scales: Statistical to Continuum Theories,” Larryfest, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (May 2011)

“A Methodology for Applied Mathematics: The Important Role of Fixed Points,” Pacific Division Meetings of the American Philosophical Association, San Diego, (April, 2011)

“A Methodology for Applied Mathematics: The Important Role of Fixed Points,” Missouri Philosophers of Science Workshop (MOPS), Columbia, Missouri (March, 2011)

“A Methodology for Applied Mathematics: The Important Role of Fixed Points,” Saint Louis University, Saint Louis (February, 2011)

“Explaining Regularities,” Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh (September, 2010)

“Physics and Philosophy in a Messy World,” Wimsatt Fest, University of Chicago, Chicago (April, 2010)

“SingularitiesandExplanation,”Pacific Division Meetings of the American Philosophical Association, San Francisco (March, 2010)

“Explaining Regularities: The Need for Singular Behavior,” University of Chicago—HPSS Workshop, Chicago (March, 2010)

“Mathematical Explanations: Geometric Phases and Singular Idealizations,” University of Bristol, Bristol (December, 2009)

“Explaining Regularities: The Need for Singular Behaviour,” European Philosophy of Science Association Meeting, Amsterdam (October, 2009)

“Singularities and Divergences: Philosophical Lessons from Condensed Matter Physics”, 7 Pines Symposium on Effective Field Theories in Condensed Matter Physics, The Outing Lodge, Stillwater, Minnesota (May 2009).

“Essential Models and Explanatory Mathematics”, Philosophy of Science Association Meeting, Pittsburgh (November, 2008)

“Reduction and Emergence in Physics”, Emergence in the physical and biological world: A notion in search of clarification, Erice Italy (April 2008).

“Mathematical Asymptotics and Explanation”, S’eminaire d’histoire et philosophie de la physique, Paris (February, 2008)

“Idealization and Modeling”, Department of Physics, University of Guelph (January 2008)