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Robert W. Batterman


  • Philosophy of Science

  • History of Science

  • Philosophy of Physics


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

  • (412) 624-5782


Department of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh

I received my PhD from the University of Michigan in 1987. My advisor was Lawrence Sklar. I am now distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. I am, thankfully, no longer department chair. Prior to my arrival in Pittsburgh, I was the Rotman Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Science at the University of Western Ontario (2005–2010). Before that I spent 15 years in the Department of Philosophy at Ohio State University. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. I’m the author of The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction, and Emergence (Oxford, 2002). I edited The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics (2013). I work in the philosophy of physics and philosophy of applied mathematics with a focus primarily upon the area of condensed matter broadly construed. My research interests include include the foundations of statistical physics, materials science, dynamical systems and chaos, asymptotic reasoning, mathematical idealizations, explanation, reduction, and emergence.

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.

To view a full list of publications, please visit:

Steel and Bone: Mesoscale Modeling and Middle-out Strategies in Physics and Biology, (with Sara Green) Synthese, Available Here (Published online July 9, 2020).

Universality and RG Explanations, Perspectives on Science, Vol. 27, No. 1 pp. 26-47, 2019. Journal

Biology Meets Physics: Reductionism and Multi-scale Modeling of Morphogenesis (with Sara Green), Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Preprint / Journal.

Autonomy of Theories: An Explanatory Problem, Nous. Preprint / Journal.

Philosophical Implications of Kadanoff’s Work on the Renormalization Group, Journal of Statistical Physics. Preprint / journal.