Robert DiSalle


History and Philosophy of Science Space-Time Theories

BA Georgetown; MA, PhD Chicago

Office: Stevenson Hall 4141

I work on the foundations of modern physics, the history of the philosophy of physics, and the connections between both of these and general topics in the philosophy of science. I’ve been particularly concerned with the theories of space and time from Newton to the present, and especially their connections with developments in the foundations of geometry, as well as with broader issues in the history of modern philosophy. My work, therefore, touches on various problems in the metaphysics and epistemology of science, including realism, conceptual change, scientific explanation, scientific representation, and the structure and interpretation of scientific theories.

I have supervised Ph.D. work in these areas, as well as on historical figures including Newton, Leibniz, Kant, Einstein, Poincaré, Heisenberg, and Carnap.

Recent Publications


"Absolute space and Newton's theory of relativity". In Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, June 2020. 

"Space and time: inertial frames". In Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy, June 2020. Third edition, extensively revised.

"Newton on the relativity of motion and the method of mathematical physics." In The Question of Evidence: Essays in Honor of George E. Smith. (In production; to appear in 2021.)