Christopher Smeenk

chris smeenkProfessor
History of Science, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Physics
BA Yale; MA, MS, PhD Pittsburgh

Phone: 519-661-2111 ext. 85770
Office: Western Interdisciplinary Research Building (WIRB), Room 7180

My research focuses on scientific method and the nature of our knowledge of physics.  What is the structure and content of physical theories, how are theories evaluated, and how are they extended?  I have pursued these questions through philosophical and historical analysis of specific episodes, ranging from Newton’s introduction of the theory of gravity to contemporary cosmology.   

I can supervise research in foundations of physics (especially spacetime physics and cosmology), general topics in philosophy of science, and seventeenth-century natural philosophy.     

Recent Publications

"Philosophy of the Physical Sciences," with Carl Hoefer. In Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, ed. by Paul Humphreys. Oxford: Oxford University Press (published online 2015; in print Sept. 2016).

"Philosophical Geometers and Geometrical Philosophers," in The Language of Nature: Reassessing the Mathematization of Natural Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century, edited by B. Hill, G. Gorham, and E. Slowik. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press (2016), pp. 308-338.

"Predictability crisis in early universe cosmology." Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (2014): 122-133.