Research

I am interested in theoretical physics read as a contribution to philosophy.

Current research: Unsolved problems in natural philosophy in the early eighteenth century,
in the wake of Newton's
Principia.

Areas of research:


• Descartes, Newton and beyond
• Structuralist approaches to physics
• Symmetries in physics
• Noether's theorems
• Hilbert, Einstein, Weyl and generally covariant physics


Current book project:
Philosophy and the physics within

If you've ever wondered why Descartes's Principles of Philosophy, of 1644, is still taught as
a text in philosophy, whereas Newton's Mathematical Principles of Philosophy, of 1687, is
not, and if you've ever wondered what philosophy looks like without this separation of
physics from philosophy, then mine's the book for you! It is, however, absurdly ambitious,
in offering a re-telling from the late sixteenth century all the way up to the present day.

I am grateful to the ACLS for their support of this project during 2013-14.

Books:

2003. Symmetries in physics: philosophical reflections, ed. K. A. Brading and E. Castellani, Cambridge University Press.