I’m currently working on a research program that concerns connections between central issues in metaphysics and the new mechanical philosophy—a philosophical framework that is firmly rooted in science. By using this framework to answer foundational questions of metaphysics, this research program develops a system of metaphysical theories that derive from the new mechanical philosophy, and thus from its basis in science. I argue that because these theories are inherently science-based, they are superior alternatives to rival, standard theories of metaphysics that neglect or conflict with science.
I wrote my dissertation on the topic of grounding and fundamentality under advisors Graham Priest (head advisor), Barbara Montero , and Jonathan Schaffer . In my dissertation, I assess the elusive connection between grounding and causation—dependence relations that are central to philosophical thought on how the world is structured. Just as it is thought the world’s causal structure is built from causal relations, it is thought that the world’s hierarchical structure is built from grounding relations. I develop and defend the view that the distinction between grounding and causation is a false distinction, meaning, these dependence relations are one and the same. On this view, dependence does not admit of distinct kinds, such as metaphysical dependence (i.e. grounding) and natural dependence (i.e. causation). As I argue, this view carries the profound ramification that the world’s causal structure is fundamentally unified with the world’s hierarchical structure. For my view implies that grounding and causation provide the world with the same kind of structure. Thus, the world’s structure is of one basic nature.