Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, and the College
Office: Stuart Hall, Room 231-B
Phone: (773) 834-8191
Thomas Pashby is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy. He specializes in philosophy of physics with a particular interest in the interaction of physics, metaphysics, and the philosophy of science. He received his graduate training at the University of Pittsburgh, where he wrote his dissertation "Time and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics" under the direction of John Earman and John D. Norton. He is currently engaged in research projects concerning the interpretation of quantum mechanics, the relational theory of time, and structural realism. What connects these projects is the idea that modern physics is best interpreted within an event ontology, which is to say that (metaphysically speaking) events and processes are fundamental rather than objects and properties.
He is also interested in the history of this idea, particularly its relationship to the relational logic and metaphysics of Bertrand Russell and A. N. Whitehead. His research in the philosophy of time concerns Aristotle's theory of time and the discrete continuum as well as the relationship between tense, modality and locality in relativistic spacetime. In the history of physics, he has a long-term project concerning Paul Dirac's discoveries in relativistic quantum theory and his use of projective geometry. He is a core faculty member of the Stevanovic Institute on the Formation of Knowledge and a board member of the PhilSci-Archive, a free preprint server for philosophy of science.