Matthew Baxendale

Year of Enrollment: 

I am currently working on my PhD in Philosophy at CEU Budapest. Before that I completed my MA at The University of Sheffield and my BA at Queen's Belfast. In my dissertation I argue that despite a heavy focus on rejecting theory reduction, the framework within which that reduction was supposed to occur - the layer cake model of the world - has been neglected. Thus, a scientifically unwarranted account of levels of organisation has managed to persist in philosophy and continues to affect debates in philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics. Through close engagement with contemporary research in the life sciences (cancer research; the human microbiome project; and dynamical cognitive science), I develop a scientifically warranted pluralistic account of levels of organisation and reassess contemporary discussions in causation using this updated account of levels - arguing for downward causation, emergence, & against causal closure. I position my thesis as a project in scientific metaphysics with a novel twist - looking to scientific practice in the life sciences as guide to constraints on metaphysical reasoning, rather than relying on theoretical physics to play this role.

Outside of my dissertation work I have written papers on causation (particular interventionist & agency views of causation); philosophy of mind (on Integrated Information Theory); and mechanistic explanation.

For the academic year 2016/17 I was a visiting student at the University of Salzburg thanks to receiving an Ernst Mach Fellowship from the OeAD.


2014 MA Philosophy, The University of Sheffield
2013 BA (Hons) Philosophy, Queen's University Belfast
2012 SAPHERE Level 1 Teaching - Philosophy for Children



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