Michael E. Miller

University of Toronto

Department of Philosophy


I am an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. I completed my Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Before that, I completed an M.A. in the Foundations of Physics at Columbia University, and a B.A. in Physics and Philosophy at the University of Chicago. My interests are primarily in the philosophy of physics, the philosophy of science, and the history of 20th century physics. CV.


renormalon My research is focused on reconceptualizing how mathematics functions as a language for describing empirical phenomena. I look to apparent mathematical deficiencies of scientific theories and construe them as hints about how the theory represents the world. Rather than obstacles to interpretation, the breakdowns of mathematical consistency that arise in the course of scientific theorizing often are the best sources of information about how mathematical structures capture physical meaning. Recognizing this motivates important modifications to standard accounts of the ontological committments warranted by a theory's empirical success. My recent work addresses these themes in the context of fundamental particle physics.


Mathematical structure and empirical content. Preprint

On the common structure of perturbative and axiomatic field theory for Borel summable models.

Fundamental, yet imprecise?

The audacity of scope. (with Porter Williams)

Recent Publications*

*A complete list can be found on my C.V.

Haag's theorem, apparent inconsistency, and the empirical adequacy of quantum field theory. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (2018) 69(3):801-820. Preprint / Journal.

What, if anything, does quantum field theory explain? Metascience (2017) 26:455-457. Review of Jonathan Bain: CPT invariance and the spin-statistics connection . Preprint / Journal.

The origins of Schwinger's Euclidean Green's functions, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics (2015) 50:5-12. Preprint / Journal.

Recent and Upcoming Talks*

*A complete list can be found on my C.V.

One weird thing about fundamentality

  • The Future of the Foundations of Physics, Columbia University (2018)

Fundamental, yet imprecise?

  • Philosophy of Science Association Meeting, Seattle (2018)
  • British Society for Philosophy of Science Annual Meeting, University of Oxford (2018)

Indeterminacy at large-order.

  • Rutgers-Columbia Workshop on Metaphysics of Science: Quantum Field Theories, Rutgers University (2018)

Not all failures of empirical adequacy are created equal.

  • Scientific Theory Construction: Measurement and Constraints, University of Montreal (2018)
  • 45th Annual Philosophy of Science Conference, Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik (2018)

Why philosophy of quantum field theory?

  • IHPST Research Seminar, University of Toronto (2018)

Haag's theorem and the infrared.

  • Interpreting QM, University of Michigan (2017)

On the common structure of perturbative and axiomatic field theory for Borel summable models.

  • Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science, Ryerson University (2017)

Is the Empirical Content of Quantum Field Theory Inexact?

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (2017)

Three Obstacles to the Interpretation of Quantum Field Theory

  • University of Toronto (2017)
  • California Institute of Technology (2017)

Current Courses

PHL 2169: Laws of Nature (with Jessica Wilson)  JHB 418, T 6-9pm.

Past Courses*

*A complete list can be found on my C.V.

HPS 1000: Proseminar (with Rebecca Woods) NF 235, M 12pm-2pm.

PHL 356: Philosophy of Physics  TF 201, T 10am-1pm.

PHL 356: Philosophy of Physics  OISE 8170, W 9am-12pm.

HPS 3005: Varieties of Structuralism  JHB 519, T 10am-12pm.

HPS 200: Science and Values  NF 003, M 10am-12pm, F17.

PHL 345: Intermediate Logic  AP 120, F 10am-1pm, F17.

Logic and Philosophy of Science

I am the organizer of the University of Toronto Logic and Philosophy of Science interest group. Notice of our events will be made available on the events calendar.

Specialist Programs

The University of Toronto has undergraduate specialist programs in Physics and Philosophy as well as in Mathematics and Philosophy. If you have questions about the philosophy components of either of these programs do not hesitate to get in touch with me.


PhilSci-Archive I am member of the Board of Philsci-Archive, an online repository for preprints in the Philosophy of Science. I previously served three terms as the manager of the archive and I developed the archive's conference volume software which generates a digital conference volume from all of the preprints uploaded to a conference heading. If you are organizing a conference and you are interested in this service, please get in touch.

Conference Organization

*A complete list can be found on my C.V.

Early Career History and Philosophy of Physics Workshop (with Casey McCoy, Kerry McKenzie, Laura Ruetsche, Jennifer Whyte, and Porter Williams). University of Pittsburgh, April 12-13 2019.

Society for the Metaphysics of Science, Local Arrangements Co-chair (with Marissa Bennett and Jessica Wilson). University of Toronto, November 2019.


Email: mike.miller@utoronto.ca
Primary Office: 514 Jackman Humanities Building
Office Hours (W18): by appointment

Mailing Address:
University of Toronto
Department of Philosophy
Jackman Humanities Building, 4th Floor
170 St. George Street
Toronto, ON M5R 2M8