Michael E. Miller

University of Toronto

Department of Philosophy

mike.miller@utoronto.ca

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, the metaphysics of science, and the history of 20th century physics. CV.

Research

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.

Manuscripts

Worldly imprecision. Preprint

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

The audacity of scope. (with Porter Williams)

Why are there ultraviolet divergences at all? (with Alex Blum and James Fraser)

Recent Publications*

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

Mathematical structure and empirical content. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (forthcoming). Preprint.

Infrared cancellation and measurement. Philosophy of Science: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association (forthcoming). Preprint.

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.

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

Reviews

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.

Recent and Upcoming Talks*

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

Infrared Cancellation and Measurement

  • Philosophy of Physics Reading Group, Caltech (2020)
  • Foundations of Physics Conference, Columbia University (2019)

The Framework of Quantum Field Theory

  • Philosophy of Science Reading Group, Rutgers University (2020)

Worldly imprecision

  • Colloquium, University of Southern California (2020)
  • Society for the Metaphysics of Science, University of Toronto (2019)
  • Workshop on Metaphysical Indeterminacy, Dartmouth College (2019)

Laws and Precision

  • Laws, Causation, and Modality Workshop, Simon Fraser University (2020)

Commentary on ``On the Ostrogradski Instability; or, Why Physics Really Uses Second Derivatives'' (Noel Swanson)

  • Society for the Metaphysics of Science, University of Toronto (2019)

Quantum field theory, finitely

  • Foundations of Quantum Field Theory Workshop, Western University (2019)

Empirical adequacy debugged

  • Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science, University of British Columbia (2019)

Current Courses

PHL 198: Philosophy of Time  F20, T 4-6pm.

PHL 356: Philosophy of Physics  F20, M 3-6pm.

Upcoming Courses

PHL 198: Philosophy of Time  W21, W 4-6pm.

PHL 355: Philosophy of Science  W21, M 3-6pm.

PHL 2105: Quantum Metaphysics (with Trevor Teitel)  W21, T 6-9pm.

Past Courses*

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

PHL 355: Philosophy of Science  W20.

PHL 198: Philosophy of Time  F19.

PHL 356: Philosophy of Physics  F19.

PHL 2169: Laws of Nature (with Jessica Wilson)  W19.

HPS 1000: Proseminar (with Rebecca Woods)  F18.

PHL 356: Philosophy of Physics  F18.

PHL 356: Philosophy of Physics  W17.

HPS 3005: Varieties of Structuralism  W17.

HPS 200: Science and Values  F17.

PHL 345: Intermediate Logic  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

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.

Foundations of Physics Conference (with Alison Fernandes and Porter Williams). Columbia University, November 15-16 2019.

Society for the Metaphysics of Science, Local Arrangements Co-chair (with Marissa Bennett and Jessica Wilson). University of Toronto, November 7-9 2019.

Quantum Field Theory Then and Now (with Casey McCoy, Kerry McKenzie, Laura Ruetsche, Jennifer Whyte, and Porter Williams). University of Pittsburgh, April 12-13 2019.

Early Career History and Philosophy of Physics Workshop (with Casey McCoy, Kerry McKenzie, Laura Ruetsche, Jennifer Whyte, and Porter Williams). University of Pittsburgh, April 11-12 2019.

Contact

Email: mike.miller@utoronto.ca
Primary Office: 514 Jackman Humanities Building
Office Hours (W19): Thursday 2-3pm


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