Department of PhilosophyWestern Arts and Humanities

Christopher Smeenk


Associate Professor

History and Philosophy of Physics

Interim Director, Rotman Institute of Philosophy

BA Yale; MA, MS, PhD Pittsburgh

Phone: 519-661-2111 ext. 85770
Office: Stevenson Hall, Room 2132
Website: Personal

My research focuses on scientific method and the nature of our knowledge of physics.  What is the structure and content of physical theories, how are theories evaluated, and how are they extended?  I have pursued these questions through philosophical and historical analysis of specific episodes, ranging from Newton’s introduction of the theory of gravity to contemporary cosmology.   

I can supervise research in foundations of physics (especially spacetime physics and cosmology), general topics in philosophy of science, and seventeenth century natural philosophy.     

Some recent publications

“Predictability crisis in early universe cosmology.” Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern

Physics 46 (2014): 122-133.

"Philosophy of Cosmology,'' in Oxford Handbook for the Philosophy of Physics, edited by R. Batterman.  Oxford:  Oxford University Press (2013), pp. 607-652.

Essay Review of Kant’s Construction of Nature, by Michael Friedman. Philosophy of Science 82

(2015): 718-726.

“Philosophical Geometers and Geometrical Philosophers,” forthcoming in a Minnesota Studies in Philosophy of Science volume, The Mathematization of Nature, edited by B. Hill, G. Gorham, and E. Slowik.