I am Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan (my alma mater).

    My main interests within the field include philosophy of science, foundations of physics, moral philosophy and metaphysics.  My research is mainly focused on clarifying the ways in which scientific discoveries are described -- I see myself as investigating what science has discovered and how it can be justified.  My primary focus is on the ontological implications of dynamical symmetries, especially in quantum field theory.  Other topics of interest include quantum statistics, the structure of classical and relativistic spacetimes, antimatter, and the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

    I am also interested in metaphysical and moral issues related to free will, responsibility, death and mortality.

    My dissertation, An Ontological Study of Quantum Fields and Their Symmetries, was supervised by Hans Halvorson at Princeton.

    In 2010 I received the Cushing Prize in History and Philosophy of Physics.

EMAIL: djbaker -AT- umich -DOT- edu.


The Conventionality of Parastatistics (with Hans Halvorson and Noel Swanson), forthcoming in British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

Identity, Superselection Theory and the Statistical Properties of Quantum Fields (2013), Philosophy of Science 80: 262-285. [Journal copy.]

"The Experience of Left and Right" Meets the Physics of Left and Right (2012), Nous 46: 483-498.  [Journal copy.]

Broken Symmetry and Spacetime (2011), Philosophy of Science 78: 128-148. [Journal copy.]

Symmetry and the Metaphysics of Physics (2010), Philosophy Compass 5: 1157-1166. [Journal copy.]

Review of Richard Healey, Gauging What's Real (2010), Mind 119 (474): 490-494. [Journal copy.]

Antimatter (2010, with Hans Halvorson), British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61: 93-121.  [Journal copy]

Against Field Interpretations of Quantum Field Theory (2009), British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60: 585-609.  [Journal copy.]

Measurement Outcomes and Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics (2007). Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38: 153-169. [Journal copy.]

Spacetime Substantivalism and Einstein's Cosmological Constant (2005). Philosophy of Science (PSA 2004 Proceedings) 72: 1299-1311.  [Journal copy.]


"Some Consequences of Physics for the Comparative Metaphysics of Quantity," Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, March 8, 2012.

"Some Consequences of Physics for the Comparative Metaphysics of Quantity," Carolina Metaphysics Workshop, June 2012.

My 2009 talk "Broken Symmetry and Spacetime" at the University of Western Ontario can be viewed on streaming video here.


Unless otherwise noted these are drafts of work in progress, so don't cite without permission (as if anyone would want to, ha ha).  Comments are most welcome.

How is Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking Possible? (with Hans Halvorson)

You can also view my ePrint papers on the Philosophy of Science Archive.



   Philosophy of Science Archive
   Los Alamos Pre-Print Archive
   Pascal's Pensees
   Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
   Philosophy of Science Association
   Center for Philosophy of Science