Matt Farr | Philosophy | University of Queensland -
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I'm a philosopher specialising in the metaphysics and epistemology of time and causation. I'm currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the project The Causal Power of Information in a Quantum World at the University of Queensland and an external member of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy. From 2013-2014 I was a postdoc on the project New Agendas for the Study of Time at the University of Sydney's Centre for Time. In 2013, I achieved my PhD in Philosophy at the University of Bristol under the supervision of James Ladyman for my thesis Towards a C Theory of Time, examined by Huw Price and Alexander Bird.

My research covers various issues in philosophy of science, metaphysics, philosophy of physics and epistemology, in particular the relationship between the directionality of time and causation, the roles of non-causal constraints and self-locating beliefs in scientific explanation, and the relationship between science and metaphysics more generally. I have some unusual views on the distinction between the past, present and future (including a stubborn belief that the past is as 'open' as the future), and an interest in the overlap of philosophy and quantum foundations. In a nearby possible world I make my living as a drummer.
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My current project investigates the causal nature of quantum information, with researchers in philosophy, and theoretical and experimental physics. My work within the project investigates the metaphysics and epistemology of causation within quantum mechanics: can causal modelling techniques be extended to quantum mechanics; does quantum mechanics contain its own intrinsic causal structure; what is the relationship between 'classical' and 'quantum' causal models?

My previous project concerned the study of time across philosophy and the sciences, with focus on physics and experimental psychology (and everything inbetween).


I'm currently visiting the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy and will be speaking at the following conferences in 2016:
• June 29 - July 1: Congrès de la Société de Philosophie des Sciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
• July 7-8: British Society for the Philosophy of Science, Cardiff University, UK.
• July 16-18: Foundations2016 (UK and European Conference on Foundations of Physics), London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.

I recently coorganised the conference Causality in a Quantum World with my colleague Pete Evans on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. I have previously organised/co-organised the following conferences: Free Will and Retrocausality in a Quantum World (with Huw Price) at Trinity College, Cambridge; Time Symmetry: A Unified Approach at the University of Sydney; The Present State of Presentism at the University of Bristol; and Conventional Principles in Science (with Milena Ivanova), Bristol. From 2013-2014, I ran the Sydney Foundations of Physics seminar series.


I'm currently coordinating the following courses:


I'm very happy to be married to this fellow philosopher.

My Erdös number is 5: Erdös → Anderson → Binmore → Paternotte → Ivanova → Me.
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Journal Articles

  • In press. Review of Mathias Frisch’s Causal Reasoning in Physics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. + details
  • 2015. Conventional Principles in Science: On the foundations and development of the relativized a priori (with Milena Ivanova). Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
      + details
  • 2015. Temporal Experience, Temporal Passage and the Cognitive Sciences (with Sam Baron, John Cusbert, Maria Kon & Kristie Miller). Philosophy Compass. + details
  • 2015. Review of Tim Maudlin’s Philosophy of Physics: Space and Time. Philosophy in Review. + details
  • 2013. A Relic of a Bygone Age? Causation, Time Symmetry and the Directionality Argument (with Alexander Reutlinger). Erkenntnis. + details
  • 2012. On A- and B-Theoretic Elements of Branching Spacetimes. Synthese. + details

    Other things

    Works in Progress

    [Email me if you'd like to read a draft.]
    • Causation and Time Reversal. (Draft available.)
        + abstract
    • Supertemporal Ontology and the Triviality Problem. (Draft available.)   + abstract
    • Pre-entanglement shows that individual quantum systems do not possess states (with David Miller). + abstract
    • The C Theory of Time.
    • Realism about Time Direction.
    • The Past Hypothesis needs no time-directed explanation.
    • A New (Lack of) Perspective on McTaggart's Paradox.
    • The Metaphysics of Multi-Fingered Time. (With Karim Thébault.)

    PhD Thesis


      + forthcoming talks
    • Causation and Time Reversal. + venues
    • Causal Realism in Physics. + venues
    • The C Theory of Time. + venues
    • Causality and Retrodiction in Quantum Mechanics. (With David Miller.) + venues
    • 'Initial' Conditions and the Direction of Time. + venues
    • Time: Inside and Out. + venues
    • Supertemporal Ontology and the 'Triviality' Problem. + venues
    • Explaining Time and Time Explaining. + venues
    • Does time have a direction? + venues
    • Difference-Making and the Direction of Time. (With Alexander Reutlinger.) + venues
    • Non-Reductive Naturalism about Time Direction? + venues
    • On Some Problems with A- and B-Theoretic Models of Branching Spacetime. + venues
    • Towards a C Theory of Time. + venues
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