Thomas Pashby

Assistant Professor
Department of Philosophy and the College

Thomas Pashby specializes in the philosophy of physics, with a particular interest in the interaction of physics, metaphysics, and the philosophy of science. In his dissertation, “Time and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics,” he investigated the role that time plays within the formalism and interpretation of quantum theory, proposing a new role for event times as observable quantities. This led to an interpretation of quantum mechanics as a theory of events and processes rather than objects and properties, as a way to avoid paradoxes of measurement such as Schrödinger’s cat. Similar metaphysical ideas find another application in his work on the relational theory of time, which aims to provide a rigorous derivation of relativistic spacetime from an ontology of discrete events and their temporal relations. Pashby is also interested in the history of these ideas and in scientific realism, particularly of the structural variety.

His work has been published in Philosophy of Science, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, Perspectives on Science, and Dialectica.

Pashby holds an MSci in physics and philosophy from the University of Bristol, along with an MA in philosophy and a PhD in history and philosophy of science from the University of Pittsburgh. Most recently, he was a Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities at the University of Southern California’s Department of Philosophy.

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