About


Welcome to my personal site, blog, code library and photo gallery. Here you’ll find various thoughts, reviews of restaurants, movies and TV shows, philosophical comments, photos, and programming projects.

I gained my PhD in Philosophy from the University of Leeds in October 2014. My thesis was titled Structural Accounts of Mathematical Representation, and can be found here. The abstract is as follows:

Attempts to solve the problems of the applicability of mathematics have generally originated from the acceptance of a particular mathematical ontology. In this thesis I argue that a proper approach to solving these problems comes from an ‘application first’ approach. If one attempts to form the problems and answer them from a position that is agnostic towards mathematical ontology, the difficulties surrounding these problems fall away. I argue that there are nine problems that require answering, and that the problems of representation are the most interesting questions to answer. The applied metaphysical prob- lem can be answered by structural relations, which are adopted as the starting point for accounts of representation. The majority of the thesis concerns ar- guing in favour of structural accounts of representation, in particular deciding between the Inferential Conception of the Applicability of Mathematics and Pincock’s Mapping Account. Through the case study of the rainbow, I argue that the Inferential Conception is the more viable account. It is capable of answering all of the problems of the applicability of mathematics, while the methodology adopted by Pincock trivialises the answer it can supply to the vital question of how the faithfulness and usefulness of representations are related.

I’ve not had much of a chance to engage in philosophy recently, but I hope to resume my study in my spare time going forward. Any comments or thoughts I have on anything I read will be posted on here, with more long form work being found in the Philosophy section.

Elsewhere on here, you’ll find photos from my adventures from snowboarding and traveling, reviews of things I find noteworthy, and updates and information on any programming projects I’m working on.

Please join in the conversation with any contributions you think would be helpful,
Dave.

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