Stephen
Mumford

The Web Page

I am Professor of Metaphysics at the Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham. I am also Head of Department and Research Officer for philosophy. Outside the University, I am known mainly for my work on dispositions and laws, which I see as some of the core issues of contemporary metaphysics. My other research interests are diverse and include natural kinds, causation, truth, aesthetics, Bertrand Russell and the origins of analytic philosophy. An archive of the works of the late philosopher George Molnar is an ongoing project. This Web Page is mainly about my research though there is a link to teaching material for my modules (see links at bottom of this page). If you have visited this page before, you can see what's new in Recent updates.
 

Current Research
I have recently completed a monograph on the metaphysics of natural laws entitled Laws in Nature, which was published in July 2004 with Routledge. I am now working on a number of new projects. These include a book on the work of David Armstrong for Acumen, to be published in June 2007, a book on causation to be titled Getting Causes from Powers and a book on the philosophy of sport titled Watching Sport: aesthetics, ethics and emotion. I have a list of work in progress that gives more detail.
 

Speaking Engagements
My Diary lists engagements in the next and previous academic years. I am always happy to receive invitations to speak at philosophy conferences and seminars.
 

Reviews, Refereeing and Media
I am unlikely to be able to take on any more reviews unless it is something I am very keen on. You are welcome to try. You may also approach me about refereeing though I am also subject to constraints. I don't generally do media though I might make an exception for quality radio or written journalism.
 

Biography
I was born in Wakefield, West Yorkshire on July 31st 1965 and attended Outwood Grange School. After working as a civil servant for three years, I read Philosophy and History of Ideas with Politics at Huddersfield Polytechnic (now University). After that I entered the Philosophy Department at the University of Leeds to take an MA in Philosophy of Mind. There I met Robin LePoidevin who became my PhD supervisor. I was awarded a PhD in 1994 for 'Dispositions and Reductionism' and was offered a two-year lectureship at Leeds. I left to join the department at Nottingham. I am married to Margaret, who also took philosophy at Leeds, and we have three sons, William (1998), Oliver (2000) and Charlie (2005). I am a member of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport, the British Philosophy of Sport Association (current Chair) and the Aristotelian Society. I am on the editorial boards of Analysis and Metaphysics, Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations and Review of Contemporary Philosophy. Philosophy and football are the two passions of my life.

[Right: with 'Tycho Brahe', Ven, Sweden, April 2002]
 

Publications
[Follow the links for more information]

BOOKS

David Armstrong
Chesham: Acumen (forthcoming, 2007).

Laws in Nature
London: Routledge, 2004, xvi + 230 pp,
ISBN 0-415-31128-4.

Powers: a Study in Metaphysics
by George Molnar, edited with an introduction by Stephen Mumford.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003, xiv + 235 pp,
ISBN 0-19-925978-X.

Russell on Metaphysics
edited with introductions by Stephen Mumford.
London: Routledge, 2003, viii + 256 pp,
ISBN 0415-277450

Dispositions
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998, xii + 249 pp,
ISBN 0-19-823611-5.
Paperback edition with a new Preface, 2003,
ISBN 0-19-925982-8.
 

PAPERS IN JOURNALS

Paper on causation
The Monist special issue on singular causation (forthcoming, 2008)

'Negative Truth and Falsehood'
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (forthcoming, 2006)

Replies to Critics
Symposium on Laws in Nature with Alexander Bird, Brian Ellis and Stathis Psillos
Metascience (forthcoming)

Truthmakers for Judgement Calls
European Journal of Sports Science (forthcoming)

Kinds, Essences, Powers
Ratio (forthcoming, 2005)

Function, Structure, Capacity: Vermaas on Function Ascription to Technical Artefacts and their Components
Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science
Special issue on The Dual Nature of Technical Artefacts (forthcoming, 2005)

The Ungrounded Argument
Synthese (forthcoming, 2005)

Laws and Lawlessness
Synthese 144, 2005, pp. 397-413.

The True and The False (Author Meets Critics with David Armstrong and Peter Simons)
Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83, June 2005, pp. 263-9.

Allegiance and Identity
Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 32 (2), October 2004, pp. 184-95.

Miracles: Metaphysics and Modality
Religious Studies 37, 2001, pp. 191-202.

Realism and The Conditional Analysis of Dispositions: Reply to Malzkorn
Philosophical Quarterly 51, No. 204, July 2001, pp. 375-8.

Normative and Natural Laws
Philosophy 75, No. 292, April 2000, pp. 265-82.

Intentionality and the Physical
Philosophical Quarterly 49, No. 195, April 1999, pp. 215-25.

Laws of Nature Outlawed
Dialectica 52, Fasc. 2, 1998, pp. 83-101.

Virtus Dormitiva
The Philosopher 84, Autumn 1996, pp. 12-15.

Conditionals, Functional Essences and Martin on Dispositions
Philosophical Quarterly 46, No. 182, January 1996, pp. 86-92.

Ellis and Lierse on Dispositional Essentialism
Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73, No. 4, December 1995, pp. 606-12.

Perception
Cogito 9, No. 3, Autumn 1995, pp. 268-73.

Properties
Cogito 9, No. 1, Spring 1995, pp. 48-54.

Dispositions, Bases, Overdetermination and Identities
Ratio N.S. 8, No. 1, April 1995, pp.42-62.

Dispositions, Supervenience, and Reduction
Philosophical Quarterly 44, No. 177, October 1994, pp. 419-38.

Dispositions
Cogito 8, No. 2, Summer 1994, pp. 141-6.

A Puzzle About Causation
Philosophy Now 7, Autumn 1993, pp. 28-30.
 

PAPERS IN BOOKS AND ENCYCLOPEDIA

Metaphysics
in Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Science, S. Psillos and M Curd (eds), Routledge, 2007 (forthcoming).

Ascribing Dispositions and its problem in contemporary philosophy
in Debating Dispositions: Issues in Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Mind, Gregor Damschen, Robert Schnepf and Karsten R. Stueber (eds), Berlin: DeGruyter (forthcoming)

Causal Powers and Capacities
in Oxford Handbook of Causation, H. Beebee, C. Hitchcock and P. Menzies (eds), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006 (forthcoming)

A New Solution to the Problem of Negative Truth
in Vérités et Vérifacteurs, J-M. Monnoyer (ed.), Ontos Verlag (forthcoming).

Powers, Dispositions, Properties
in R. Groff (ed.) Realism About Causality in Philosophy and Social Theory, Routledge (forthcoming).

L’Espace comblé
in Causes et dispositions: Actualité de la question philosophique de la causalité, M. Kistler and B. Gnassounou (eds), Paris: Presses Universitaires de France (forthcoming).
English version: 'Filled in Space', in Dispositions and Causal Powers, M. Kistler and B. Gnassounou (eds), Aldershot, Ashgate, 2005 (forthcoming).

Dispositions
in Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, online version (forthcoming).

L’État des lois
in La Structure du Monde: Objets, Propriétés, États de Choses: Renouveau de la Métaphysique dans l'école Australienne de Philosophie, J-M. Monnoyer (ed.), n° Hors série de Recherches sur la Philosophie et le Langage, Paris: Librairie philosophique J. Vrin, 2004, pp. 235-62.

Dispositions, Concepts, and Ontologies
in Language and Related Matters, H.Wallis (ed.), University of Leeds, 1994, pp. 43-5.
 

REVIEWS

Robert Koons’ Realism Regained,
Philosophical Books 44(4), October 2003, pp. 358-60.

James Ladyman’s Understanding Philosophy of Science,
Mind 112 (446), April 2003, pp. 353-5.

Essences, Kinds, and Laws of Nature: review essay on Brian Ellis’s Scientific Essentialism,
Metascience 11, 2002, pp. 324-8.

The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell Vol 11,
International Journal of Philosophical Studies 9 (2), May 2001, pp. 284-6.

Hugh Lacey’s Is Science Value Free?,
Mind 110 (438), April 2001, pp. 495-7.

Robert Klee’s Introduction to The Philosophy of Science,
Mind 110 (437), January 2001, pp. 215-18.

Nancy Cartwright’s The Dappled World,
Philosophy 75 (294), October 2000, pp. 613-16.

Frank Jackson’s Mind, Matter and Conditionals,
International Journal of Philosophical Studies 8 (2), June 2000, 259-61.

Alexander Bird’s Philosophy of Science,
Mind 109 (434), April 2000, pp. 325-7.

John Leslie’s The End of the World,
Mind 109 (433), January 2000, pp. 155-8.

Daniel Hausman’s Causal Asymmetries,
Philosophical Books 41 (1), January 2000, pp. 48-51.

D. M. Armstrong, C. B. Martin and U. T. Place’s Dispositions: a Debate,
Philosophical Quarterly 48 (193), October 1998, pp. 548-50.

Joshua Hoffman and Gary S. Rosenkrantz’s Substance: Its nature and Existence,
Philosophical Books 39 (1), January 1998, pp. 52-3.
 

FILM

Reference and New Essence
Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, archives audiovisuelles de la recherche

THESIS

Dispositions and Reductionism
University of Leeds, 1994

Other Pages

Philosophical Resources: links to useful pages
Other Metaphysicians: others working in similar areas
George Molnar Home Page
George Molnar Archive
Photo Page 1: travels
Photo Page 2: Bonfire night
Photo Page 3: philosophy football
Photo Page 4: metaphysics in science group
Photo Page 5: more travels
Photo Page 6: Danish philosophy (NAMICONA)
Photo Page 7: Christmas '69


[Above: at the San Siro, Milan, two hours before kick-off, fulfilling a long-held ambition]

Maintained by Stephen Mumford
Last updated: 11.4.07