Jonathan Bain
Dept. of Technology, Culture and Society
Tandon School of Engineering, New York University


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EDUCATION:
1998
Ph.D., History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh.
Thesis: 'Representations of Spacetime:  Formalism and Ontological Commitment'
Committee:  John Earman (co-chair), John D. Norton (co-chair), Kenneth Manders, George A. J. Sparling.
1996 M.S., Physics, University of Pittsburgh.
1989 B.S. (cum laude), Applied Mathematics/Physics, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA.
Minor:  Philosophy

Areas of Specialization:  philosophy of physics, history and philosophy of science.
Areas of Competence:  logic, social philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of mathematics, Whitehead.


EMPLOYMENT:
2017-present
Professor, Department of Technology, Culture and Society, Tandon School of Engineering, New York University.
2013-present
Affiliated Faculty, History of Science and Science Studies, New York University.
2010-present
Affiliated Faculty, Department of Philosophy, New York University.
2005-2017
Associate ProfessorDepartment of Technology, Culture and Society, NYU-Tandon.
1999-2005 Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Polytechnic University.
1998-1999 Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of California-Riverside.


PUBLICATIONS:
Books:
CPT Invariance and the Spin-Statistics Connection, Oxford University Press (2016).

Articles:

20. 'Emergence and Mechanism in the Fractional Quantum Hall Effect', Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 56, (2016), 27-38.
19.
'Pragmatists and Purists on CPT Invariance in Relativistic Quantum Field Theories', in U. Mäki, S. Ruphy, G. Schurz, I. Votsis (eds.) Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Science:  EPSA13 Helsinki, Springer (2015), pp. 227-242.
18.
'Three Principles of Quantum Gravity in the Condensed Matter Approach', Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (2014), pp. 154-163.
17.
'Emergence in Effective Field Theories', European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (2013), pp. 257-273.
16.
'CPT Invariance, the Spin-Statistics Connection, and the Ontology of Relativisitic Quantum Field Theories', Erkenntnis 78 (2013), pp. 797-821.
15. 'The Emergence of Spacetime in Condensed Matter Approaches to Quantum Gravity', Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (2013), pp. 338-345.
14.
'Category-Theoretic Structure and Radical Ontic Structural Realism', Synthese 190 (2013), pp. 1621-1635.
13.
'Effective Field Theories', in Batterman, B. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics, Oxford University Press (2013), pp. 224-254.
12. 'Quantum Field Theories in Classical Spacetimes and Particles', Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (2011), pp. 98-106.
11. 'Relativity and Quantum Field Theory', in Petkov, V. (ed.) Space, Time, and Spacetime - Physical and Philosophical Implications of Minkowski's Unification of Space and Time, Springer (2010), pp. 129-146.
10. 'Condensed Matter Physics and the Nature of Spacetime', in Dieks, D. (ed.) The Ontology of Spacetime, Vol. 2, Elsevier Press (2008), pp. 301-329.
9. 'Spacetime Structuralism', in Dieks, D. (ed.) The Ontology of Spacetime, Vol. 1, Elsevier Press (2006), pp. 37-66.
8.
Essay Review:  Hattich, F., Quantum Processes:  A Whiteheadian Interpretation of Quantum Field Theory, in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (2005), pp. 680-690
7. 'Theories of Newtonian Gravity and Empirical Indistinguishability', Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (2004), pp. 345-376.
6. Einstein Algebras and the Hole Argument', Philosophy of Science 70 (2003), pp. 1073-1085.
5. 'What Should Philosophers of Science Learn from the History of the Electron?', (with J. D. Norton) in Buchwald, J. and A. Warwick (eds.), Histories of the Electron:  The Birth of Microphysics, Dibner Institute Studies in the History of Science and Technology, MIT Press (2001), pp. 451-465.
4. 'Against Particle/Field Duality:  Asymptotic Particle States and Interpolating Fields in Interacting QFT (or: Who's Afraid of Haag's Theorem?)', Erkenntnis 53 (2000), pp. 375-406.
3. 'The Coordinate-Independent 2-component Spinor Formalism and the Conventionality of Simultaneity', Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 31 (2000), pp. 201-226.
2. 'Weinberg on QFT:  Demonstrative Induction and Underdetermination', Synthese 117 (1999), pp. 1-30.
1. 'Whitehead's Theory of Gravity', Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 29 (1998), pp. 547-574

Book Reviews:
5. Rickles, D. (ed.) The Ashgate Companion to the Philosophy of Physics, in Metascience 18 (2009), pp. 485-489.
4. Healey, R. Gauging What's Real:  The Conceptual Foundations of Contemporary Gauge Theories, Philosophy of Science 75 (2008), pp. 479-485.
3. Arabatzis, T. Representing Electrons, in International Studies in Philosophy of Science 20 (2006), pp. 347-357.
2. Pesic, P., Seeing Double:  Shared Identities in Physics, Philosophy, and Literature, in ISIS 93 (2002), pp. 670-671.
1. Jammer, M., Concepts of Mass in Contemporary Physics and Philosophy, in Physics Today 53 (2000), pp. 67-68.


PRESENTATIONS:
2017
'Non-Locality in Intrinsic Topologically Ordered Systems', European Philosophy of Science Association, University of Exeter, Exeter, U.K., Sept. 69.

'Category–Theoretic Radical Ontic Structural Realism', Rutgers Worskshop on Structural Realism and Metaphysics of Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, May 18–19.  <Slides>
2016
'What Explains the Spin–Statistics Connection?', Metro-Area Philosophy of Science Group, New York University, New York, NY, Dec. 9.  <Slides>
'Emergence and Mechanism in the Fractional Quantum Hall Effect', 18th U.K. and European Meeting on the Foundations of Physics, London School of Economics, London, U.K., July 1618.  <Slides>
'Emergence and Mechanism in the Fractional Quantum Hall Effect', British Society for Philosophy of Science Annual Conference, Cardiff University, Cardiff, U.K., July 78.
'What Explains the Spin–Statistics Connection?', Society for Exact Philosophy, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, May 68.

'What Explains the Spin–Statistics Connection?', American Philosophical Association-Pacific Division, San Francisco, CA, March 30–April 3.
2015

'What Explains the Spin–Statistics Connection?', European Philosophy of Science Association, Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany, Sept. 23–26.
Comments on Kerry McKenzie's 'Fundamentality as Structuralist Resource', First Annual Conference of the Society for the Metaphysics of Science, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, Sept. 17–18.
2014

'What Explains the Spin-Statistics Connection?', British Society for Philosophy of Science Annual Conference, Cambridge University, Cambridge, U.K., July 1011.

'Pragmatists and Purists on CPT Invariance in Relativistic Quantum Field Theory', Society for Exact Philosophy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, June 2224.
2013

'Three Principles of Quantum Gravity in the Condensed Matter Approach', Beyond Spacetime, University of Illinois, Chicago, September 2729.

'Pragmatists and Purists on CPT Invariance in Relativistic Quantum Field Theory', European Philosophy of Science Association Conference 2013, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland, August 2831.

'Pragmatists and Purists on CPT Invariance in Relativistic Quantum Field Theory', 17th U.K. and European Meeting on the Foundations of Physics, Ludwig-Maximillians University, Munich, Germany, July 2931.

'Pragmatists and Purists on CPT Invariance in Relativistic Quantum Field Theory', British Society for Philosophy of Science Annual Conference 2013, University of Exeter, Exeter, U.K., July 45.  <Slides>
2012

'The Emergence of Spacetime in Condensed Matter Approaches to Quantum Gravity', Reflections on Space, Time and their Quantum Nature, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Potsdam, Germany, November 2628.  <Slides>

'Emergence in Effective Field Theories', Philosophy of Science Association 2012, San Diego, CA, November 1517.
'Emergence in Effective Field Theories', Society for Exact Philosophy 2012, Columbus, OH, October 1113.

'Principles of Quantum Gravity in the Condensed Matter Approach', British Society for Philosophy of Science Annual Conference 2012, Stirling, U.K., July 56.  <Slides>
2011

'A Concept of Emergence for Effective Field Theories', Emergence and Effective Field Theories, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, Canada, October 2628.  <Slides>
'CPT Invariance, the Spin-Statistics Connection, and the Ontology of Relativistic Quantum Field Theories', European Philosophy of Science Association Conference 2011, Athens, Greece, October 58.  <Slides>

'CPT Invariance, the Spin-Statistics Connection, and the Ontology of Relativistic Quantum Field Theories', 27th Boulder Conference on the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, September 2325.
'CPT Invariance, the Spin-Statistics Connection, and the Ontology of Relativistic Quantum Field Theories', British Society for Philosophy of Science Annual Conference 2011, Brighton, U.K., July 78. (Accepted for presentation but could not attend.)
2010

'Category-Theoretic Structure and Radical Ontic Structural Realism', Structure and Identity, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom, July 2325.  <Slides>

'Interpreting Effective Field Theories', British Society for Philosophy of Science Annual Conference 2010, Dublin, Ireland, July 89.  <Slides>

'Interpreting Effective Field Theories', 16th U.K. and European Meeting on the Foundations of Physics, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, July 57.
2009

'Motivating Structural Realist Interpretations of Spacetime', Metaphysics of Science, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, July 25.  <Slides>

'Intertheoretic Implications of Non-relativistic Quantum Field Theories', Philosophy of Quantum Field Theory Workshop, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, April 2426.  <Slides>
2008

'Motivating Structural Realist Interpretations of Spacetime', Studia Logica International Conference:  Logic and the Foundations of Physics, TrendsVI, Brussels, Belgium, December 1112.

'Quantum Field Theories in Classical Spacetimes and Particles', Philosophy of Science Association 2008, Pittsburgh, PA, November 68.  <Slides>

'The Spin-Statistics Theorem and Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theories', Theoretical and Experimental Aspects of the Spin-Statistics Connection and Related Symmetries (Spin-Stat2008), Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare Sezione di Trieste, Trieste, Italy, October 2125. (Accepted for presentation but could not attend.)

'Quantum Field Theories in Classical Spacetimes and Particles', British Society for the Philosophy of Science Conference 2008, St. Andrews, United Kingdom, July 1011.

'Relativity and Quantum Field Theory', 3rd International Conference on the Ontology of Spacetime, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, June 1315.
2007

'Condensed Matter Physics, Emergent Spacetime, and Structural Realism', 15 U.K. and European Meeting on the Foundations of Physics, Leeds, United Kingdom, March 2931.  <Slides>
2006

'Condensed Matter Physics and the Nature of Spacetime, 2nd International Conference on the Ontology of Spacetime, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, June 911.

'Emergent Spacetime and Structural Realism', Society for Exact Philosophy 2006, San Diego, CA, May 1821.
2005

'Reductionism and Emergentism in Contemporary Physics', Othmer Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Polytechnic University, October.

'Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Information Theory', Othmer Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Polytechnic University, February.
2004

'Spacetime Structuralism', 1st International Conference on the Ontology of Spacetime, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, May 1114.
2003

‘How to be a Semantic Realist With Respect to Yang-Mills Gauge Theories’, Department of Philosophy, University of Minnesota, February.
2002

‘Einstein Algebras and the Hole Argument’, Philosophy of Science Association 2002, Milwaulkee, WI, November 79.

‘How to be a Semantic Realist With Respect to Yang-Mills Gauge Theories’, Probing the Boundaries of Mathematics and Physics, Department of Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh, October.

‘Philosophy and Physics:  Tachyons, Causality, and Special Relativity’, Interdisciplinary Physics Group, Polytechnic University, March.
1999

‘Weinberg on QFT:  Demonstrative Induction and Underdetermination’, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Polytechnic University, March.

DRAFTS/PROJECTS:

1.

'Non-Locality in Intrinsic Topologically Ordered Systems', in preparation.

Recent work in condensed matter physics has sought to define the notion of "intrinsic topological order" (ITO).  ITO systems, such as those that exhibit the fractional quantum Hall effect, are characterized by two types of non-locality.  The first type is associated with non-local topological properties, including a ground state degeneracy that depends on the topology of the system's configuration space, and low-energy excitations that obey fractional "anyonic" statistics.  ITO systems are also characterized by a second type of non-locality associated with a particular kind of quantum entanglement.  This essay considers the extent to which topological non-locality is different from quantum entanglement non-locality, and whether, as some authors have suggested, the topological non-locality of an ITO system entails its quantum entangled non-locality.  This is important insofar as recent work in quantum information theory has sought to exploit these two types of non-locality in ITO systems as a way to "topologically protect" the information encoded in entangled qubits from decoherence due to local errors.
2.

'Topological Order and Emergence', forthcoming in Philosophica.

Topologically ordered systems play a prominent role in current research in condensed matter physics; examples include systems that exhibit the quantum Hall effect, topological insulators, and topological superconductors.  These systems possess properties that are characterized by topological invariants, exhibit phase transitions that cannot be characterized by spontaneous symmetry breaking, and exhibit order that cannot be characterized in terms of a local order parameter.  They thus fall outside the scope of the Landau–Ginsburg theory of phase transitions, which, arguably, has informed much of the discussion, in both the physics and philosophy literature, of emergence in condensed matter systems.  Nevertheless, some authors have claimed that topologically ordered systems exhibit emergence.  This essay offers a critical assessment of this claim.  In particular, it identifies two types of topological order and observes that, whereas the alleged mechanisms underwriting these types differ, they nevertheless share certain features; in particular, the low-energy behavior of such systems can be described by effective topological quantum field theories.  This suggests that a unified account of the emergence of topological order should look to a law-centric, as opposed to a mechanism-centric, view of emergence.
3.
'What Explains the Spin-Statistics Connection?', draft.
This essay seeks to understand the nature of the spin-statistics connection. This property plays an essential role in explanations of non-relativistic phenomena associated with both field-theoretic and non-field-theoretic systems (for instance, it explains the electronic structure of solids and the behavior of Einstein-Bose condensates and superconductors).  However, it is only derivable within the context of relativistic quantum field theory (RQFT) in the form of the Spin-Statistics Theorem; and moreover, there are multiple, mutually incompatible ways of deriving this theorem.  This essay attempts to determine the sense in which the spin-statistics connection can be said to be an essential property in RQFT, and how it is that an essential property of one type of theory can figure into fundamental explanations offered by other, inherently distinct theories.
4.
'Motivating Structural Realist Interpretations of Spacetime', draft.
Our best theory of spacetime, general relativity (GR), admits different mathematical formulations which, if read literally, disagree at the level of individuals-based ontology.  This suggests a structural realist interpretation of GR that commits to the structure that all such alternative formulations have in common.  However, some authors have observed that different formulations of the same theory not only underdetermine individuals-based interpretations, but also the structure these individuals instantiate; hence appeals to alternative formalisms cannot motivate structural realism.  This essay offers a response by distinguishing between the dynamical structure associated with a theory in physics, and its kinematical structure.  This enables a distinction to be made between a structural realist interpretation of a given theory, and a structural realist interpretation of spacetime, as described by a given theory.  I claim that structural realist interpretations of different formulations of GR do not suffer from underdetermination of dynamical structure; and while different formulations of GR admit different structural realist interpretations of spacetime, the underdetermination involved is less severe than that associated with individuals.  Whereas the individuals-based ontologies associated with alternative formulations of spacetime are in-principle underdetermined, the structures they instantiate are open to empirical investigation in the form of extensions of GR.  Finally, I offer a category-theoretic formulation of kinematical structure and indicate how this formulation deflects recent criticism of the ontic structural realist concept of structure as "relations without relata".