Carl Hoefer

Universitat de Barcelona


I did my PhD in Philosophy at Stanford University, with Peter Galison and Nancy Cartwright. My first academic position was  at the University of California, Riverside. In 1998 I moved to the London School of Economics to join the department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method. Since autumn of 2002 I have been an ICREA and member of the UAB philosophy department. From 2005-2013 I was coordinator of the research group GRECC based at the UAB. Since June 2009, I have been Editor in Chief of a new international journal, the European Journal for Philosophy of Science, published by Springer. In July 2013 I began a leave of absence from ICREA to take up the Directorship of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at Western University in Canada (, and I returned to ICREA in July 2015. In 2017 I completed my long-awaited book on objective chance, which OUP will publish in 2018.

Research interests

My research has mostly addressed age-old metaphysical questions by examining the metaphysics of nature that flows from our best scientific theories. In particular, I work on the nature of space, time and motion as revealed by physics (especially, Einstein's theories of relativity); and on the nature of objective probability as revealed by its uses in many branches of science and other human activities.  At present my research is turning to two traditional big issues in the philosophy of science: scientific realism (i.e., should we take our best scientific theories to be giving us the truth about the world?) and the nature of the (physical) laws of nature.

Selected research activities

  • In 2017 I completed my monograph Chance in the World, which has been accepted for publication by Oxford University Press. This book synthesizes and culminates many years of development of a novel theory of objective probabilities.
  • In 2017 I wrote four articles, one of which is accepted for publication and three in submission.
  • Invited speaker at Harvard Black Hole Initiative, as well as at the University of Milan, University of Leeds, University of Rome 3, and the American Philosophical Association.
  • Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal for Philosophy of Science (editorship ended July 2017 after handling the first 8 years of the journal).
  • Director of a newly-formed inter-university research institute, the Barcelona Institute of Analytic Philosophy (BIAP), bringing together philosophers from the UB, UPF and U. of Girona.
  • Co-PI of a 4-year research project financed by the Spanish Ministry (MINECO), 2017 - 2020.