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.

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 three 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?), the nature of the (physical) laws of nature, and the tension between the manifest notion of time from daily experience and time as portrayed in our best theories of physics.

Selected research activities

I gave invited conference presentations in San Diego (Pacific Division Meetings of the APA), at Harvard University (Black Hole Initiative 2nd Annual Conference), in Dubrovnik, at U. Roma Tre, at the University of Barcelona, the University of Lisbon, the LSE, and in San Sebastian.  In the first half of 2018 I made final changes to my book manuscript Chance in the World (in press at Oxford University Press).

In 2018 I became the first Director of the Barcelona Institute of Analytic Philosophy (BIAP), a newly-created inter-university research institution whose goal is to promote collaboration among all the analytic-tradition philosophers in Catalunya (see