Carl Hoefer

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. From 2002-2013 I was an ICREA at the UAB philosophy department. From 2005-2013 I was coordinator of the research group GRECC at the UAB. From 2009 - 2017 I was the founding Editor in Chief of the European Journal for Philosophy of Science, published by Springer. After a two-year sojourn in Canada (2013-2015) I returned to ICREA and joined the University of Barcelona and the LOGOS research group in July 2015. I am currently Director of the Barcelona Institute of Analytic Philosophy (BIAP), and IP of a María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence award, providing the BIAP funding for 2023-2026. By invitation, I will be the Senior Visiting Fellow at the Pittsburgh Center for Philosophy of Science in 2024-2025.

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. My active research interests include these topics: scientific realism (i.e., should we take our best scientific theories to be giving us objective truth about the world?); how to understand quantum non-locality; and the connection between the descriptions of the world given in physics and the descriptions familiar from higher-level sciences and everyday experience. More recently, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic responses, I have begun working on the objectivity of medical and epidemiological research and causal efficacy claims in medicine.

Selected publications

- Gomori M & Hoefer C 2023, 'Classicality and Bell's theorem', European Journal For Philosophy Of Science, 13, 3, 45.

Selected research activities

  • ““Freedom from the inside out” – revisited”, invited talk at conference The Arrow(s) of Time: From Local Systems to the Whole Universe, Buenos Aires, Argentina, February 2023.
  • “Classicality and Bell’s Theorem” (joint work with Márton Gömöri), invited talk at 1st Geneva-Barcelona Workshop, Geneva, Switzerland, April 2023.
  • “Anscombe’s influence on Nancy Cartwright’s views on causation”, invited talk in workshop Cartwright and Anscombe on Causation, University of Durham, Durham UK.
  • “Water’s essence and the laws of nature”, invited lecture at NoMoS conference Laws and Powers in the Metaphysics of Science, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.
  • “Are some general causal questions unanswerable? The case of face-mask mandates”, plenary keynote talk, EPSA ’23, Belgrade, Serbia.
Research Projects:
  • Director of BIAP and IP of MICIN/AEI María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence grant CEX2021-001169-M.
  • IP1 of "Reassessing Scientific Objectivity", MICIN grant PID2020-115114GB-I00.