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), which recently became a María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence with funding for 2023-2026.

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.

Selected publications

- Dorato M & Hoefer C 2022, 'Nothing to Come in a Relativistic Setting', Disputatio, Vol. XIII, No. 63, pp. 433-44.

Selected research activities

Public presentations:


  • “Much ado about nothing: The dubious roles of points in the metaphysics of spacetime”, invited talk, Warsaw Spacetime Colloquium (online). 
  • “Objective chances with a touch of the epistemic”, keynote talk, V Congreso de Postgrado de la SLMFCE (Sociedad de Lógica, Metodología y Filosofía de Ciencia en España), Valladolid, Spain.
  • “Chemical kind terms”, Experimental Semantics Gathering, Hudson, NY,  USA.

PhD theses examined:

  • Lisa Vogt, Essence and Nomicity: On the Foundations of Dispositional Essentialism​, Universitat de Barcelona, September 2022.
  • Federico Viglione, TIME AND CHANCES BEFORE THE CHANGING UNIVERSE: A METAPHYSICAL INQUIRY, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, October 2022.