- Swaim, D.G. 2021. “What Is Narrative Possibility?” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 89: pp. 257-266. Here I offer a new account of “possibility” as the concept is used within the context of narrative explanation. I dub it the “ecological account,” as it frames the notion of possibility as a relation between narrative subjects and their environment.
- Currie, A. and Swaim, D.G. 2021. “Past Facts and the Nature of History.” Journal of Philosophy of History, issue pending. This work develops and defends a modest version of perspectival historical realism. We anticipate a response from Paul Roth and will be writing a future rebuttal.
- Swaim, D.G. 2019. “The Roles of Possibility and Mechanism in Narrative Explanation.” Philosophy of Science 86 (5): pp. 858-868. Here I advance a deflationary account of “narrative explanation,” in the sense that narrative explanation turns out just to be a species of causal-mechanical explanation, with a few special epistemic features having to do with “possibility spaces.”
- Pence, C.H. and Swaim, D.G. 2018. “The Economy of Nature: The Structure of Evolution in Linnaeus, Darwin, and the Modern Synthesis.” European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3): pp. 435-457. This work traces the concept of the “Economy of Nature” and its explanatory power from Linnaeus, to Darwin, up to the so-called “Modern Synthesis.”
- Swaim, D.G. “Getting from Here to There: The Contingency of Evidence and the Value of Speculation.” Journal of Philosophy of History. Accepted proposal (in draft). Here I develop an account of the epistemic and non-epistemic uses of speculative reasoning in archaeology and anthropology. I argue that speculative reasoning can perform a “coordinating function” over contingent and messy evidence, and in this way assist us in advancing research.
- Swaim, D.G. Under Review (R&R). “Inference to the Best Explanation: A Material Account.” European Journal for Philosophy of Science. This work offers a new account of inference to the best explanation (IBE). IBE is known to have many conceptual problems in its most popular forms. I argue that we can get around them by focusing in on the “explanatory connections” between evidence and hypotheses, and recognizing that the explanatory connections that do the inference-guiding labor for IBE are local relations of mechanistic production.