- Swaim, D.G. and Currie, A. Forthcoming. “Minimal Metaphysics vs. Maximal Semantics: A Reply to Paul Roth and Fons Dewulf,” in Journal of Philosophy of History. In this article we respond to some criticisms leveled at us by Roth and Dewulf as regards our 2021 article in JPH (listed below). We also offer a diagnosis of our disagreement, ultimately holding that the conflict arises from differences in metaphilosophical views about the nature of history and its analysis.
- 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. Under Review (R&R). 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.