Mark Colyvan

AssocDipAppSc (RMIT), BSc(Hons) (NE), PhD (ANU)

Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy
A14 Main Quadrangle
University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW, 2006

Office: Room N285, Main Quad (off Lobby Q, NE corner of Quad)
Phone: (+61 2) 9036 6175
Fax: (+61 2) 9351 3918
Email: mark.colyvan AT sydney DOT edu DOT au

Visiting Professor
Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy
Ludwig-Maximilians University

Mark's Research Page

Research Interests
Philosophy of Logic, Philosophy of Mathematics, Decision Theory, Environmental Philosophy, Ecology and Conservation Biology.

Current Research Projects
Formal Approaches to Legal Reasoning (ARC funded), Laws, Models and Analogies in Ecology (ARC funded), Mathematical Notation (ARC funded), Mathematical Explanation (ARC funded), Decision and Risk in Environmental Science, Group Decision Methods (DAFF funded), Ecological Allometries (STIAS funded).


Selected Recent Papers
  • 'Explanation in Descriptive Set Theory', in K. Robertson and A. Wilson (eds.), Levels of Explanation, Oxford University Press (forthcoming). (Coauthor: Carolin Antos)
  • 'Meta-uncertainty and the Proof Paradoxes', Philosophical Studies, Vol. 180, No. 7 (July 2023) 1927–50. (Coauthor: Katie Steele)
  • 'Explanation and Realism: Interwoven Themes in the Philosophy of Mathematics', in Y. ben Menahem and C. Posy (eds.), Mathematical Knowledge, Objects and Applications: Essays in Memory of Mark Steiner, Springer, 2023, pp. 41–58. (Coauthor: Michael D. Resnik)
  • 'The Prospects for a Monist Theory of Non-causal Explanation in Science and Mathematics', Erkenntnis, Vol. 87, No. 4 (August 2022), 1773–93. (Coauthors: Alexander Reutlinger and Karolina Krzyżanowska)
  • 'Mathematical Models and Analogical Reasoning', in S. Wuppuluri, and A.C. Grayling (eds.), Metaphors and Analogies in Sciences and Humanities: Words and Worlds, Springer, 2022, pp. 159–70.
  • 'Non-Naturalistic Moral Explanation', Synthese, Vol. 198, No. 5 (May 2021), 4273–94. (Coauthors: Sam Baron, Kristie Miller, and Michael Rubin)
  • 'Explanation Impossible', Philosophical Studies, Vol. 178, No. 2 (February 2021), 559–76. (Coauthor: Sam Baron)
  • 'A Counterfactual Approach to Explanation in Mathematics', Philosophia Mathematica (3), Vol. 28, No. 1 (February 2020), 1–34. (Coauthors: Sam Baron and David Ripley)
  • 'Legal Probabilism: A Qualified Defence', Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol. 27, No. 4 (December 2019), 448–68. (Coauthor: Brian Hedden)
  • 'The End of Mystery', American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 3 (July 2019), 247–64. (Coauthor: Sam Baron)
  • 'The Ins and Outs of Mathematical Explanation', Mathematical Intelligencer, Vol. 40, No. 4 (December 2018), 26–9. Reprinted in M. Pitici (ed.), The Best Writing on Mathematics 2020, Princeton University Press, 2020, pp. 189–97.
  • 'Two Flavours of Mathematical Explanation', in A. Reutlinger and J. Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation, Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 231–49. (Coauthors: John Cusbert and Kelvin McQueen)

For a complete publication list and many downloadable papers, see Mark's Research Page.
For publications listed by topic, see Mark's Publications by Topic.

Other Activities and Service

Past President of the Society for Risk Analysis (Australia and New Zealand) (2013); Past President of the Australasian Association of Philosophy (2005–2006); Member of the editorial boards of Australasian Journal of Philosophy (2003–), Philosophia Mathematica (2019–), Conservation Letters (2011–2021), and The Bulletin of Symbolic Logic (2009–2017).


Last updated: 25 February 2024 © Mark Colyvan 1998–2024

To: Mark's Research Page | Mark's Publications by Topic