Patrick McGivern

Dr. Patrick McGivern

Senior Lecturer

Phone: +61 2 4221 5676


Location: 19.1103

About Dr. McGivern

I specialise in Philosophy of Science, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Computing. My research focuses primarily on problems of explanation and modelling in science, and on related questions about reduction, emergence and other inter-theoretic relations. These problems are widespread in different areas of science, appearing in discussions of the relationship between different branches of physics, in arguments about the significance of individuals and groups in evolutionary biology, and in problems involving the relationship between psychology and cognitive states and the underlying brain states and processes that realize them. My research concentrates on the role that scale plays in these problems, and in particular on the frequent need for ‘multi-scale’ models and explanations.

In addition to this, I also have research interests in Philosophy of Medicine, in particular concerning concepts of health and disease. One aspect of this work is aimed at giving a multi-level account of these concepts, exploring how they inter-relate from the molecular level to the social level. Another aspect is concerned with examining the basic concepts of health and disease themselves and their connection with other concepts, such as harm.

My work has appeared in journals such as American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy of Science, and Synthese. I am available to supervise HDR research projects in Philosophy of Science and related topics in Metaphysics and Epistemology.

Highlighted Publications

  • McGivern, P., & Sorial, S. (2017). Harm and the Boundaries of Disease. The Journal Of Medicine And Philosophy, doi:10.1093/jmp/jhx007
  • Fresco, N., McGivern, P., & Ghose, A. (2017). Information, Veridicality, and Inferential Knowledge. American Philosophical Quarterly, 54(1), 61.
  • McGivern, P. (2014). Emergent Expertise?. Educational Philosophy & Theory, 46(6), 692-708. doi:10.1080/00131857.2013.779217