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Tooley, Michael

Professor Emerita/Emeritus


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Professor Tooley’s primary research interests are in the areas of metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of religion, and ethics. In metaphysics, his work is concerned with the nature of time, persistence through time, causation, and laws of nature, including the temporal asymmetry of the laws of physics. In epistemology, he is interested in problems connected with our knowledge of the physical world and other minds, the solution to the classical problem of justifying induction, and the refutation of skepticism concerning the existence of a mind-independent, external world. In philosophy of religion, his primary focus is upon the question of the rationality or irrationality of religious belief, including especially belief in the existence of God. In ethics, his research is concerned with issues in the area of applied ethics, including sexual morality, euthanasia, abortion, and cloning.


  • justification of induction, logical probability, refutation of skepticism, indirect realism, argument from evil, arguments for the existence of God, arguments for the non-existence of God, miracles, arguments for the non-existence of an immaterial mind or soul, irrationality of religious belief, abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, sexual morality, perdurantist accounts of persistence, nature of time, causation, laws of nature, temporal asymmetry of the laws of physics


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