I work primarily in metaphysics and the philosophy of science. My research has focused on using symmetries in physics as a guide to metaphysics. There are three parts to this project:

1/ Some of my work (Individuals, Absolutism vs Comparativism, The Bare Necessities, Quality and Structure) addresses first-order metaphysical questions about the nature of individuals, quantities, and space-time respectively. In each case I use symmetry considerations to motivate theses of a structuralist flavor.

2/ What is the content of metaphysical theses like these? Two papers (On the Plurality of Grounds, The Possibility of Physicalism) discuss a notion of ground that can be used to formulate a variety of metaphysical theses. And in Metaphysical Rationalism I relate this notion of ground to the Principle of Sufficient Reason.

3/ What justifies this use of symmetry as a guide to metaphysics? Two papers (Symmetry as an Epistemic Notion (Twice Over), Inexpressible Ignorance) develop the epistemology of this use of symmetry.

Papers in progress

The Possibility of Physicalism (Draft of July 2013)

...in which I argue that the notion of ground is suitable for formulating a variety of metaphysical theses including physicalism.

Inexpressible Ignorance (Draft of July 2014)

...in which I discuss cases where ignorance is inexpressible (e.g. ignorance of absolute position, quiddities, and haecceities) and argue that the ignorance consists in an inability to identify things by way of their natures.


Metaphysical Rationalism forthcoming in Noûs.

...in which I develop and defend a version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, one that entails that every truth is necessarily true.

Quality and Structure forthcoming in Current Controversies in Metaphysics, edited by Elizabeth Barnes (Routledge).

...in which I argue that the world is a purely qualitative mosaic. Here is the postscript, coauthored with Jason Turner.

Symmetry as an Epistemic Notion (Twice Over) forthcoming in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

...in which I argue that symmetry is an epistemic notion (twice over).

On the Plurality of Grounds Philosophers' Imprint 14.14 (2014): 1-28.

...in which I argue that ground is an irreducibly plural notion: these are grounded in those. Cases of plural grounding include individuals and quantities like kilograms.

Absolutism vs Comparativism about Quantity Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 8 (2013). Winner of the 2011 OSM Younger Scholars Prize.

...in which I motivate and defend comparativism about quantities like mass.

The Bare Necessities Philosophical Perspectives 25 (2011): 115-160.

...in which I discuss substantivalism in the context of the General Theory Relativity, and argue that we do not yet have a satisfactory substantivalist theory.

Individuals: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics Philosophical Studies 145.1 (2009): 35-67.

...in which I argue that (fundamentally speaking) there are no such things as individuals.

Shamik Dasgupta