Dr Michaelis Michael

Senior Lecturer
BSc Monash, MA PhD Princeton
School of Humanities & Languages


9385 2183
Room 325, Morven Brown
Kensington Campus


Thursday 11.15am - 12.15pm I am often in my office, drop in and see me, I'll let you know if it is not a good time to chat. Contact me by email or by phone to arrange a meeting at a mutually convenient time.
Fields: History and Philosophy of Science (incl. Non-historical Philosophy ofScience), Epistemology, Metaphysics, History and Philosophy of Specific Fields, History of Philosophy, Philosophy, Logic




Michaelis Michael studied zoology and philosophy at Monash University in Melbourne before doing a PhD in philosophy at Princeton University. He works across a broad range of topics in philosophy, from human rights to formal logic. He has recently published on the role of non-cognitive factors in religious conversion, on arguments on the metaphysics of mind, and against the idea we need to adopt deviant logics to deal with inconsistent theories in science. 

A recent focus has been on the way Big Data has changed the way we do science and the possible costs of those changes. 

He has recently published a book on the conceptual and empirical aspects of the theory of natural selection. 




    • Michael M, 2015, Evolution by Natural Selection Confidence, Evidence and the Gap, CRC Press

    Book Chapters

    • Michael M;Healy JP, 2013, 'A Guru-disciple tradition: Can religious conversion be non-cognitive?', in Philosophical Explorations of New and Alternative Religious Movements, pp. 77 - 96
    • Page J;Olsen J;Michael MS, 2013, 'Do engineers need to simulate the real world?', in Elyssebeth L (ed.), Crossing Boundaries, Simulation Australia, Rundle Mall, SA, Australia, pp. 129 - 132
    • Michael M, 2006, 'Accounting for commitments: A priori knowledge, ontology, and logical entailments', in Aspects of Knowing, pp. 35 - 52, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-008044979-1/50004-7
    • Michael MS;Caldwell P, 2004, 'The Consolations of Optimism', in Benatar D (ed.), Life, Death and Meaning - Key Philosophy Readings on the Big Questions, edn. 1, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland, pp. 383 - 389
    • Michael MS, 2003, 'S.J. Gould`s last Words', in Metascience, edn. Original, Springer, pp. 214 - 216

    Journal articles

    • Michael M, 2016, 'On a “most telling” argument for paraconsistent logic', Synthese, vol. 193, pp. 3347 - 3362, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-015-0935-6
    • Fresco N;Michael M, 2016, 'Information and veridicality: Information processing and the bar-hillel/carnap paradox', Philosophy of Science, vol. 83, pp. 131 - 151, http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/684165
    • Ebach MC;Michael MS, 2016, 'From Correlation to Causation: What Do We Need in the Historical Sciences?', Acta Biotheoretica, vol. 64, pp. 241 - 262, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10441-016-9282-3
    • Ebach MC;Michael MS;Shaw WS;Goff J;Murphy DJ;Matthews S, 2016, 'Big data and the historical sciences: A critique', Geoforum, vol. 71, pp. 1 - 4, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2016.02.020
    • Valaris M;Michael M, 2015, 'Time travel for Endurantists', American Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 52, pp. 357 - 363
    • Michael M, 2013, 'Facing inconsistency: Theories and our relations to them', Episteme, vol. 10, pp. 351 - 367, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/epi.2013.31
    • Michael MS, 2012, 'Problems with Lewis' argument for the identity theory', Ratio, vol. 25, pp. 51 - 61, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9329.2012.00538.x/full
    • Michael MS, 2010, 'Belief De Re, Knowing Who, and Singular Thought', Journal of Philosophy, vol. CVII, pp. 293 - 310
    • Michael M, 2008, 'Implicit ontological commitment', Philosophical Studies, vol. 141, pp. 43 - 61, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11098-008-9262-9
    • Michael MS, 2006, '“How should we think of Human Rights?”,', Human Rights Defender, vol. 15
    • Michael M, 2004, 'The problems with double-indexing accounts of the A Priori', PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES, vol. 118, pp. 67 - 81, http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:PHIL.0000019543.81077.d2
    • Michael MS, 2001, 'Group Blame, Responsibility and Guilt: An Exercise in Social Ontology', Humanitas Asiatica, vol. 2, pp. 39 - 58
    • Michael M, 1999, 'Dummett's argument against classical logic1', Philosophia (United States), vol. 27, pp. 359 - 382
    • Michael IS, 1998, 'Tichý on kripke on a posteriori necessities', Philosophical Studies, vol. 92, pp. 113 - 126
    • Michael MS;Caldwell P, 1998, 'Reasonable Optimism', Professional Ethics, pp. 19 - 31
    • Michael MS;O Leary-Hawthorne J, 1996, 'Against compatibalist semantics', Australasian Journal of Philosophy, pp. 117 - 134
    • Michael MS, 1995, 'The dialectics of scepticism', Australasian Journal of Philosophy, pp. 123 - 128
    • Michael MS;Townsend A, 1995, 'Binary quantification logics', Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, pp. 382 - 395

    Conference Papers

    • Olsen J;Michael M, 2015, 'Are we simulated beings in a holographic universe?', in Monaghan M (ed.), SimTecT and SimHealth 2015 Conference Proceedings, Simulation Australasia, Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia, pp. 287 - 291, presented at SimTecT2015 Asia-Pacific Simulation Training Conference & Exhibition, Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia, 17 - 21 August 2015, http://www.simulationaustralasia.com/files/upload/pdf/SimTecT%20and%20SimHealth%202015%20Conference%20Proceedings.pdf
    • Page JR;Olsen J;Michael MS, 2012, 'The philosophy of engineering based swarms', in SimTecT 2012: Simulation - Integrated Solutions, Simulation Australia Ltd, Adelaide, South Australia, pp. 1 - 6, presented at Simulation Technology and Training Conference 2012, Adelaide, South Australia, 18 - 21 June 2012
    • Page JR;Olsen J;Michael MS;Vulovic Z, 2011, 'Simulation for the real world.', in SimTecT 2011, Simulation Australia, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 124 - 128, presented at Asia-Pacific Simulation and Training Conference and Exhibition, Melbourne, Australia, 31 May - 02 June 2011

    Conference Presentations

    • Michael M;Olsen J, 2014, 'Are simulations models?', Vol. 1, presented at SimTecT2014, Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia, 25 - 28 August 2014, http://www.simulationaustralia.org.au/


Undergraduate Teaching

ARTS1361 Knowledge And Reality
ARTS2375 Philosophical Logic
ARTS2385 Philosophy and Evolution
ARTS2374 Philosophy: Ways of Reasoning
ARTS3376 Aristotle Science & Understanding


I'm interested in supervising Honours theses on a wide range of topics. Contact me if you are interested in exploring topics for honours.


Graduate Supervision

I am always interested in discussing supervision with prospective students in a broad range of topics in philosophy. 

Present Supervisions

Alessio Tacca (PhD) Contextualisms in Epistemology

Sophie Vivian (PhD) Trust, Experts and Rationality

Simon Convy (PhD) The Meaning of "Is"



Higher Degree Completions (primary supervisor)

Michael Levot (MA)  Explanation in Biolinguistics (jointly supervised with Dr. Debra Aarons) (2016)

James Bucknell (PhD) Thesis title: The Metaphysics of Dispositions (2015)

Max Rabie (PhD) Thesis title: Can we determine the semantics of descriptions?(2015)

Amitavo Islam (PhD) Thesis title: Tokenese Sententialism: An Essay on Propositional Attitudes and Analyticity (2008)

Martinho Castro (PhD) Thesis title: Some antecedents of Leibniz’s principles (2008)

Simon Floth (PhD) Thesis title: The other basic aspect of reality (2007)

Witold Wiszniewski (PhD) Thesis title: Time, quasi-temporal change and imaginary numbers (2005)

Toby Meadows (MA) Thesis title: Some Problems for Kantian Aesthetics (2005)

Andrew Westcombe (PhD) Thesis title: Is there a coherent indeterministic metaphysics of free will? (2004)

Graham Purchase (PhD) Thesis title: Peter Kropotkin: Ecologist, Philosopher, Revolutionary (2003)

Adam Dickerson (PhD) Thesis title: Kant on Representation and Objectivity (2001)

Matthew Pearson (MA) Thesis title: Carnap, Metaphysics and Philosophy (2000)

Professional contribution

Book Review Co-Editor, Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

Member of UNSW Academic Board, Arts and Social Sciences Elected Staff representative

University Academic Programs Committee member.

Affiliations and membership

Australasian Association of Philosophy

Australasian Association of Logic

Related links