Jorge Alberto Manero Orozo: Pragmatism Within Philosophy of Physics
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Manero working in his office in the department of philosophy at UC San Diego.

Jorge Alberto Manero Orozco was awarded a 2018 UC MEXUS-CONACYT Postdoctoral Fellowship for his work seeking to bridge the gap between physics, philosophy of science, and metaphysics. While conducting a year-long postdoctoral stay at UC San Diego, he will be working under the mentorship of Associate Professor of Philosophy Kerry McKenzie to explore the intersection between pragmatism and the philosophy of physics in the particular context of structural realism.

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Manero and his colleague discussing foundations of quantum mechanics.

During his doctoral studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Manero was engaged in an independent interdisciplinary research project looking for compatible ground between physics and philosophy, in which both technical results and deep philosophical questions were addressed. In particular, he investigated philosophical issues related to the scientific search for a mathematical structure shared between different physical theories. He also argued that structural realism was the best candidate to explain the underlying foundations behind this endeavor.

Manero’s current postdoctoral project extends upon his past work. Taking advantage of his residency at UC San Diego and drawing on the expertise of McKenzie in developing different strategies to support a productive engagement between metaphysics and science, Manero seeks to integrate a pragmatically oriented philosophical approach that is also compatible with structural realism. He holds that structuralists must frame their claims about the constitution of the world in a way that can tolerate the changes in scientific worldviews, provided our best scientific theories are still in the process of perfecting themselves and, as such, vulnerable to future change. The most natural way for structuralists to do this, he argues, is by framing them in a way that, like scientific claims, they can be regarded as only partially or approximately true in the light of future scientific developments.

His postdoctoral project constitutes not only an opportunity to illuminate philosophical questions concerning the relations between science and metaphysics of physics, but is also intended to facilitate a productive engagement between the work undertaken at UC and Mexican institutions, particularly UNAM. As Manero notes, he is already familiar with a Mexican pragmatist tradition in the philosophy of science, but this work remains largely unknown to Anglo-American philosophers. As such, the Mexican philosophical school (in particular, the pragmatic tradition) can be engaged to help solve some philosophy of physics problems currently addressed by UC San Diego researchers—showing also that there is much to gain for both Mexican and US departments and, particularly, for their students.

To contact Dr. Manero Orozco, please email him at jmaneroorozco@ucsd.edu

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Manero and his colleagues Haggeo and Eugene at UC San Diego.