Dr John W Carroll

Picture of Dr John W Carroll



I am professor of philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, program faculty for Science Technology, and Society, and Alumni Association Distinguished Undergraduate Professor. 

Teaching and Research Interests

My philosophical interests center on metaphysics, the philosophy of science, and rational choice, especially the topics of laws of nature, causation, explanation, motion, time travel and the iterated prisoner’s dilemma.

Extension and Community Engagement

I maintain a website for a general audience on the the paradoxes of tIme travel. The website was developed by my students in my metaphysics courses. See A Time Travel Website.



(2014) et al., A Time Travel Dialogue, Open Book Publishers. 

(1994) Laws of Nature. Cambridge Studies in Philosophy, Cambridge University Press.

(2010) with Ned Markosian, An Introduction to Metaphysics. Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy, Cambridge University Press.


(2004) Readings on Laws of Nature. University of Pittsburgh Press. 


(201?) with D. Ellis and B. Moore, "Time Travel, Double-Occupancy, and the Cheshire Cat" Philosophia (forthcoming).

(2017) "Becoming Humean" Laws of Nature. Ott and Patton (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

(2016) "Ways to Commit Autoinfanticide" Journal of the American Philosophical Association, available on CJO2016. doi:10.1017/apa.2015.37

(2011) "A Self Visitation, Traveler Time and Compatible Properties" Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41, 359-370.

(2010) "A Context, Conditionals, Fatalism, Freedom and Time Travel" Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Volume 6: Time and Identity. Keim Campbell, O'Rourke and Shier (eds.). Cambridge: MIT Press.

(2009) "Anti-Reductionism" Oxford Handbook on Causation. Beebee, Hitchcock and Menzies (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

(2008) "A Nailed to Hume's Cross?", Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics, Hawthorne, Sider and Zimmerman (eds.). Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 

(2005), with W. R. Carter,"An Unstable Eliminativism" Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86, 1-17.

(2003), with L. Wentz, "A Puzzle about Persistence" Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33, 323-342.

(2002) "Instantaneous Motion" Philosophical Studies 110, 49-67.

(2000) "The Backward Induction Argument" Theory and Decision 48, 61-84.

(1999) "A The Two Dams and that Damned Paresis" British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50, 65-81.

(1998) "Humean Justified Belief" Philosophical Quarterly 48, 373-378.

(1991) "Property-Level Causation" Philosophical Studies 63, 245-270.

(1990) "The Humean Tradition" The Philosophical Review 99, 185-219.

(1987) "Ontology and the Laws of Nature" Australasian Journal of Philosophy 65, 261- 276. 


(2016) “Laws of Nature”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2016 Edition), E. Zalta (ed.): http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2016/entries/laws-of-nature/.

(2006) “Laws of Nature-Addendum”, The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd Edition. Borchert (ed.). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA


  • Ph.D. in Philosophy from University of Arizona, 1986
  • B.A. in Philosophy and Math from Carleton College, 1982