Zachary Hall


I have interests broadly in the history and philosophy of physics and in the history of philosophy, with a specific interest in the works of Kant and Wittgenstein with respect to perennial philosophical questions about ethics and metaphysics (What has ethical or moral worth and why?’; ‘What is knowledge?’; ‘What is logic?’; ‘What can we understand about the unconditioned or infinite?’)

My dissertation deals with a topic at the interface of experimental physics and the foundations of theoretical physics – I am arguing there is an instance of the numerous conceptual tensions between gravitational and quantum theory that is open to empirical testing through experiments whose results are not obviously well constrained by empirically established physics. 

I am currently working on a project that interprets and defends the worth and contemporary relevance of Niels Bohr’s writings on the foundations of quantum theory, with specific attention to his response to the famous EPR paper of 1935.

I also have a project underway that interprets Wittgenstein’s Tractatus with respect to its instruction to come to see its remarks as nonsense. In short: the text presents itself as the only possible propositional theory of thinking in general and of the connection of logic to the world, while proving unstable as such a theory; this is meant to induce a certain sort of metaphysical quietism consonant with how Kant’s three Critiques are meant to orient us to questions of the unconditioned.

I also have casual interests in ethics and aesthetics and I am always open to and often seek out opportunities to appreciate works of art.