Michaelis Michael

Associate Professor

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. 


Conference Papers
Olsen J; Michael M, 2017, 'The limits of simulation in complex engineering systems', in Proceedings of the Australasian Simulation Congress 2017, Simulation Australia, Sydney, presented at Australasian Simulation Conference 2017, Sydney, 28 August 2017 - 31 January 2018, http://proceedings.simulationaustralasia.com/index.html
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 August 2015 - 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, Australia, pp. 1 - 6, presented at Simulation Technology and Training Conference 2012, Adelaide, South Australia, 18 June 2012 - 21 June 2012
Page JR; Olsen J; Michael MS; Vulovic Z, 2011, 'Simulation for the real world.', in SimTecT 2011, Simulation Australia, Rundle Mall, South Australia, pp. 124 - 128, presented at Asia-Pacific Simulation and Training Conference and Exhibition, Melbourne, Australia, 31 May 2011 - 02 June 2011
Journal articles
Michael M, 2017, 'Philosophy, Certainty and Semantic Stretch', Australasian Philosophical Review, vol. 1, pp. 281 - 290, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/24740500.2017.1379878
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
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
Michael M, 2015, 'Formal Causes: Definition, Explanation, and Primacy in Socratic and Aristotelian Thought, by Michael T. Ferejohn', Australasian Journal of Philosophy, vol. 93, pp. 204 - 205, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048402.2014.959538
Valaris MC; Michael MM, 2015, 'Time Travel for Endurantists', American Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 52, pp. 357 - 365, http://apq.press.illinois.edu/52/4/index.html
Michael MS, 2015, 'On a “most telling” argument for paraconsistent logic', Synthese, vol. 193, pp. 1 - 16, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-015-0935-6
Michael MS; Fresco N, 2015, 'Information and Veridicality: Information-Processing and the Bar-Hillel/Carnap Paradox', Philosophy of Science: official journal of the Philosophy of Science Association, vol. 83, pp. 131 - 151, http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/684165
Michael M, 2013, 'PROBLEMS WITH LEWIS' ARGUMENT FOR THE IDENTITY THEORY', Ratio, vol. 26, pp. 51 - 61, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9329.2012.00538.x
Michael MS, 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 MS, 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 MS, 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 MS, 1999, 'Dummett`s Argument Against Classical Logic', Philosophia, vol. 27, pp. 359 - 382, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02383185
Michael MS, 1998, 'Tich´y on Kripke on a 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; Townsend A, 1995, 'Binary quantification logics', Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, pp. 382 - 395
Michael MS, 1995, 'The dialectics of scepticism', Australasian Journal of Philosophy, pp. 123 - 128
Michael M, 2015, Evolution by Natural Selection Confidence, Evidence and the Gap, CRC Press
Conference Presentations
Michael M; Olsen J, 2014, 'Are simulations models?', Vol. 1, presented at SimTecT2014, Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia, 25 August 2014 - 28 August 2014, http://www.simulationaustralia.org.au/
Book Chapters
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 MS; Healy JP, 2012, 'A guru-disciple tradition: can religious conversion be non-cognitive?', in Luck M (ed.), Philosophical Explorations of New and Alternative Religious Movements, Ashgate, pp. 77 - 96, http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calcTitle=1&isbn=9781409406532&lang=cy-GB
Michael MS, 2006, 'Accounting for commitments: A priori knowledge, Ontology and logical entailments', in Aspects of Knowing: Epistemological Essays, Elsevier Ltd, The Netherlands, pp. 35 - 52, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-008044979-1/50004-7
Michael M, 2006, 'Chapter 3 Accounting for Commitments A priori Knowledge, Ontology, and Logical Entailments11This paper derives from work I did while supervised by David Lewis. I benefited immensely from his advice. I also benefited from remarks made on the work by Frank Jackson at the time. More recently I have benefited from comments by Aislinn Batstone, Stephen Hetherington, and Ralph Kennedy.', 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
Michael M, 1994, 'Cubism, Perspective, Belief1', in Philosophy in Mind, Springer Netherlands, pp. 243 - 276, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-1008-2_16

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)