Alisa Bokulich

Professor of Philosophy; Director, Center for Philosophy & History of Science
STH 506
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame

CPHS Website:
Interests: Philosophy of Science; Philosophy of Physics; Science, Technology and Values; History of Science

Alisa Bokulich received her Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame’s Program in History and Philosophy of Science. She is the director of the Center for Philosophy & History of Science at BU (since 2010), where she also organizes the Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science.

Professor Bokulich is also an Associate Member of Harvard University’s History of Science Department. She has been the recipient of several grants from the National Science Foundation. She is currently working on two book projects: one on Modeling and Uncertainty in the Earth Sciences and the other Representing and Explaining: The Eikonic Conception of Scientific Explanation.

Professor Bokulich’s teaching at Boston University includes courses in the philosophy of science; philosophy of physics; gender, race and science; and science, technology, and values.

Professor Bokulich will be on leave for the 2017-18 year and a visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University (UK).



Reexamining the Quantum-Classical Relation: Beyond Reductionism and Pluralism (Cambridge University Press, 2008). CUP;

Philosophy of Quantum Information and Entanglement, co-edited with Gregg Jaeger (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Scientific Structuralism (Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science), co-edited with Peter Bokulich (Springer, 2010).

Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions – 50 Years On (Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science), co-edited with William Devlin, (Springer 2015).


(forthcoming) “Searching for Noncausal Explanations in a Sea of Causes” Explanation Beyond Causation, ed. by A. Reutlinger and J. Saatsi. Oxford University Press.

(forthcoming) “Models in the Geosciences,” (coauthored with Naomi Oreskes) Handbook of Model-Based Science, ed. by L. Magnani and T. Bertolotti. Springer.

(forthcoming) “Models and Explanation,” Handbook of Model-Based Science, ed. by L. Magnani and T. Bertolotti. Springer.

(forthcoming) “On the Identity of Thought Experiments: Thought Experiments Rethought” (Co-authored with Mélanie Frappier ), Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments Eds. J.R. Brown, Y. Fehige, & M. Stuart.

“Fiction As a Vehicle for Truth: Moving Beyond the Ontic Conception” The Monist 99 (3): 260-279 (2016a).

“Maxwell, Helmholtz, and the Unreasonable Effectiveness of the Method of Physical Analogy,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 50: 28-37 (2015).

“Metaphysical Indeterminacy, Properties, and Quantum Theory,” Res Philosophica 91 (3): 449-475 (2014).

“How the Tiger Bush Got Its Stripes: ‘How Possibly’ vs. ‘How Actually’ Model Explanations” Monist 97(3): 323-340 (2014).

“Pluto and the Planet Problem: Folk Concepts and Natural Kinds in Astronomy” Perspectives on Science 22 (4): 464-490 (2014).

“Explanatory Models vs. Predictive Models: Reduced Complexity Modeling in Geomorphology” in Recent Progress in Philosophy of Science: Perspective & Foundational Problems. Dordrecht: Springer (2013)

“Distinguishing Explanatory from Non-Explanatory Fictions”, Philosophy of Science 79 (5): 725-737 (2012).

“How Scientific Models Can Explain”, Synthese 180 (1): 33-45 (2011).

“Three Approaches to the Quantum-Classical Relation: Bohr, Heisenberg & Dirac” Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly 59: (January 2010): 3-28.

“Bohr’s Correspondence Principle,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (2010)

“Explanatory Fictions, ” in M. Suarez (Ed.) Fictions in Science: Philosophical Essays on Modeling and Idealization (Routledge, 2009: 91-109).

“Can Classical Structures Explain Quantum Phenomena?” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59(2): 217-235 (2008)

“Paul Dirac and the Einstein-Bohr Debate,” Perspectives on Science 16(1): 103-114 (2008).

“Heisenberg Meets Kuhn: Closed Theories and Paradigms,” Philosophy of Science 73: 90-107 (2006).

“Niels Bohr’s Generalization of Classical Mechanics,” (co-authored by Peter Bokulich) Foundations of Physics 35(3): 347-371 (2005).

“Open or Closed? Dirac, Heisenberg, and the Relation between Classical and Quantum Mechanics,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (3): 377-396 (2004).

“Horizontal Models: From Bakers to Cats,” Philosophy of Science 70: 609-627 (2003).

“Quantum Measurements and Supertasks,” International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17: 127-136 (2003).

“Rethinking Thought Experiments,” Perspectives on Science 9: 285-307 (2001).