Teri Merrick

Graduate Student in Logic & Philosophy of Science

Research Interests

Generally speaking, my interests are in the areas of metaphysics and epistemology: What is there? And how do we find out about it? These questions are obviously interconnected. If we circumscribe the domain of what there is to include only spatio-temporal entities causally connected to one another, then the answer as to how we found out about them seems relatively straightforward. (I say 'relatively' because providing philosophical answers is never an entirely straightforward process). We obtain knowledge about physical objects by means of observation and the methods of inquiry characterizing the natural sciences. However, if we enlarge the domain of existing things to include the non-spatial, non-temporal and non-causal, numbers for example, then accounting for our knowledge of all that there is becomes much more problematic. For this reason, my general interests have inevitably led me to questions considered within the philosophy of mathematics.

Currently, I am writing my dissertation on how Kant and certain 19th century philosophers (e.g. Hermann Helmholtz, Hermann Cohen, and Gottlob Frege) answered the following questions: What are mathematical entities? How do we uncover the truths about such entities? Why are the truths we uncover about mathematical entities also applicable to physical entities? I am especially interested in how the latter three men positioned their answers relative to Kant and each other. My hope is that articulating a particular dialectic occurring among 19th century German philosophers of mathematics will help illuminate and perhaps broaden contemporary debates surrounding these issues.


B.A., Philosophy, California State College, Fullerton
M.A., Philosophy, University of California, Irvine

Contact Information

Office:  764 SST
Phone:  (949) 824-3954
e-mail:  tmerrick@uci.edu