Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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Dr. Johanna Wolff

Visiting Fellow


Further Information

After completing an Mphil in philosophy at LMU in 2004, I earned my PhD in philosophy from Stanford in 2010. Supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies I spent a year at the University of Michigan, followed by a position as visiting assistant professor at the University of Puget Sound. From 2012 to 2016 I worked as an assistant professor in the philosophy department at The University of Hong Kong. In January 2017 I joined the philosophy department at King's College London as a lecturer. My research stays at the MCMP are supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Research Interests

I work primarily in the philosophy of science, with particular emphasis on the philosophy of the physical sciences. My research projects fall under three interrelated topics:

(1) Scientific Realism

My dissertation “Realism between Metaphysics and Science" dealt with the relationship between metaphysics and scientific realism, with particular emphasis on the question whether structural realism should be understood as a metaphysical thesis. I continue to work on structural realism, as well as on quietist approaches to realism debates in the philosophy of science.

(2) Issues in the Metaphysics of Science

Since completing my dissertation I have focused on particular problems in the metaphysics of science. My main current research project is a book project on the metaphysics of quantities. Some questions I address in the project are: What makes quantities metaphysically different from other attributes? What is the relationship between quantities and measurement? What are the implications for realism about science from the metaphysics of quantities?

(3) History and Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics

Within the philosophy of the physical sciences I focus especially on the history and philosophy of quantum theory. I have worked on conceptions of observability in early quantum mechanics, as well as on the metaphysics of quantum mechanics.


My project on the metaphysics of quantities is supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Hong Kong Research Grants Council. Previously I’ve held doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies.


  • Using defaults to understand token causation, Journal of Philosophy, 113:1 5-26, 2016

  • Observability, visualizability and the question of metaphysical neutrality, Foundations of Physics, First online: September 2015
  • Naturalistic quietism or scientific realism?, Synthese, First online: September 2015
  • Spin as a Determinable, TOPOI, First online: April 2015
  • Heisenberg’s Observability Principle, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 45, 2014
  • Are Conservation Laws Metaphysically Necessary?, Philosophy of Science, 80 (5), 2013
  • Do objects depend on structures?, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 63 (3), 2012

Preprints of most of these papers can be found on my page or on my personal website.