Hi! My name is Zee Perry. As of late Fall 2022, I am a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, as part of Scientific Quantitativeness Reduced and (Metaphysically) Explained, or SQuaRed-Ex project (HORIZON-MSCA-2021 Project No. 101067459), awarded as one of the EU-based Horizon Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship but funded through the UKRI funding-guarantee scheme (Grant Ref: EP/X022625/1).
I work primarily at the intersections of metaphysics and the philosophy of physics. Before SQuaRed-Ex, I held visiting positions at New York University, Shanghai and CU Boulder’s philosophy department and CU’s Center for the Study of Origins, and before that, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Associate in the Philosophy Department at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. I received my Ph.D. in Philosophy from New York University in August 2016, defending a dissertation on the metaphysics of physical quantities. Here’s a photo of us together:
My main philosophical interest is in the metaphysics of quantitative physical properties (like mass, charge, length, etc.). Specifically, I’m interested in understanding what sort of physical features underwrite our use of mathematical notions like addition or ratio, and the relationship between these features and the way different quantities traffic with the world—by, e.g., featuring in the dynamical laws or constraining the kind of parts an object can have.
I also have research interests in the ontology of space and time, laws of nature, and the foundations of quantum mechanics.
I have some interest in general metaphysics as well, though I’m always interested in metaphysics insofar as it traffics with and is informed by our best science. I typically gravitate towards the “metaphysics of X” for most Xs before anything you might call proper, “pure” analytic metaphysics.
I also have a side interested in the philosophy of art, specifically the ontology of art. I worry a little bit about the ontology of fiction and of fictional entities. I worry a bit more about the ontological status of artwork categories (things like art forms, genres, or series).
I’m interested in improving the climate in academic philosophy for groups traditionally under-represented in the field. Most of my recent work on this front has focused on issues facing women and LGBTQ people in the philosophical community. I was a founding student member of NYU’s joint faculty/graduate student committee on Climate, Diversity and Inclusion, and served on the committee from Fall 2013 to Spring 2015.