Areas of Interest & Expertise
- Philosophy of Space and Time
- Causation and Explanation in the Natural and Social Sciences
- Reduction and Emergence
- The Role of Values in Science
Tarun is a philosopher particularly interested in how our current scientific understanding of the world challenges our ordinary non-scientific conception of the world around us, and whether there is reason to modify some of our ways of thinking about or acting in our everyday environment.
He also works on questions regarding the nature of public scientific institutions, and how their structure might either enable or impede successful scientific inference. This interest in the functioning of scientific institutions extends naturally to questions about science policy-making, which ties into political philosophical questions about the conditions under which the exercise of authority (in this context, authority grounded on the success of science) is legitimate.
Prior to joining the University, Tarun worked at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, and at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru. Before this, he studied physics at Amherst College and philosophy at the University of California, San Diego.
His most recent work has focused on arguing that there is a sense in which freedom from the influence of social, moral, and political values should be an ideal for scientists. He has also written about how consensus is an important and legitimate goal in science. He is currently co-editing a book on the topic of cultural domination.
- Stegenga, J. & Menon, T. (2017). Robustness and independent evidence. Philosophy of Science, 84(3), 414 – 435. https://doi.org/10.1086/692141
- Menon, T. (2017). Climate change and human rights. Journal of the National Human Rights Commission, 16, 143 – 158. https://nhrc.nic.in/sites/default/files/nhrc_journal_2017.pdf#page=154
Chapter in Edited Book
- Menon, T. & Callender, C. (2013). Turn and face the strange… Ch-Ch-changes: Philosophical questions raised by phase transitions. In Batterman, R. (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics, 189 – 223. Oxford Handbooks. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195392043.013.0006