Lawrence Sklar (born 25 June 1938) is an American philosopher. He is the Carl G. Hempel and William K. Frankena Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan.
Sklar was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1938 and educated at Oberlin College (B.A., 1954-1958) and Princeton University (M.A., Ph.D., 1959–1964).
He worked at Swarthmore College from 1962 to 1966, first as an instructor and then as an assistant professor. He then worked at Princeton University until 1968. Since 1968, he has been at The University of Michigan, where he is now a Distinguished University Professor.
He has held visiting professorships at The University of Illinois (1963), The University of Pennsylvania (1968), Harvard University (1970), UCLA (1973) and Wayne State University (1977).
He specializes in the Philosophy of physics, approaching a wide range of issues from a position best described as highly skeptical of many of the metaphysical conclusions commonly drawn in the physical sciences. He advocates the 'MIMO' (metaphysics in, metaphysics out) principle, claiming that much of the metaphysical content of interpreted theories in the special sciences arises from metaphysical assumptions made during their formulation.
Publications : Significant books include:
Space, Time and Spacetime (1977) (awarded the Matchette Prize from the American Philosophical Association as the outstanding philosophical book for 1973-74)
Philosophy and Spacetime Physics (1985)
Philosophy of Physics (1992)
Physics and Chance (1993) (awarded the Lakatos Award in philosophy of science for 1995)
Theory and Truth (2000)
Philosophy and the Foundations of Dynamics (2013)
editor of Philosophy of Science: Collected Papers (2000).
Awards and honors:
Phi Beta Kappa, 1957
Physics and Chance selected by Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries as Outstanding Academic Book in philosophy of science for 1995
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
John Locke Lectureship in Philosophy, 1998, Oxford University
President, American Philosophical Association, Central Division, 2000–01
President, Philosophy of Science Association, 2007–08