Adam D. Edwards
Adam D. Edwards
Philosophy | Causal Models | Logic

Hi. I'm Adam.

I'm a philosophy student and teacher. Right now I'm a graduate student in the philosophy department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an adjunct instructor at both Heartland Community College and Lincoln College.

My research is motivated by an interest in projects in philosophy of science and metaphysics that involve causal graphical models. These projects include defending a view of scientific explanation where causal models play a significant role, developing an empiricist-minded modal epistemology, and giving a causal modeling analysis of dynamic systems.

My dissertation is on causal modeling interventions and experimental design.

I also have research interests in the potential of data mining and machine learning to contribute to philosophical inquiry and in experimental philosophy.

Before grad school I worked with Dr. Sriraam Natarajan and the Statistical-Relational AI Team (StRAIT) at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center on data mining and machine learning solutions to medical problems. While I was there we developed a pipeline algorithm that delivered high quality predictions of the onset of Alzheimer's disease using patient fMRI scans. Before that I did my undergraduate work at Wake Forest University in physics and philosophy.

Other than teaching and doing philosophy, I enjoy backpacking, board games, making coffee in increasingly complicated ways, and spending time with my partner Ashli Anda and our dogs, Rose 🌹 and Siege ⚔️.

My ORCID is ORCID iD icon


Teaching Projects

Currently Teaching

In 2019, I am teaching courses in applied ethics, ethics, introduction to philosophy, and informal logic.

I am also responsible for pedagogical instruction and course development for the department of philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the upcoming academic year (informally, the "Super TA"). This position involves training first-year graduate students on pedagogical strategies, classroom management techniques and technologies, and best-practices for assessment, communication, and problem-solving. I am also working to develop a course plan for the department's Advanced Composition curriculum.

Teaching Portfolio

A comprehensive picture of my development as a teacher can be found at the link to the right. I've tried to provide an overall picture of my approach to teaching: strategies, materials, and results. If you have questions about any of the materials presented here, feel free to contact me at

Teaching Portfolio

Logic Textbook

I'm currently working on a fork of P.D. Magnus' For All X logic textbook to create an eText@Illinois textbook. eTexts are "fully accessible, multimedia-rich online textbooks" that allow students to take notes, use e-readers, and annotate and highlight along with interactive media and text.

The latest version of the textbook is available on my Github page.

Open Logic Introduction: Midwest Collab


Research Projects

My primary interests are in philosophy of science, epistemology, and philosophy of information. I also have spent time working on issues in machine learning, digital humanities, metaphysics, and philosophy of physics. My dissertation is on the role that interventions play in the causal modeling framework for scientific explanations, causal inferences, and modal semantics.

Network Visualizations & Analysis

In addition to working on explanation and the foundations of graphical models I enjoy learning the tools and techniques of scientists who work with those models. I've been working on some projects that use the data produced by professional philosophy to get a network-level view of the field.

This is a collection of network visualizations of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP). Right now, many of the visualizations are snapshots of the SEP archives, but the plan is to include dynamic graphs of the SEP that show its growth over time.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Visualizations

Past Work

Before graduate school I worked with the Statistical Relational AI Team at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center to develop an AI pipeline for Alzheimer's diagnosis using statistical relational learning and expert knowledge. This work was presented at the 2012 Internation Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (ICMLA) [.pdf] and later published in the International Journal of Machine Learning and Cybernetics (IJMLC) [.pdf].