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October 2013

Oswaldo Zapata (CPNSS): “Is there still any hope for string theory?”

7 October 2013, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Abstract: In the first part of the talk we will cover how string theory is related to supersymmetry; and what we can learn from the experiments at the LHC. We will also touch upon how supersymmetry extends our notion of the standard relativistic four-dimensional space-time. A short discussion of supergravity; that is; local supersymmetry; follows. We will see that supergravity…

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Joseph Henson (Imperial College London) – “Locality Reinstated?”

21 October 2013, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Monday 21st October; 17:15pm - 18:45pm SIGMA Speaker: Joseph Henson; Imperial College London Title: Locality Reinstated? Abstract: The assumptions of Bell's theorem were meant by its author to to characterise a lack of any physical superluminal influences. The ``Quantum non-locality'' he discovered does violence not only to our intuitions; but arguably also to any thoroughgoing attempts to apply causal explanation…

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November 2013

Samuel Fletcher (Logic and Philosophy of Science; University of California; Irvine): “On the Reduction of General Relativity to Newton Gravitation”

4 November 2013, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Monday 4th November; 17:15pm

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January 2014

Richard Pettigrew (Bristol): Accuracy; Risk; and the Principle of Indifference

20 January 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Richard Pettigrew (Bristol) Accuracy; Risk; and the Principle of Indifference Abstract:

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February 2014

Bryan Roberts (LSE): Three Merry Roads to T-Violation

3 February 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Title: Three Merry Roads to T-Violation Abstract: This talk aims to give a general perspective on how the fundamental laws of nature can distinguish between the past and the future; or be T-violating. I argue that; in terms of basic analytic arguments; there are really just three approaches currently being explored. I show how each is characterized by a symmetry…

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James Ladyman (Bristol): What are Weak Values?

17 February 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

James Ladyman (Bristol) Title: What are Weak Values Abstract: This paper is about the philosophical interpretation and implications of weak values in quantum mechanics. In particular; we present an argument for a subtle kind of retrocausality (which we define as the causal dependence of earlier events on later events) that is based on the probabilistic structure of experiments to determine…

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March 2014

Hans Halvorson (Princeton): Explanation via surplus structure

17 March 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Our attempts to model physical systems seem to be cursed by the problem of surplus structure: our mathematical representations of such systems contain structure which apparently has no analogue in the system under study. When interpreting our theories; then; we invoke some notion of "physical equivalence" of models in order to wash out this surplus structure. At least that's how…

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May 2014

J. Brian Pitts (Cambridge): Real Change Happens in Hamiltonian General Relativity

12 May 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Speaker: J. Brian Pitts (Cambridge) Time: 5:15pm - 6:45pm Title: Real Change Happens in Hamiltonian General Relativity Abstract: In General Relativity in Hamiltonian form; change has seemed to be missing; because the Hamiltonian is a sum of first-class constraints and thus supposedly generates gauge transformations. The gauge generator; a specially _tuned sum_ of first-class constraints; facilitates seeing that a solitary…

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Owen Maroney (Oxford): How epistemic can a quantum state be?

19 May 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Speaker: Owen Maroney (Oxford) Time: 5:15pm - 6:45pm Title: How epistemic can a quantum state be? Abstract: The "psi-epistemic" view is that the quantum state does not represent a state of the world; but a state of knowledge about the world. It draws its motivation; in part; from the observation of qualitative similarities between characteristic properties of non-orthogonal quantum wave…

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June 2014

Luke Fenton-Glynn (UCL): Unsharp Best System Chances

23 June 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Luke Fenton-Glynn (UCL) Title: 'Unsharp Best System Chances' Time: 5:15pm - 6:45pm Abstract: Much recent philosophical attention has been devoted to variants on the Best System Analysis of laws and chance. In particular; philosophers have been interested in the prospects of such Best System Analyses (BSAs) for yielding *high-level* laws and chances. Nevertheless; a foundational worry about BSAs lurks: there…

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Katherine Brading (Notre Dame): Absolute; true and mathematical time in Newton’s Principia

26 June 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Speaker: Katherine Brading (Notre Dame) Time: 5:15pm - 6:45pm Katherine Brading (Notre Dame) Title: Absolute; true and mathematical time in Newton

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July 2014

Alison Fernandes (Columbia): “Time Asymmetries in Causation; Influence and Deliberation”

8 July 2014, 4:00 pm5:30 pm


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October 2014

Lakatos Award Workshop in Philosophy of Physics

21 October 2014
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Workshop Webpage Workshop in honour of the Lakatos Award winners, Laura Ruetsche and David Wallace. Speakers will include: Gordon Belot (Michigan), Eleanor Knox (KCL), Laura Ruetsche (Michigan), Nicholas Teh (Cambridge, Notre Dame), David Wallace (Oxford). For more information visit the workshop webpage.

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Kasia Rejzner (York): Causality in the modern approach to foundations of quantum field theory (CANCELLED)

27 October 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom

Abstract: According to the present state of knowledge; the Universe in small scales is described by the laws of quantum theory. On the other hand; the fundamental theory of gravity is believed to be Einstein's relativity. Its effects become relevant when we consider large masses or (equivalently) large energies. One of the main features of Einstein's theory is the fact…

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December 2014

Edward Anderson (Cambridge): Spaces of Spaces

1 December 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Abstract: John Archibald Wheeler asked that we study superspace: the space of 3-geometry configurations for GR (3-metrics quotiented by 3-diffeomorphisms). Moreover; Chris Isham has studied a far wider range of spaces of spaces; from the point of view of quantization. I here present: a) classical preliminaries for this study. These do not only include the obvious classical dynamics precursors on…

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