Research Seminar in the Philosophy of Natural Sciences

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Bryan Roberts LAK.5.03


This course is compulsory on the MPhil/PhD in Philosophy. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This is a special topics course on the philosophy of physics. It meets weekly, and has two components.

The first component (roughly half the meetings) will consist in lectures on the philosophy of physics. In Michaelmas Term, the topic will be an introduction to the foundations of quantum mechanics, accessible to anyone with a background in probability theory and vector spaces. In Lent Term, we will develop a further advanced topic on the philosophy of quantum theory. Some exercises will be provided for these meetings.

The remaining component will consist in attending cutting-edge lectures by professional philosophers of physics, and in some cases by other philosophers of science. These consist in the Sigma Club and the BSPS lectures on Monday evenings. Background readings to prepare students for these lectures as well as essay topics will sometimes be suggested.

Together this amounts to roughly 10 meetings in Michaelmas Term and 10 meetings in Lent Term. In the summer term there will be roughly 8 meetings. Half will discuss readings that students may wish to present, and the other half will be Sigma Club and BSPS lectures. Details about the meetings will be provided on Moodle, and information about the Sigma Club and BSPS lecture series can be found on the LSE Philosophy homepage under the "Events" heading.


15 hours of seminars in the MT. 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 12 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students are invited to write an essay on any topic discussed in these meetings, to submit before the last week of term for comments.

Key facts

Department: Philosophy

Total students 2015/16: Unavailable

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Value: Non-assessed

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information