On 15 July this workshop will bring together philosophers and physicists to discuss a recent debate surrounding interpretations of the Hole Argument.

The vexed “Hole Argument”, invented by Einstein during the discovery of general relativity and used by Earman and Norton as an argument against a certain kind of spacetime substantivalism, has recently generated a new debate. Proposals that the argument can be dissolved by avoiding misleading mathematical thinking have been met with supporters and critics. This workshop brings together recent authors on both sides of the new debate.

This is a “satellite” workshop being held the day before Foundations 2016, the 18th UK/EU conference on foundations of physics. Both are being held at LSE.

Speakers include: Erik Curiel, Sam Fletcher, James Ladyman, Oliver Pooley, Bryan W Roberts, Karim Thébault, and Jim Weatherall.


All talks will take place in room 2.06 of the Lakatos Building (marked “LAK” on the LSE Campus Map).

(click me for a handy Google map) 

For further help finding your way please see the LSE Maps and Directions website.



Friday 15 July

11:00–11:45 Jim Weatherall: Some Philosophical Prehistory of the Earman-Norton Hole Argument
11:45–12:30 Bryan Roberts: Some curious examples of mathematical representation
12:30–13:30 Lunch (On your own — The organisers recommend the Hole Enchilada)
13:30–14:15 Sam Fletcher: Elvis has left the building
14:15–15:00 Oliver Pooley: Why we don’t need any more talks on the hole argument
15:00–15:30 Coffee (Ground Floor, LAK G.01)
15:30–16:15 James Ladyman: The Hole Argument and Homotopy Type Theory
16:15-17:00 Karim Thébault: The Hamiltonian Hole Argument: A Perennials Problem?
17:05-17:50 Erik Curiel: Why the Four-Dimensional Einstein Field Equation Is Not Equivalent to the 3+1 Canonical Representation
17:50-20:00 To the pub! For more discussion.


James Nguyen and Bryan Roberts

Note on the Organisation of This Workshop

This event was spontaneously assembled by attendants who wrote a response to Weatherall’s forthcoming work, and who happen to be in town for Foundations 2016. We expect this to be a lively but surely very informal discussion, and welcome anyone who would like to participate. It is made possible thanks to a generous donation of £10.49 by the organisers, who bought a box of tea and biscuits for the coffee break.