On 25 November, this workshop will consider the philosophical underpinnings of a range of emergent and limiting behaviour in statistical physics, with an eye to assessing the “indispensability” of such limits.

Recent philosophical work has stressed the importance of various kinds of limits for a range of fundamental issues in physics. In this workshop we will consider the significance such limits, especially the thermodynamic limit and the continuum limit, across a variety of case studies. Our goal is to assess the role that such limits play in physics, as well as to assess the importance of limit relations to questions of emergence and other foundational problems.


Friday 25 November

13:45–14:00 Welcome and opening remarks
14:00–15:00 Eleanor Knox (KCL): “Emergence without limits: a case study”
15:00–16:00 Elay Shech (Auburn + Durham): “Comparing Strong and Weak Emergence in Phase Transitions and Anyons”
16:00–16:30 Coffee and tea break
16:30–17:30 Vincent Ardourel (Université catholique de Louvain): “The infinite limit as an eliminable approximation for phase transitions”
17:30–18:30 Bryan W Roberts (LSE): “Infinite Infinite spatial limits: Decay and the wilderness of non-self-adjoint energy”
18:30-19:00 Open Discussion


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.


Attendance is free to all, no registration required.


  • Bryan W Roberts (LSE)
  • Elay Shech (Auburn + Durham)


This workshop is sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science and by the LSE Philosophy of Physics Research Group.

CPNSS LSE Philosophy of Physics