Course curriculum

  • 1

    Introduction

    • Course description and schedule

    • Structure of the course and requirements for credit

    • Perusall

    • Where to find the texts

    • A note on recordings of seminars

    • Zoom link for discussions

  • 2

    Preliminary Material

    • Philosophy of physics: a prelude

    • Podcast: Understanding string theory by James Ladyman

    • Three measurement problems by Tim Maudlin

    • Ten misconceptions about mathematics and its history by Michael J. Crowe

    • Philosophy cheat sheet

  • 3

    Week 1: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences

    • Set text: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences by Eugene Wigner.

    • Reading guide: The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences

    • Set text: The Miracle of Applied Mathematics by Mark Colyvan

    • Reading guide: The Miracle of Applied Mathematics by Mark Colyvan

    • Suggested reading

    • Additional reading

    • Video: Interviews about the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics

    • Week 1: Session 1 recording

    • Week 1: Session 1 slides

    • Week 1: Session 2 recording

    • Week 1 feedback

  • 4

    Week 2: Popper and Kuhn

    • Set text: Part I.1 of The Logic of Scientific Discovery by Karl Popper

    • Reading guide: The Logic of Scientific Discovery

    • Set text: Part 1 of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn

    • Reading guide: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Part 1

    • Set text: Part 12 of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn

    • Suggested reading

    • Week 2: Session 1 recording

    • Week 2: Session 1 slides

    • Week 2: Session 2 recording

    • Week 2: Session 2 slides

    • Course feedback

  • 5

    Week 3: Lakatos

    • Set text: Falsification and the methodology of scientific research programs

    • Reading guide: Falsification and the methodology of scientific research programs

    • Set text: Section 2.2 of SEP article on Lakatos

    • Suggested reading

    • Week 3: Session 1 recording

    • Week 3: Session 2 recording

  • 6

    Week 4: The birth of the relational approach to quantum theory: from Bohr to Everett via Hermann.

    • Set text: The Foundations of Quantum Mechanics in the Philosophy of Nature by Grete Hermann

    • Reading guide: The Foundations of Quantum Mechanics in the Philosophy of Nature by Grete Hermann

    • Suggested reading

    • Additional reading

    • Course feedback

    • Week 4: Session 1 recording

    • Week 4: Session 2 recording

  • 7

    Week 5: Time symmetry of physical theories

    • Set text: Time's Arrow and Archimedes' point by Huw Price

    • Reading guide: Time's Arrow and Archimedes' point by Huw Price

    • Week 5: session 1 recording

    • Week 5: Session 1 slides

    • Supplementary reading: Primer on kinetic theory by Madhusudan Raghunathan

    • Week 5: Session 2 recording

    • Week 5: Session 2 slides

  • 8

    Week 6: Time symmetry of the quantum measurement process

    • Set text: Time symmetry in the quantum process of measurement by Aharanov, Bergmann and Lebowitz

    • Reading guide: Time symmetry in the quantum process of measurement

    • Set text: The numerous and profoundly distinct layers that make up the notion of time by Carlo Rovelli

    • Reading guide: The numerous and profoundly distinct layers that make up the notion of time

    • Week 6: Session 1 recording

    • Week 6: Session 1 slides

    • Week 6: Session 2 slides

    • Week 6: session 2 recording

  • 9

    Week 7: Ontic Structural Realism

    • Set text: Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds? by John Worrall

    • Reading guide: Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds? by John Worrall