[SydPhil] HPS Research Seminars Semester One 2013

Debbie Castle debbie.castle at sydney.edu.au
Tue Feb 19 11:14:15 AEDT 2013

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Dear HP


Here are some forward dates for your Diary:

Monday March 11

KRISTIAN CAMILLERI  (University of Melbourne)

The Physicist as Philosopher: Philosophical Ambitions in Cultural Context

Between 1880 and 1930, a new figure emerged on the European intellectual landscape – the philosopher-physicist. During this period many leading physicists, predominantly in the German-speaking world, cast themselves in the role of philosophers as they sought to come to grips with the transformation in the foundations of their discipline and even with wider questions. Einstein, Weyl, Schrödinger, and Bohr were among the more prominent physicists of this era who saw their work as physicists as deeply interconnected with philosophy. Recent historical scholarship has shed important light on the emergence of this intellectual tradition, which has its origins in the work of Helmholtz and Mach, but much of this has focused on the epistemological debates over the status of space, time and causality that took place in the 1920s and 30s. While this is certainly one important aspect of the kind of philosophical activity that physicists engaged in, it represents only part of a much larger story. In this paper, I argue that a more complete understanding of the philosopher-physicist requires that we pay attention not only to the new developments in physics and the rise of neo-Kantianism and logical positivism, but also to the formation of new societies, journals and institutional arrangements, the emergence of theoretical physics as a sub-discipline, and the wider cultural context in which physicists were forced to reflect on the value of science and its relationship to philosophy.

Monday March 25  TORI McGEER (ANU)

Monday April 8  MARIA KON  (Sydney)

Monday April 22  PETER ANSTEY (Sydney)

'Experimental pedagogy and the eclipse of Robert Boyle'

Monday May 6  IVAN CROZIER (Sydney)

Monday May 20  PAT FORBER  (Tufts)

Monday June  3 COLIN KLEIN (Illinois)

Where: Science Meeting Room 450 Carslaw Building, Camperdown Campus

Times: 6pm - 7.30pm approx.

Please check our website for any amendments www.sydney.edu.au/science/hps

Hope you can make it!

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