[SydPhil] Foundations of Physics Seminar, Thursday: Jakob Sprickerhof, Causation in QFT

Matt Farr matt.farr at sydney.edu.au
Tue Mar 25 16:59:23 AEDT 2014

The next Sydney Foundations of Physics seminar will be held Thursday 27 March at 11:30am. Jakob Sprickerhof from the University of Leeds, will speak about causation in quantum field theory - details below.

Speaker. Jakob Sprickerhof (Leeds).
Title. “How Quantum Field Theory realizes platitudes about causation.”
Abstract. Ever since Bertrand Russell has argued in 1913 that modern physics is incompatible with causation, the truth of this claim has been a controversial issue in philosophy. Opponents of Russell have argued in favor of several versions of process or transference theories, in which causation is nothing but the transfer of some physical property from cause to effect (e.g. Dowe 2000). It is, however, obvious that none of these theories can hold up to the challenge of Quantum Field Theory. On the face of it, they orientate themselves merely on classical physics. In my talk, I will take steps to update current transference theories, in order to make them suitable for Quantum Field Theory. The method I will follow is known as the Canberra Plan or Empirical Analysis (cf. Jackson 1998, Kutach 2010). It consists in first analyzing the concept `causation' into a list of platitudes, and then assessing whether these platitudes are realized in natural science. Accordingly, I will argue that a substantial conjunction of platitudes about causation is realized by Quantum Field Theory.

Time. Thursday 27th March, 11:30-13:00.
Location. Muniment Room S401, Main Quad - A14, University of Sydney.

All are welcome!

Please note that we are seeking speakers for future seminars - any area related to foundational concepts in physics (e.g. space, time, matter, motion, probability, measurement, etc.) is welcome, whether theoretical, philosophical or methodological. If you'd like to give a talk, or know of any future visitors who would like to give a talk, please contact me at matt.farr at sydney.edu.au<mailto:matt.farr at sydney.edu.au>.

The schedule for SydFoP talks is available here: http://newagendasstudyoftime.wordpress.com/sydfop/

Details for how to subscribe to the SydFoP mailing list are here: http://lists.arts.usyd.edu.au/mailman/listinfo/sydfop

All the best


DR MATT FARR | Postdoctoral Research Fellow

New Agendas for the Study of Time<http://newagendasstudyoftime.wordpress.com/> | Centre for Time

School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


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University of Sydney | NSW | 2006

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