[SydPhil] HPS Research Seminar Series

Debbie Castle debbie.castle at sydney.edu.au
Thu May 1 16:33:58 AEST 2014

Dear All,

Next presentation in the HPS Research Seminar series will be:
Jakob Sprickerhof
(University of Leeds)

Reconciling causation with physics: Lessons from methodology

Many philosophers share a combination of believing in scientific realism as well as that there is causation in the world. At the same time, however, there are well known problems for any causal interpretation of physics. There is an apparent tension, which would be removed, if causation was reconciled with physics. In this talk, I want to concentrate on two problems for the latter task. The first is the problem of ontology, stemming from the fact that currently there is no convincing ontological account for fundamental physics. This raises the question whether we can understand physical processes as causal, even if we do not know which things exist according to our best theories. The second problem is that of asymmetry. Causation is usually understood as an asymmetric relation, while physical laws are symmetric, and thus cannot be interpreted as describing causal relations. I will argue that both problems can be solved at least to some extent, if the method of investigation and its implications are made sufficiently clear. Following current paradigms in methodology, the investigation should start with our folk theory of causation. My main argument will be that spelling out this folk theory leads to possible solutions of the above problems.

Where: Room 450 Science Meeting Room,  Carslaw Building,
Camperdown Campus
When: Monday 5th May 4-6pm

All the best

Debbie Castle
Administration Officer
Unit for History and Philosophy of Science
Room 441, Carslaw Building F07| THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY   NSW  2006
T: + 61 2  9351 4226 E: debbie.castle at sydney.edu.au
Office Open: Monday Tuesday and Wednesday

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman.sydney.edu.au/pipermail/sydphil/attachments/20140501/65632c34/attachment-0002.html>

More information about the SydPhil mailing list