Seminar: The Ontology of Physics / Ontologie der Physik
General Information Sessions Literature
The seminar takes place on Wednesday, 14.15h - 15.45 h, in room B006 (Theresienstr. 39).
If you want to know what a physical theory tells you about nature, you have to know what this theory is about. That is, you have to know and understand the ontology of the theory. In this interdisciplinary seminar, we will discuss ontology in physics from classical mechanics to modern quantum field theory, both from a physical and a philosophical perspective.
The seminar is structured as a reading class with open discussions on various topics on the boundary between physics and philosophy. Credits ("Scheine") can be awarded for the regular attendance of the meetings and a term paper on one of the subjects covered in the seminar, to be submitted by the end of the term.
Prior registration is not necessary. All interested students are invited to attend the fist meeting on Wed, October 8th.
Attention: Schedule has changed! Last Session: Jan 14th 2015
|The beginning of natural philosophy: from the Presocratics to Newton|
|Properties and Laws|
|The notion of primitive ontology|
|Laws of nature: Humeanism vs. modal realism|
|Newtonian mechanics: particles and forces|
|Classical fields: are they real?|
|Laws in relativistic space-time|
|Quantum mechanics: primitive ontology & wave-function|
|Identity-based Bohmian mechanics|
|QFT: Dirac sea as the fundamental theory|
|QFT: Bell-type as effective theories|
Here you can download the Course Syllabus.
Here you can download the complete reading material as a zip-file.
The password will be communicated to the participants on the first day of the seminar.
Der Dialog des Demokrit; Detlef Dürr, Dustin Lazarovici; Beitrag zu Proceedings des XXII. Deutschen Kongresses für Philosophie. In: Julian Nida-Rümelin und Elif Özmen (Hgg): Welt der Gründe. Proceedings des XXII. Deutschen Kongresses für Philosophie, Meiner Verlag (2012)
Quantum Humeanism, or: physicalism without properties Michael Esfeld, The Philosophical Quarterly 64 (2014), pp.453–470.
New translation of Newton's Principia.
J. Bigelow, B. Ellis, and R. Pargetter. Forces. Philosophy of Science, 55(4):614-630, 1988.