Alyssa Ney, “Wave Function Realism in a Relativistic Setting”

Our final speaker of the semester will be Prof. Alyssa Ney (UC Davis). Please join us on Tuesday at 4:10 – 6:00 pm at Columbia University.
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Place: Hamilton Hall, Room 303, Columbia University.
Updated Time: 4:10 — 6:00 pm, Tuesday, May 2. 

Speaker: Alyssa Ney (UC Davis).

Title: Wave Function Realism in a Relativistic Setting

Abstract: This talk will consider strategies for extending the wave function realist interpretation of quantum mechanics to the case of relativistic quantum theories, responding to the arguments of Wallace and Timpson (2010) and Myrvold (2015) that this cannot be done.

There will be a dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com (please note that all are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered). If you have any other questions, please email eddy.chen@rutgers.edu
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UPDATED: Jesse Prinz: The Scientific Construction of Kinds

Our next speaker will be Jesse Prinz. The lecture will be held on Tuesday 4:15-6:15pm, April 25th, at CUNY Grad Center (Room 5307). Hope to see you there.

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Place: CUNY Graduate Center, Room 5307. Street address: 365 Fifth Ave, NYC.
Time: 4:15 – 6:15 PM Tuesday April 25.

Speaker: Jesse Prinz (CUNY)

Title: The Scientific Construction of Kinds

Abstract: In philosophy of mind and semantic theory, strong forms of realism continue to be popular.  Our concepts are presumed to pick our kinds whose joints are given by nature.   This picture is said to take science seriously, and philosophers with a naturalist bent have been especially drawn to it.  Within scientific practice, however, taxonomies often reflect a degree of fiat, with pragmatic and aesthetic factors determining the contours of kinds.  This is most obviously true is social sciences, but equally prevalent in natural sciences, such as chemistry and biology.  Those who have reflected on such practices sometimes lobby for sophisticated forms of realism (e.g., promiscuous realism or homeostatic property closers) in place of the sparser and sharper ontologies presupposed in other domains of philosophy.  Here is is argued that commitments to realism about kinds is weaker in scientific practice than we have been led to believe, even on these less stringent accounts.  Naturalists who defer to science on matters of ontology should be open to the possibility that kinds are, in some sense, constructed, rather than discovered.

There will be a dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com (please note that all are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered). If you have any other questions, please email eddy.chen@rutgers.edu
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Upcoming MAPS Talk: 
Alyssa Ney (UC Davis).
“Wave Function Realism in a Relativistic Setting”
4:30-6:30 PM Tuesday May 2 at Columbia.

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Matthew Stanley: The Uniformity of Natural Laws: A Historical Perspective from Victorian Britain

Our next speaker will be Matthew Stanley on Feb 28th at NYU. Hope to see you there. 

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Place: NYU Philosophy Department Auditorium (Room 101), 5 Washington Place, NYC.

Time: 5:00 – 7:00 PM Tuesday February 28.

Speaker: Matthew Stanley. (Author of Huxley’s Church and Maxwell’s Demon: from Theistic Science to Naturalistic ScienceUniversity of Chicago Press)

Title: “The Uniformity of Natural Laws: A Historical Perspective from Victorian Britain”

Abstract: The concept of the uniformity of nature – the claim that the laws of nature are unbroken over time and space – is an important part of the modern scientific worldview.  This is usually seen as supporting a scientific naturalism in which there is no room for divine forces or a spiritual realm.  The association of uniformity with strict naturalism comes from the Victorian era, but a close historical examination of scientists from that period shows that the uniformity of nature was an important part of both theistic and naturalistic worldviews.  The importance of uniformity in different religious contexts can help us understand the origin, transformation, and modern interpretation of the concept of natural laws.

There will be a dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com (please note that all are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered). If you have any other questions, please email eddy.chen@rutgers.edu

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More Upcoming MAPS Talks: 

Jesse Prinz (CUNY).

4:30-6:30 PM Tuesday April 18 at CUNY Grad Center Room 5307. 

 

Alyssa Ney (UC Davis).

“Wave Function Realism in a Relativistic Setting”

4:30-6:30 PM Tuesday May 2 at Columbia. 

 

Another upcoming talk in philosophy of science:

Elise Crull (CUNY)

Title: Existence Monism from Quantum Theory

CUNY Grad Center Philosophy Colloquium

4:15pm Wednesday March 15, Grad Center Rooms 9204/9205. 

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MAPS: First Talk Spring Semester by Massimo Pigliucci (CUNY)

Dear All,

Happy New Year! This year in the Metro Area Philosophy of Science Group (MAPS), we hope to continue hosting informative talks on many cutting-edge topics in philosophy of science. 

Our first speaker of the semester will be Massimo Pigliucci, K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at CUNY-City College & Graduate Center. 

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Title: Do we need a new evolutionary synthesis? 

Speaker: Massimo Pigliucci (CUNY) 

4:30 – 6:30 PM, Tuesday January 31, CUNY Graduate Center, Room 5307 (Address: 365 Fifth Ave).

Abstract: The theory of evolution has evolved, so to speak, a number of times since Darwin and Wallace proposed the original version back in 1858. In this talk, I will explore some of those changes and focus on current proposals to develop a new version of the theory, known as the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. I will also try to address the question of whether these new developments amount to an example of what philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn called a “paradigm shift” within the biological sciences.

Reception to follow the talk, please join us! There will also be dinner after the reception. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com (please note that all are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered). If you have any other questions, please email eddy.chen@rutgers.edu

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More Upcoming MAPS Talks: 

(1) 4:30-6:30 PM Tuesday February 28 at NYU.

Matt Stanley. (Author of Huxley’s Church and Maxwell’s Demon: from Theistic Science to Naturalistic Science, University of Chicago Press); 

“The Uniformity of Natural Laws: A Historical Perspective from Victorian Britain”

(2) Jesse Prinz (CUNY). Title TBA. Time TBA. 

(3) Alyssa Ney (UC Davis). Title TBA. 4:30-6:30 PM Tuesday May 2 at Columbia. 

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MAPS Mini-Workshop in Philosophy of Physics

December 9, Friday 2:30–6:30pm, 5 Washington Place, Room 101 (NYU Philosophy Dept Auditorium). (The security staff may need to see your university/personal ID.)

Mini-Workshop in Philosophy of Physics

2:30–4:15. Jonathan Bain (NYU): What Explains the Spin-Statistics Connection?

Abstract: The spin–statistics connection plays an essential role in explanations of non-relativistic phenomena associated with both field-theoretic and non-field-theoretic systems (for instance, it explains the electronic structure of solids and the behavior of Einstein-Bose condensates and superconductors). However, it is only derivable within the context of relativistic quantum field theory (RQFT) in the form of the Spin-Statistics Theorem; and moreover, there are multiple, mutually incompatible ways of deriving it. This essay attempts to determine the sense in which the spin-statistics connection can be said to be an essential property in RQFT, and how it is that an essential property of one type of theory can figure into fundamental explanations offered by other, inherently distinct theories.

4:15–4:45. Coffee break. 

4:45–6:30. Elizabeth Miller (Yale): All Flash, No Substance?

Abstract: Primitivists agree modifying the dynamics of textbook quantum mechanics is not enough: to make adequate contact with the empirical data, our fundamental theory also needs a primitive ontology. But there remains room for disagreement as to what exactly adequacy demands of that ontology. Some of that disagreement shows up in competition between two proposed primitive ontologies for the GRW dynamics. Maudlin claims one candidate, GRWm, fails to make adequate contact with our data, falling short of conditions for empirical adequacy met by rival GRWf. Albert agrees GRWm falls short of Maudlin’s conditions but takes issue with the conditions instead. I join Albert in questioning GRWm’s alleged inadequacy, but I do so for a different reason: GRWm and GRWf are on a par with respect to Maudlin’s conditions. That is, if GRWf qualifies as empirically adequate by Maudlin’s lights, then, by those lights, GRWm should as well. Even so, the internecine dispute raises some more general questions about the demands of empirical adequacy. 

 All are welcome! 

There will be a dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com (please note that all are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered). If you have any other questions, please email eddy.chen@rutgers.edu

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The Subject as Cause and Effect of Evolution

The Subject as Cause and Effect of Evolution 

Speaker: Peter Godfrey-Smith (CUNY)

4:00 — 6:00 pm, Friday Dec 2, CUNY Graduate Center, Room 5307 (Address: 365 Fifth Ave).

Abstract: Organisms physically transform their environments in ways that affect their downstream evolution. The importance of this fact has been a topic in recent debates in and around evolutionary biology. I’ll discuss this theme in a general way and then extend it. A subset of “niche construction” phenomena work by way of the perceptual, cognitive, and agential properties of organisms. These cases have distinctive features seen on several scales. I’ll look at these in relation to both the large-scale history of life and attempts to give a materialist account of the place of mind in nature.

Update: There will be no dinner after this event; but there will be a reception in the room right after the talk. All are welcome. 


Upcoming Event:

December 9, Friday 2:30–6:30pm, 5 Washington Place, Room 101.

*Mini-Workshop in Philosophy of Physics*

(1) What Explains the Spin-Statistics Connection?

Speaker: Jonathan Bain (NYU)

(2) All Flash, No Substance?

Speaker: Elizabeth Miller (Yale)

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Some aspects of the quantum mechanical measurement problem in gravitational contexts.

Speaker: Daniel Sudarsky (ICN-UNAM)

5:00 — 7:00 pm, Thursday October 27th, NYU Silver Center Room 620 (address: 31 Washington Place, NYC)

Abstract: I will discuss  some of  the  extra difficulties one needs to face when addressing the measurement problem  (MP)  in gravitational contexts. We will see that complications appear   both at the  conceptual  as well as the more  technical levels . We will see however that  there are  great potential benefits in adopting certain approaches towards the MP , which  surprisingly   result on the   plausible resolution of   some  old  and some new  problems  facing the physics of gravitation. The  main focus will be on the so called   dynamical  collapse theories but I will also touch on various issues as seen from the perspective of other approaches.

There will be a dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com as soon as possible so that I can make the reservation for the appropriate number of people (please note that all faculty and grad students are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered). If you have any other questions, please email eddy.chen@rutgers.edu

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