Jeff Barrett: Typical Quantum Worlds

Jeff Barrett (University of California, Irvine).

4:45 – 6:45pm, Tuesday November 7, Location 194 Mercer, NYC, Room 205.

Title: Typical Quantum Worlds
Abstract: Hugh Everett III’s pure wave mechanics, sometimes known as the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, was proposed as a solution to the quantum measurement problem. Both physicists and philosophers of physics have repeatedly claimed to be able to deduce the standard quantum probabilities from pure wave mechanics alone. We will consider why this is impossible, then consider how Everett himself understood quantum probabilities. This will involve clearly distinguishing between typical and probable quantum worlds.

There will be 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 isaac.wilhelm@rutgers.edu.

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Heather Demarest: “It matters how you slice it: relativity and causation”

Heather Demarest (University of Colorado, Boulder)
4:15-6:15pm, Tuesday October 3, CUNY room 5307 (365 5th Ave, New York NY).
Title: It matters how you slice it: relativity and causation
Abstract: I argue that if we take the standard formulation of special relativity seriously, causation is frame-dependent. Thus, many ordinary causal claims require a parameter to specify the relevant frame of reference. This is in contrast to the widely-accepted belief that the causal structure of the world is objectively and absolutely determined by the light cone structure. Any event that can affect another (so the thought goes) must do so via light or matter, and the spacetime structure will tell us which of those came first, absolutely. For instance, according to Carl Hoefer (2009, 694, italics in original), if we assume that all signals travel slower than or equal to the speed of light, “we may take the light-cone structure of Minkowski spacetime as equally representing the causal structure of spacetime.” I argue that causation in relativistic spacetime is not so simple. Events can be extended in space and time, and events can be related to one another by distance and duration. Yet, according to special relativity, extension in space and time (i.e., distances and durations) are not invariant—they depend upon relative motion. Therefore, when ordinary events enter into causal relations, they do so relative to frames of reference, which can yield different causes and different effects. If you want to keep your promises, or bring about one outcome rather than another, you should take note of your reference frame.
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Jim Weatherall: (Information) Paradox Regained?

Jim Weatherall (University of California, Irvine)
4:15 – 6:15pm, Wednesday September 27, NYUAD event space, 19 Washington Square North, NYU.

Title: (Information) Paradox Regained?

Abstract: I will discuss some recent work by Tim Maudlin concerning Black Hole Information Loss.  I will argue that there is a paradox, in the straightforward sense that there are propositions that appear true but which are incompatible with one another, and discuss its significance. I will also discuss Maudlin’s response to the paradox.

There will be 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 isaac.wilhelm@rutgers.edu.

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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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