Michael Esfeld: “The Natural Philosophy of Classical and Quantum Physics: A proposal for a fundamental ontology”

Michael Esfeld (University of Lausanne) will be giving a talk entitled “The Natural Philosophy of Classical and Quantum Physics: A proposal for a fundamental ontology” on Wednesday, April 22nd. The talk will be held from 4:00-6:00pm in Room 518, 1 Washington Sq North (Silver School of Social Work, NYU). The abstract for his talk is below. Hope to see you all there!

“The Natural Philosophy of Classical and Quantum Physics: A proposal for a fundamental ontology”
Michael Esfeld, University of Lausanne

In this talk, I sketch out a fundamental ontology of matter points that are individuated by the spatial relations in which they stand (spatial structure); the change in these relations is determined by dynamical relations (dynamical structure). That is all. In particular, there is no need for properties in the ontology of physics. Relations (structures) do all the work. This proposal is compatible with both Humeanism and modal realism (e.g. dispositionalism about laws of nature). I explain how this proposal applies to both classical and quantum physics, constituting an alternative to wave function realism as well as a dualism of wave function and particle ontology.

There will be a dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please email 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 nyphilsci@gmail.com.

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