Description

This course offers an introduction to the philosophy of physics, which deals with methodological, epistemological, and metaphysical issues in physics. It consists of seven modules offering a rich menu in philosophically deep questions arising in modern physics: space and time, quantum mechanics, and advanced topics of contemporary physics.

The seven modules are as follows:

  1. Organization and introduction: what is philosophy of physics, what are physical theories, and what is determinism?
  2. Substantivalism vs relationalism: Newton, Leibniz, Kant, and time in Newtonian physics in general
  3. Time in special relativity: relativity of simultaneity, Minkowksi spacetime, and implications for the metaphysics of time
  4. Time in general relativity, cosmology, and beyond
  5. Moving backward and forward in time: time travel in modern physics
  6. Quantum mechanics: phenomena and theory
  7. Quantum mechanics: the measurement problem and quantum non-locality

Accessibility and Prerequisites. This course will be self-contained and has no prerequisites. While some background in physics, mathematics, and philosophy will be helpful, I will not assume any specific knowledge beyond high school mathematics.

This course will be taught in English.

Recommended Texts

  • Nick Huggett. Everywhere and Everywhen: Adventures in Physics and Philosophy. Oxford University Press (2010).
  • Most reading materials are available through icorsi.

Course Requirements and Evaluation

The grade for this course will be determined by the points obtained from a single type of evaluation: there will be three sets of homework assignments each worth 10 points.

Homework assignments are listed here:

Course Materials

Course materials such as lecture notes, handouts, etc will be made available as they will be used in class.