Fall Course Description

16:730:556 Seminar in Philosophy of Science

  • Instructor: Loewer, Barry
  • Description:

    The seminar will be concerned with philosophical issues that arise within and are provoked by quantum mechanics.  The first part of the seminar will be an introduction to the basic ideas of quantum mechanics - not in the calculation heavy way of a physics course but emphasizing its conceptual structure and how it explains the structure of the material world. It will not be assumed that students have taken a prior course in quantum mechanics. Then we will move on to detailed discussions of non-locality, and of the “measurement problem”, and the various attempts to address the measurement problem (which is to say: the various so called “interpretations of quantum mechanics”) and this (in turn) will lead to discussions of what quantum mechanics has to say about the basic metaphysical and epistemological structure of the world. This discussion engages with central philosophical issues including the nature of objective chance, the metaphysics of laws, the nature of space, the relationship between de se and de re accounts of experience, the relationship between the fundamental and the non-fundamental, and so on.

    The seminar is aimed primarily at philosophy graduate students but prepared undergraduates and students from physics and elsewhere can also enroll.  If you are interested and want more information, contact: Prof. Barry Loewer:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Credits: 3
  • Syllabus Disclaimer: The information on this syllabus is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (e.g. Canvas) on the first day of class.