History And Philosophy Of Science | X755 Introduction to Philosophy of Physics (3 cr.)
X755 | 2727 | Dickson


X755 Introduction to Philosophy of Physics (3 cr.)
Time and Day: 2:30p-5:00p T
Place: GB107
Section: 2727
Michael Dickson
This course will be roughly 1/3 devoted to the theory of relativity (special and general) and 2/3 to
quantum theory.  In each case, we will begin with a careful exposition of the theory (in quite
abstract terms–we will not be concerned in this class with methods of calculation, but rather with
the abstract, mathematical, structure of the theories).  We shall then examine in detail several
foundational issues that are now at the forefront of research in the philosophy of physics,
including:
conventionalism
space-time substantialism and relationalism
reconciling quantum theory with the theory of relativity
the ‘measurement problem'
the multiplicity of interpretations of quantum theory
the problem of quantum gravity
The format for the class will be lecture and discussion.  Grades will be based o participation and
on a major paper.