Philosophy of Physics Seminar (Thursday - Week 1, MT22)

Philosophy of Physics

Abstract: It is often claimed (especially by Oxford philosophers of physics!) that isomorphic models represent qualitatively identical possibilities, that is, possibilities that differ at most haecceitistically. On the strictest interpretation, this claim is false, as I will show with counterexamples. I also discuss some weaker versions of the claim: that it holds true for models when interpreted 'naturally' or 'literally'. But these weaker versions are either incoherent or fail to account for the use of the isomorphism-claim in discussions of symmetries. The 'Oxford consensus' fails. Instead, I offer a different construal of that claim, on which it functions as a guide towards the qualitative structure of the world.

With speaker’s consent, talks will be recorded and published on YouTube. Our channel is:

If you wish to join the dinner proceeding the talk, please email Henrique:

Philosophy of Physics Seminar Convenor for TT22: Simon Saunders  | Philosophy of Physics Group Website