Philosophy of Physics Seminar (Thursday - Week 2, HT20)

Philosophy of Physics

By briefly reviewing three well-known scientific revolutions in spacetime physics (the discovery of inertia, of special relativity and of general relativity), I claim that problems that were supposed to be crying for a dynamical explanation in the old paradigm ended up receiving a structural explanation in the new one. This claim is meant to give more substance to Kuhn’s claim that revolutions are accompanied by a shift in what needs to be explained, while suggesting at the same time the existence of a pattern that is common to all of the above three case studies and that involves the overcoming of central assumptions of the manifest image. In the last part I discuss the question of whether entanglement can be given a purely structural non-dynamical explanation.

Philosophy of Physics Seminar Convenors for HT20: Oliver Pooley