Philosophy of Physics Seminar (Thursday - Week 8, TT23)

Philosophy of Physics

I present an exegesis of Henri Poincaré’s metaphysical position in three key essays within his book, The Value of Science. In doing so, I argue for three theses: First, that Poincaré’s metaphysical position in these sources is incompatible with his metaphysical position in his earlier book, Science and Hypothesis. Second, that the phenomenological relationism defended by Poincaré in these sources is not a form of structural realism but a structuralist form of empiricism, and (by design) has no greater metaphysical commitments than constructive empiricism. Third, that Poincaré holds in these sources that the existence of the external world is merely a convention. These theses serve to correct misconceptions about the consistency of Poincaré’s philosophical corpus, about his position(s) on the realism/anti-realism landscape, and about the scope of his conventionalism.

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 Convenors for HT23: Oliver Pooley, Patrick Duerr and Henrique de Andrade Gomes  | Philosophy of Physics Group Website