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Philosophy and History of Physics Reading Group

The Philosophy and History of Physics reading group meets on Tuesdays, 4.00pm to 6.00pm in the Board Room. Organised by Jeremy Butterfield and Richard Staley.

Michaelmas Term 2016

The theme for the term is the history and philosophy of spacetime theories, especially relativity. This is chosen partly with a view to a one-day conference being held in Trinity College on Saturday 12 November. The main book will be the Cambridge Companion to Einstein (CUP), ed. M. Janssen and C. Lehner. There is University-wide access to the ebook version, so Reading Group members should be able to read it online.

The proposed readings for the first few dates are as follows. We will of course adjust in the light of people's interests, especially in later weeks.

11 October Chapters by D. Howard and J. Norton: on Einstein's philosophy of science, and on special relativity, respectively.
18 October Chapter by Janssen: on Einstein's quest for general relativity.
25 October Oliver Pooley, 'Substantivalist and relationist approaches to spacetime', in R. Batterman ed., The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics (OUP, 2013), and available on the Pittsburgh philosophy of science archive.
1 November Chapters by Ryckman and Friedman (both on post-Kantian themes).