Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics
Poznań Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities
Edited by Tomasz Bigaj and Christian Wüthrich
Very recently, and after a long hiatus, the metaphysics of physics has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance, with both philosophers and physicists addressing explicitly metaphysical questions that arise in the context of physics and the interpretation of its theories. As theoretical physics has achieved dramatic progress, pushing back the boundaries of our knowledge and forcing us to rethink our most fundamental concepts describing physical reality, questions about the impact of this rapid development on traditionally conceived metaphysical investigations become urgent. Does it make metaphysics irrelevant, or does it call for an altogether new metaphysics? On the other hand, physics has encountered more than a few roadblocks in its fundamental endeavours, e.g. in attempts to bring gravity into the fold of the standard model. Could reconceiving the metaphysical foundations of fundamental physical theories possibly lead to a breakthrough, as some have suggested?
The aim of this volume is to bring together papers that address various aspects of the mutual interrelations between contemporary research in theoretical physics and the conceptual work done in analytic metaphysics. The suggested topics for the contributions to the volume include, but are most definitely not limited to, the following questions:
- Are fundamental objects postulated by our physical theories (elementary particles, fields, spacetime points, etc.) individuals with intrinsic properties and well-defined identities, or perhaps relational structures with no relata?
- What is the ontological significance of symmetries in physical theories?
- How does spacetime emerge from the quantum phenomena?
We invite original research papers on topics related to the general description of the planned volume. The deadline for submissions is extended to February 15, 2014. Please send your manuscripts to firstname.lastname@example.org . We aim to make the final decisions regarding the publication of submitted contributions by April 30, 2014.
Poznań Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities publishes guest-edited volumes devoted to the philosophy of the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities as well as to foundational topics in metaphysics, epistemology and social philosophy. More info and back volumes can be found on the web http://www.rodopi.nl/senj.asp?SerieId=PS .
Tomasz Bigaj is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw, Poland, and a Marie Curie research fellow at the University of Bristol, UK, and the University of California, San Diego, USA. His web site: http://uw.academia.edu/TomaszBigaj.
Christian Wüthrich is an Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy, the University of California, San Diego, USA. His web site: http://philosophyfaculty.ucsd.edu/faculty/wuthrich/.