Associate Professor Dean Rickles

Associate Professor
ARC Future Fellow
Co-director, Centre for Time

F07 - Carslaw Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone 02 9351 8552

Website Twitter
New Agendas for the Study of Time
AAHPSSS

Biographical details

Dean received his PhD from the University of Leeds in 2004, under the supervision of Steven French, with a thesis on conceptual issues in quantum gravity. He took up a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Calgary in 2005 (split between health sciences and philosophy), on the application of complex systems theory to population health. He joined HPS at the University of Sydney in 2007, receiving an ARC Australian Research Fellowship in 2008. He will take up an ARC Future Fellowship in 2014. He has recently completed a new book, A Brief History of String Theory: From Dual Models of M-Theory, for Springer's Frontiers Collection. Click "show more" below to see all books:

Research interests

Dean's primary research focus is the foundations of quantum gravity research. However, he also has strong interests in musicology, econophysics, climate science, neuroscience, psychology, transhumanism, computing and philosophy of religion. He plays the piano as often as he can (and the drums as often as he is allowed).

Teaching and supervision

Currently supervising 4 PhD students on:

  • conceptual issues of spacefight
  • the string theory wars
  • the emergence of spacetime in quantum gravity
  • historical issues at the interface of physics and mathematics

Future PhD students with interests in the history and philosophy of quantum gravity should contact me with a thesis proposal.

Current projects

Books in progress

Dean is working on three book projects which should all be completed in 2014:

  • Covered in Deep Mist: The Development of Quantum Gravity, 1916-1956 (Oxford University Press).
  • A Beginner's Guide to Philosophy of Physics (Polity Press).
  • Quantum Gravity in the First Half of the 20th Century: A Sourcebook (coedited with Alex Blum, Jurgen Renn, and Don Salisbury - Edition Open Access, Max Planck Institute).

Special Issues in progress

Dean is currently working on three special issues:

  • "Principles of Quantum Gravity," for Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics (with Karen Crowther).
  • "Dualities," for Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics (coedited with Elena Castellani).
  • "Do We Need a Physics of Passage?" for Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (coedited with Maria Kon).

Articles and chapters in progress

In terms of solo papers, Dean is working on an entry on "Spaces" for P. Humphreys (ed.), Oxford Handbook for the Philosophy of Science; a paper on the history of the Stevens Institute relativity meetings in the 1950s; a paper on Arthur Eddington's selective subjectivism; and a paper on theories of music according to musicology.

He has several collaborative papersprojects underway, including: a paper on little-known physicist Paul Weiss' role in the development of canonical quantum gravity (with Don Salisbury and Jurgen Renn); a paper on the renaissance of general relativity in the 1950s (with David Kaiser);and a paper on structural physics (with Jessica Bloom).

Conference organization in progress

Together with Ian Durham, Dean is organizing a conference at Trinity College, Cambridge (March, 2014), on Information and Interaction, as part of an FQXi-funded project on Arthur Eddington and John Wheeler. Together with Elena Castellani, he is co-organizing a workshop on Dualities, in Florence (September, 2014). He is also co-organizing the 2014 AAHPSSS conferencein Katoomba.

Associations

President of the Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy, and the Social Study of Science.

Co-editor with Elaine Landry of Pickering & Chatto's Series on Philosophy of Mathematics and Physcis.

Co-director of the Templeton Foundation funded project:New Agendas for the Study of Time.

Awards and honours

ARC Australian Research Fellowship, 2009-2014.

ARC Future Fellowship, 2014-2018.

In the media

Selected grants

2014

  • Explorations in the Foundations of Quantum Gravity; Rickles D; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Future Fellowships (FT).

2013

  • Foundations of Dualities: A Special Issue; Rickles D; Foundational Questions Institute Fund (FQXi)/Research Support.

2012

  • A Jim Anderson Festshrift; Rickles D; Foundational Questions Institute Fund (FQXi)/Research Support.
  • Movements, Paradigms, and Revolutions: Philosophy of Science Meets Philosophy of Art.; Rickles D, Bueno O, French S; DVC International/IPDF Grant.
  • Rationalising Physics: A Defence of Selective Subjectivism; Rickles D; Foundational Questions Institute Fund (FQXi)/Research Support.
  • A Quantun Gravity Sourcebook; Rickles D; Foundational Questions Institute Fund (FQXi)/Research Support.
  • New agendas for the study of time: Connecting the disciplines; Price H, Rickles D, Holcombe A, Miller K; Templeton World Charity Foundation/Research Support.
  • Exchanging Knowledge: A Research and Teaching Collaboration Between Sydney's Unit for HPS and Shanghai Jiao Tong's HPS Department; Boantza V, Murphy D, Pols J, Rickles D, Zheng Y, Gal O; DVC International/IPDF Grant.

2009

  • The Development of Quantum Gravity; Rickles D; DVC Research/Research Fellow Establishment Grants.
  • The Development of Quantum Gravity; Rickles D; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

Selected publications

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Books

  • Rickles, D. (2008). Symmetry, Structure and Spacetime Vol.3. North Holland: Elsevier.

Edited Books

  • Rickles, D. (2008). The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics. Aldershot, England: Ashgate.
  • Rickles, D., French, S., Saatsi, J. (2006). The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity. USA: Oxford University Press.

Book Chapters

  • Rickles, D. (2012). Quantum Gravity Meets &HPS. In Seymour Mauskopf and Tad Schmaltz (Eds.), Integrating History and Philosophy of Science: Problems and Prospects, (pp. 163-199). Dordrecht: Springer Science + Business Media.
  • Rickles, D. (2012). Time, Observables, and Structure. In Elaine M. Landry, Dean P. Rickles (Eds.), Structural Realism: Structure, Object, and Causality, (pp. 135-145). Dordrecht: Springer Science + Business Media.
  • Rickles, D. (2011). Econophysics and the complexity of financial markets. In Cliff A. Hooker (Eds.), Philosophy of Complex Systems (Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Vol.10), (pp. 531-565). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.
  • Rickles, D. (2011). Public Health. In Fred Gifford (Eds.), Philosophy of Medicine (Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Vol.16), (pp. 523-572). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Rickles, D. (2009). Void Ain't What It Used To Be. In Gustav Metzger, Clive Phillpot, Mai-Thu Perret (Eds.), Voids/Vides: A Retrospective of Empty Exhibitions, (pp. unknown-unknown). Switzerland: JRP Ringier.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Advancing the Philosophy of Physics. In D. Rickles (Eds.), The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics, (pp. 4-15). Aldershot, England: Ashgate.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Quantum Gravity: A Primer for Philosophers. In D. Rickles (Eds.), The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics, (pp. 262-382). Aldershot, England: Ashgate.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Who's Afraid of Background Independence? In D.Dieks (Eds.), The Ontology of Spacetime II, (pp. 133-152). UK: Elsevier.
  • Rickles, D., French, S. (2006). Quantum Gravity Meets Structuralism: Interweav- ing Relations in the Foundations of Physics. In Dean Rickles, Steven French and Juha Saatsi (Eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity, (pp. 1-39). USA: Oxford University Press.
  • Rickles, D. (2006). Time and Structure in Canonical Gravity. In Dean Rickles, Steven French and Juha Saatsi (Eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity, (pp. 152-195). USA: Oxford University Press.
  • Rickles, D., French, S. (2003). Understanding Permutation Symmetry. In Katherine Brading, Elena Castellani (Eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections, (pp. 212-238). Oxford: Cambridge University Press.

Journals

  • Rickles, D. (2013). AdS/CFT duality and the emergence of spacetime. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 44(3), 312-320. [More Information]
  • Rickles, D. (2013). Mirror Symmetry and Other Miracles in Superstring Theory. Foundations of Physics, 43(1), 54-80. [More Information]
  • Rickles, D. (2011). A philosopher looks at string dualities. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 42(1), 54-67. [More Information]
  • Rickles, D. (2010). Just one damn thing after another. Metascience. [More Information]
  • Rickles, D. (2010). Nothingness for Compositionalists. Annales Philosophici, 1(1), 73-76.
  • Rickles, D. (2010). String Theory and Fundamental Interactions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 41, 160-162.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Causality in Complex Interventions. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, DOI 10.1007/s11019-008-9140-4, 1-14.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Double review of Economics and Psychology, by B. S. Frey and A. Stutzer, Economic Theory and Cog- nitive Science, by D. Ross. Philosophical Psychology.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Double review of Explaining Social Behavior, by J. Elster and The Philosophy of the Social Sciences, by R. C. Bishop. Philosophy in Review.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Double review of Thinking About Causes, edited by P. Machamer and G. Wolters, and Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality, by H. Price and R Corry. Philosophy in Review.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Review of Einstein's Struggles with Quantum The- ory, by D. Home and A. Whitaker. Mathematical Reviews.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Review of I am a Strange Loop, by D. Hofstadter. Mathematical Reviews.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Review of Lost Causes in and Beyond Physics, by R. F. Streater. Mathematical Reviews.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Review of Quips, Quotes and Quanta, by A. C. Capri. Mathematical Reviews.
  • Rickles, D., Hawe, P., Shiell, A. (2007). A Simple Guide to Chaos and Complexity. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 61(11), 933-937.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Econophysics for Philosophers. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 38(4), 948-978.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Gauge Pressures. Symposium on R. Healey's Gauging What's Real. Metascience.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Review of Cosmos to Chaos: The Science of Unpredictability. Mathematical Reviews.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Review of Defending Einstein: Hans Reichenbach's. Philosophy in Review, June 2007.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Review of Entropy and Energy. A Universal Com- petition. Mathematical Reviews, 2007 j.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Review of Physical Relativity, by Harvey Brown. Mind: a quarterly review of philosophy, 116(463), 736-740.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Review of The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A Reassessment, by Alexander Pruss. Philosophy in Review, August 2007.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Review: Mind, Matter and the Implicate Order. Mathematical Reviews, 2007g:00006.
  • Rickles, D. (2006). Bringing the Hole Argument Back in the Loop: A Response to Pooley. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 37(2), 381-387.
  • Rickles, D. (2006). Review of Kit Fine. Philosophy in Review, August 2006.
  • Rickles, D. (2006). Review of L. Nathan Oaklander, The Ontology of Time. Philosophy in Review.
  • Rickles, D. (2006). Review of M. R. Jones & N. Cartwright (eds.), Ide- alization XII: Correcting the Model. Philosophy in Review.
  • Rickles, D. (2005). A New Spin on the Hole Argument. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 36(3), 415-434.
  • Rickles, D. (2005). Interpreting Quantum Gravity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 36(4), 691-715.
  • Rickles, D. (2005). Quantum Disentanglements. Review of H. Halvorson & J. Butterfield (eds.), Quantum Entanglements: Selected Papers of Rob Clifton. Metascience, 14, 213-217.

Conferences

  • Rickles, D. (2013). Pourparlers for Amalgamation: Some Early Sources of Quantum Gravity Research. Third International Conference on the History of Quantum Physics, Berlin: Edition Open Access.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Rickles, D. (2013). Music as an Object for HPS: An Explanation. American Society for Aesthetics 33:2.

2013

  • Rickles, D. (2013). AdS/CFT duality and the emergence of spacetime. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 44(3), 312-320. [More Information]
  • Rickles, D. (2013). Mirror Symmetry and Other Miracles in Superstring Theory. Foundations of Physics, 43(1), 54-80. [More Information]
  • Rickles, D. (2013). Music as an Object for HPS: An Explanation. American Society for Aesthetics 33:2.
  • Rickles, D. (2013). Pourparlers for Amalgamation: Some Early Sources of Quantum Gravity Research. Third International Conference on the History of Quantum Physics, Berlin: Edition Open Access.

2012

  • Rickles, D. (2012). Quantum Gravity Meets &HPS. In Seymour Mauskopf and Tad Schmaltz (Eds.), Integrating History and Philosophy of Science: Problems and Prospects, (pp. 163-199). Dordrecht: Springer Science + Business Media.
  • Rickles, D. (2012). Time, Observables, and Structure. In Elaine M. Landry, Dean P. Rickles (Eds.), Structural Realism: Structure, Object, and Causality, (pp. 135-145). Dordrecht: Springer Science + Business Media.

2011

  • Rickles, D. (2011). A philosopher looks at string dualities. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 42(1), 54-67. [More Information]
  • Rickles, D. (2011). Econophysics and the complexity of financial markets. In Cliff A. Hooker (Eds.), Philosophy of Complex Systems (Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Vol.10), (pp. 531-565). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.
  • Rickles, D. (2011). Public Health. In Fred Gifford (Eds.), Philosophy of Medicine (Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Vol.16), (pp. 523-572). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

2010

  • Rickles, D. (2010). Just one damn thing after another. Metascience. [More Information]
  • Rickles, D. (2010). Nothingness for Compositionalists. Annales Philosophici, 1(1), 73-76.
  • Rickles, D. (2010). String Theory and Fundamental Interactions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 41, 160-162.

2009

  • Rickles, D. (2009). Void Ain't What It Used To Be. In Gustav Metzger, Clive Phillpot, Mai-Thu Perret (Eds.), Voids/Vides: A Retrospective of Empty Exhibitions, (pp. unknown-unknown). Switzerland: JRP Ringier.

2008

  • Rickles, D. (2008). Advancing the Philosophy of Physics. In D. Rickles (Eds.), The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics, (pp. 4-15). Aldershot, England: Ashgate.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Causality in Complex Interventions. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, DOI 10.1007/s11019-008-9140-4, 1-14.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Double review of Economics and Psychology, by B. S. Frey and A. Stutzer, Economic Theory and Cog- nitive Science, by D. Ross. Philosophical Psychology.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Double review of Explaining Social Behavior, by J. Elster and The Philosophy of the Social Sciences, by R. C. Bishop. Philosophy in Review.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Double review of Thinking About Causes, edited by P. Machamer and G. Wolters, and Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality, by H. Price and R Corry. Philosophy in Review.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Quantum Gravity: A Primer for Philosophers. In D. Rickles (Eds.), The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics, (pp. 262-382). Aldershot, England: Ashgate.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Review of Einstein's Struggles with Quantum The- ory, by D. Home and A. Whitaker. Mathematical Reviews.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Review of I am a Strange Loop, by D. Hofstadter. Mathematical Reviews.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Review of Lost Causes in and Beyond Physics, by R. F. Streater. Mathematical Reviews.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Review of Quips, Quotes and Quanta, by A. C. Capri. Mathematical Reviews.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Symmetry, Structure and Spacetime Vol.3. North Holland: Elsevier.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics. Aldershot, England: Ashgate.
  • Rickles, D. (2008). Who's Afraid of Background Independence? In D.Dieks (Eds.), The Ontology of Spacetime II, (pp. 133-152). UK: Elsevier.

2007

  • Rickles, D., Hawe, P., Shiell, A. (2007). A Simple Guide to Chaos and Complexity. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 61(11), 933-937.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Econophysics for Philosophers. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 38(4), 948-978.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Gauge Pressures. Symposium on R. Healey's Gauging What's Real. Metascience.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Review of Cosmos to Chaos: The Science of Unpredictability. Mathematical Reviews.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Review of Defending Einstein: Hans Reichenbach's. Philosophy in Review, June 2007.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Review of Entropy and Energy. A Universal Com- petition. Mathematical Reviews, 2007 j.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Review of Physical Relativity, by Harvey Brown. Mind: a quarterly review of philosophy, 116(463), 736-740.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Review of The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A Reassessment, by Alexander Pruss. Philosophy in Review, August 2007.
  • Rickles, D. (2007). Review: Mind, Matter and the Implicate Order. Mathematical Reviews, 2007g:00006.

2006

  • Rickles, D. (2006). Bringing the Hole Argument Back in the Loop: A Response to Pooley. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 37(2), 381-387.
  • Rickles, D., French, S. (2006). Quantum Gravity Meets Structuralism: Interweav- ing Relations in the Foundations of Physics. In Dean Rickles, Steven French and Juha Saatsi (Eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity, (pp. 1-39). USA: Oxford University Press.
  • Rickles, D. (2006). Review of Kit Fine. Philosophy in Review, August 2006.
  • Rickles, D. (2006). Review of L. Nathan Oaklander, The Ontology of Time. Philosophy in Review.
  • Rickles, D. (2006). Review of M. R. Jones & N. Cartwright (eds.), Ide- alization XII: Correcting the Model. Philosophy in Review.
  • Rickles, D., French, S., Saatsi, J. (2006). The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity. USA: Oxford University Press.
  • Rickles, D. (2006). Time and Structure in Canonical Gravity. In Dean Rickles, Steven French and Juha Saatsi (Eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity, (pp. 152-195). USA: Oxford University Press.

2005

  • Rickles, D. (2005). A New Spin on the Hole Argument. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 36(3), 415-434.
  • Rickles, D. (2005). Interpreting Quantum Gravity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 36(4), 691-715.
  • Rickles, D. (2005). Quantum Disentanglements. Review of H. Halvorson & J. Butterfield (eds.), Quantum Entanglements: Selected Papers of Rob Clifton. Metascience, 14, 213-217.

2003

  • Rickles, D., French, S. (2003). Understanding Permutation Symmetry. In Katherine Brading, Elena Castellani (Eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections, (pp. 212-238). Oxford: Cambridge University Press.

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