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Perspective in Physics and Philosophy

Paris :: Carré des Sciences :: 16-19 June 2008

The main topics of the conference will be the role of internal and external perspectives, representations, frames of reference and contexts, in various related fields in physics and philosophy.

In particular, the conference will cover:

-perspectival analysis of causality, flow of time and other time-directed concepts
-role of the observer or of an agent in the interpretation and construction of physical theories
-role of inequivalent representations in quantum mechanics
-meaning of reference frames (classical and quantum)
-many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics
-relational interpretation of quantum mechanics
-symmetry in physics, and in Kant, and issues about synthesis and perception
-objectivity, invariance and convention
-issues of perspective and pragmatics in physical modelling
-perspectival pluralism

The conference follows on from the one on Time Symmetry in Quantum Mechanics in Sydney in July 2005 (details here) and the one on Decoherence, Quantum Measurement and the Arrow of Time at Beuggen, Germany, in September 2006 (details here). It is also part of the activities of the FOUNDPHYS network (IHPST, CREA, LARSIM) funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche.

The conference is supported by the Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene, Freiburg, by the Institut d'Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences et des Techniques, Paris (principally through project FOUNDPHYS), and by the Centre for Time, Sydney (through grants of the Australian Research Council).


A list of abstracts is available here.


16 June: Carré des Sciences, Amphithéâtre A
17, 18 and 19 June: Carré des Sciences, Amphithéâtre Stourdzé

The Carré des Sciences is the courtyard of the old École Polytechnique, in the Quartier Latin (Paris, 5th arrondissement). The entrance is from 25, rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève. Please have an ID on you, since the same entrance is used also for some ministry offices, and you may be stopped and have your bags inspected.

The closest métro and RER stations are Maubert-Mutualité (métro 10), Luxembourg (RER B) and Place Monge (métro 7). (The accommodation recommended below is almost entirely walking distance from the conference.)



Organising Committee

Harald Atmanspacher (IGPP Freiburg)
Guido Bacciagaluppi (University of Sydney and IHPST Paris)
Michel Bitbol (CREA Paris)
Jacques Dubucs (IHPST Paris)
Alexei Grinbaum (LARSIM Paris)
Jenann Ismael (University of Sydney)
Huw Price (University of Sydney)

Invited Participants

(* to be confirmed)

Katherine Brading
Jeff Bub
Elena Castellani
Talal Debs
Thomas Filk
Chris Fuchs
Ron Giere
Peter beim Graben
Hilary Greaves
Richard Healey
Simon Kochen
Federico Laudisa
Guenter Mahler
Michael Redhead
Carlo Rovelli
Eva Ruhnau
Thomas Ryckman
Simon Saunders
Rob Spekkens
Rod Sutherland
Paul Teller
Steve Weinstein
Ken Wharton
Michael Wright

Practical Details

The format will be similar to that of the previous conferences. There will be a mix of physicists and philosophers; the emphasis will be on a relatively small number of presentations, with plenty of time for discussion, and a friendly and productive atmosphere.

Arrival is planned for the evening of 15 June, departure for the evening of 19 June.

Due to limited funds, it will be possible to offer financial support only to invited participants.

It is planned that the conference will be recorded by the Archive for Mathematical Sciences and Philosophy.


Some recommendations are available here.


Mon 16 June
Tue 17 June
Wed 18 June
Thu 19 June
9:30—10:30 Bitbol Kochen Grinbaum Rovelli
10:30—11:00 Coffee
11:00—12:00 Spekkens Sutherland Brading beim Graben
12:00—13:00 Filk Wharton Castellani Mahler
13:00—15:00 Lunch
15:00—16:00 Debs and Redhead Weinstein Giere Bub
16:00—17:00 Healey Saunders Ryckman Fuchs
17:00—17:30 Coffee/Tea
17:30—18:30 Discussion


Enquiries to Guido Bacciagaluppi (Guido.Bacciagaluppi@univ-paris1.fr).


Last update: 10.06.08.


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