BSPS 2020 Virtual Edition

The FraMEPhys team were due to present a symposium on Dependence in Physics at the (alas) cancelled 2020 Annual Conference of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science in Kent. The good news is that the BSPS conference has gone online in abstract form, and can be accessed here: BSPS 2020 Conference Padlet.

Here’s the abstract of the FraMEPhys symposium:

This symposium explores the general notion of dependence as it applies within physics, and contrasts various different relations of dependence which seem to be needed to understand the practice and content of physics. In particular, the symposium talks focus on the dependence relations of reduction (both ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ varieties), grounding and causation. Reduction and grounding are typically conceived as (in different ways) relating multiple levels of physical reality, while causation is supposed to relate events at a single level. However, every case of reduction is highly contested, there are well-known difficulties in making sense of causation in fundamental physics, and grounding presents problems closely analogous to those of causation which have as yet received little attention. The aim of this symposium is to classify these different notions of dependence, explore their similarities and differences, and to explore their application to physical contexts including: planetary motion, symmetries and conservation laws, and the relationship between statistical mechanics and thermodynamics.

For abstracts of the individual talks in the symposium, and on dozens of other interesting topics, see the full padlet.

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