Metaphysical Explanation in Physics Conference – May 15-17, 2023

The FraMEPhys project will host its final conference, on Metaphysical Explanation in Physics, on May 15-17 2023 at the Midlands Arts Centre, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham.

All are welcome. Please register at this link (speakers do not need to register). For queries, please contact


Alison Fernandes (Trinity College, Dublin)

Joaquim Giannotti (University of Chile) & Markel Kortabarria (University of Barcelona)

Michael Townsen Hicks (University of Birmingham)

Caspar Jacobs (University of Oxford)

Lina Jansson (University of Nottingham)

Eleanor Knox (King’s College London)

Zee Perry (University of Birmingham)

Katie Robertson (University of Birmingham)

Isaac Wilhelm (National University of Singapore)

Alastair Wilson (University of Birmingham & Monash University)

Jo Wolff (University of Edinburgh)


Monday 15th May – MAC English Studio

13.00-13.20 Tea/coffee available

13.20-13.30 Alastair Wilson – Welcome & Project Summary

13:30-14:30 Eleanor Knox – Functionalism in Physics

14.30-15.30 Katie Robertson – Discovering Simplicity: The Past Hypothesis and the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics

15:30-16:00 Tea/coffee break

16.00-17.00 Isaac Wilhelm – Wavefunction Mereology

17.00 Close

Tuesday 16th May – MAC Randle Studio

09:00-10:00 Tea/coffee & pastries available

10.00-11.00 Joaquim Giannotti & Markel Kortabarria – Scientific Explanation as a Guide to Ground

11:00-12:00 Jo Wolff – Intrinsic Explanations?

12.00-13.30 Lunch

13:30-14.30 Caspar Jacobs – Can spacetime structure explain the Triangle Inequality?

14:30-15:30 Zee Perry – Can Dynamics Explain the Quantitative? Prospects for a Nomological Theory of Quantity

15.30-16.00 Tea/coffee Break

16.00-17.00 Lina Jansson – Empirical Evidence of Lawhood for Everyone

17.00 Close

Wednesday 17th May – MAC Performance Studio

09:00-10:00 Tea/coffee & pastries available

10.00-11.00 Michael Townsen Hicks – Laws Unconstrained

11.00-12.00 Alison Fernandes – Explaining Temporal Asymmetries

12.00-13.00 Lunch

13:00-14.00 Alastair Wilson – Priority, Emergence and Structural Realism

14.00-15:00 Round table discussion

15.00-17.00 Drinks (MAC bar)

17.00 Close