On 19 October, I will give the second part of this mini-series talk on the philosophy and physics of space and time at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UCSD. A PDF file of the talk can be found here.
The next revolution in the physics of spacetime involves quantum theories of spacetime, or “quantum gravity”. Amazingly, many approaches to quantum gravity suggest that space and time are not fundamental ingredients of the world. Instead, they “emerge” from deeper physics that does not rely on, or even permit, the (fundamental) existence of space and time. Surely, if true, this shatters our current conception of the universe and our place within it, along with many central philosophical ideas. I will try to convince you that this radical claim deserves to be taken seriously and urge that philosophers engage with this latest revolution in spacetime physics.