Category Archives: Uncategorized

MPIWG: Two postdoc positions

Alex Blum is starting his own research group at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) and is looking to hire a philosophy of physics (or physics) postdoc and a history of physics postdoc. The duration of these fixed-term positions will be two years, with the possibility to be extended for another two years. For more information, please visit


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Visiting Fellowship to Geneva and Chicago

We invite interested scholars for short visits to the Spacetime After Quantum Gravity research group, located in the philosophy departments at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Geneva. To facilitate visits we can offer financial assistance for travel and lodging, office facilities, and of course excellent intellectual company. Visits can be from a few days to a few weeks (or possibly longer). Fellowship do not normally cover all expenses.

Details of the fellowship programme and how to apply can be found here.

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Filed under Beyond Spacetime, Funding opportunities, Uncategorized, wuthrich

RIP: Robert S Cohen (1923-2017)

As many readers may already know, Bob Cohen has sadly passed away earlier this week. Alisa Bokulich, the current director of the Boston Center for Philosophy and History of Science, an eminent center in the field co-founded by Cohen, has sent me the following link to their memorial page for him which has an obituary, photos, and remembrances:

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Cosmology and the Future of Spacetime

The Rotman Institute of Philosophy is hosting a conference on Cosmology and the Future of Spacetime on June 12-14, 2017, in London, Ontario.  All are welcome to attend, but we ask those interested in joining us to register for planning purposes. The conference is held in conjunction with the LMP conference, on June 15-16th.  Below the fold is a more detailed description of the conference theme.

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CFP: Super-PAC, Pittsburgh

The Center for Philosophy of Science at Pittsburgh is hosting an early career workshop in philosophy of astrophysics and cosmology, Oct. 28-29, 2017.

Philosophy of astrophysics and philosophy of cosmology are still emerging fields within philosophy of physics and general philosophy of science. The overall aim of this workshop is to bring together philosophers and researchers in the physical sciences to collectively explore epistemological and methodological issues in philosophy of astrophysics and cosmology with particular attention to the contributions of observational and experimental evidence in these fields. Some of the topics with which we aim to engage include: the validity of simulation assumptions, use of models and theories in data processing, considerations invoked when integrating different theoretical and/or methodological resources in one application, potential strategies for constraining theory, and principled constraints on what we can know.

Keynote speakers:  Wendy Freedman (Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago), and Michela Massimi (School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh)

Abstracts of 500 words should be submitted by June 30, see the CFP for further details.

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Urbino Summer School in Philosophy of Physics

The XXth iteration of the Urbino Summer School will focus on spacetime and quantum physics (website), held on July 10-13, 2017.  The summer school will feature morning lectures given by Christian Wüthrich (University of Geneva) and Francesca Vidotto (Radboud University); and afternoon seminars given by Carlo Rovelli (CPT, Aix-Marseille Université, Université de Toulon, CNRS), F.A. Muller (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Tiziana Vistarini (University of Colorado Boulder). (h/t to Giovanni Macchia)

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Methodology and Epistemology in Cosmology Conference (UC Irvine: Feb. 10-12, 2017)

The twenty first century has, thus far, been a period of rapid progress in cosmology. And yet this very success has begun to expose the limits of current methods and forced cosmologists to explore new ways of learning about the universe and its history. At this conference, we will explore three related areas where methodological innovation has been called for, and where it has already begun. One theme will concern the epistemology of inflation. Does inflationary cosmology inexorably lead us to postulate a multiverse where anything that can happen does happen? And if so, what does it mean to test a theory that is compatible with anything we might observe? Or can we treat inflation as a more conventional theory, with unambiguous observational signatures? A second theme will concern dark matter and dark energy. We have inferred the existence of these entities by comparing observational evidence with models of general relativity. But one might just as well infer, from the behavior of the visible matter in the universe, that general relativity breaks down at cosmological (or even galactic) length scales. What are the prospects for alternatives to general relativity at cosmological scales? How might cosmology be used to test general relativity? The final theme will concern the role of simulation in our understanding of the history of the actual universe. Can simulations be used to test theories of the early universe? Do they provide an independent source of information about cosmology, or are they an intermediary between theory and observation?

See the conference webpage for further details.

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