The observer in cosmology, classical and quantum

22Sept2017 12:45 - 13:45


This talk will review, from a philosopher's perspective, how our being observers affects the scope and content of our knowledge especially in cosmology: both classical and quantum. I will proceed in three stages. First, I consider the topic without regard to physics, whether classical or quantum. Then I consider the situation in classical physics, and finally I consider quantum physics. Being a philosophical realist, I will be optimistic that we can get (or already do have!) objective knowledge. But I will emphasise open issues: especially about the nature of possibility and about the prospects for an Everettian interpretation of quantum theories.

Speaker: Jeremy Butterfield is a philosopher at the University of Cambridge, noted particularly for his work on philosophical aspects of quantum theory, relativity theory and classical mechanics. He is a Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College and Fellow of the British Academy.
Convenor: Dr. Sebastian de Haro

Common Room
Amsterdam University College
Science Park 113, 1098XG Amsterdam

Published by  Amsterdam University College