Interdisciplinary lecture series on the foundations of physics: Scientific Realism

with lectures from Prof. Martin Kusch and Prof. Friedrich Stadler, organized by the Naturwissenschaftscafé.

Each Thursday

from 4:00pm–7:00pm

Boltzmann-Hörsaal (Faculty of Physics, Boltzmanngasse 5, ground floor)

Whether there exists a reality to be described by science is one of the oldest questions in philosophy of science. Are theoretical entities merely useful predictive tools or a faithful description of an outside real world?

Crucial fundamental issues in quantum theory, such as the ontological status of the wave function and of the properties of particles are still heatedly debated. N. David Mermin points out that disagreement about the meaning of quantum theory is stronger than ever - new interpretations appear every day, but none of them ever disappear. Following Adan Cabello’s proposal to rank interpretations according to their “level of reality”, we have invited some of the most prominent representatives of different interpretations to reconsider the foundations of Scientific Realism.

Despite the clear importance of the concept of realism in the studies of natural sciences, fundamental issues of such kind are rarely treated in as much detail as they would deserve. This lecture series was thus thought and organized by a group of students of the University of Vienna from different scientific fields, who aim at contributing to a sensitization towards the significance of philosophical and fundamental investigation in science.

08.03. A Philosophical Introduction to Scientific Realism - Martin Kusch, University of Vienna
22.03. The de Broglie-Bohm Pilot-Wave-Theory - Antony Valentini, Clemson University (USA)
12.04. The Many-Observer Problem of Quantum Mechanics - Amanda Gefter, MIT (USA)
19.04. The Epistemic View of Quantum States - Robert Spekkens, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (CA)
03.05. Information-based Realism - Anton Zeilinger, University of Vienna
17.05. QBism, or Quantum Bettabilitarianism - Christopher Fuchs, University of Massachusetts Boston (USA)
07.06. Relational Quantum Mechanics - Carlo Rovelli, Aix-Marseille Université (F)
14.06. Scientific Realism within Logical Empiricism - Friedrich Stadler, University of Vienna
21.06. Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics - Ruth Kastner, University of Maryland (USA)

⇒ Eventposter