Talk this week!

• Wednesday 24 May 2017 at Geneva – Samuel Fletcher (Minnesota): Reduction, emergence, and direct limits

Abstract: Most discussions of spacetime emergence and the “physical salience” of the structures employed in theories of quantum gravity have understood these terms informally. Applying some new formal definitions based on “similarity structure” on models of theories, I show how to make more precise the sense in which a physical continuum of events could be emergent, and to connect the discussion of physical salience with a precise definition of intertheoretic reduction. As a test example, I consider claims about the emergence of the continuum of relativistic spacetime from direct limits of causal set histories, showing how their justification, though presently incomplete, could be completed. Time permitting, I will comment on the relation between this approach and causal set theory’s hauptvermutung. In terms of technical difficulty, this talk rates 4/5 4

See above links for details.

Upcoming Talks: Ruetsche and Miller

We have two talks at UIC next week:

Wednesday 3 May 2017 11am – Laura Ruetsche (Michigan): Renormalization Group Realism: An Unduly Skeptical Review

Thursday 4 May 2017 at UIC 9am – Michael Miller (Pittsburgh): Three obstacles to the interpretation of quantum field theory

Abstracts are available above – as are details of the locations. We will livestream to Geneva, and hopefully to YouTube. Please join us!

2017 Essay Contest

We are pleased to announce our third essay contest, for papers from philosophers or physicists that address issues in the philosophical foundations of quantum gravity. Full details here: (and above). The winners will receive $1000, a visit to UIC or Geneva, and publication in the anthology that we are editing. Women and minorities are encouraged to submit – and we emphasize that the scope of the contest includes metaphysical investigations of the subject. Deadline: September 15th, 2017


We are pleased to announce that the first of our planned mini-courses is now available. BST 101: Introduction to Space and Time in Quantum Gravity. In this two lecture course a short non-technical introduction to research in quantum gravity is presented by Keizo Matsubara. It will be followed by more mini-courses at different levels, intended for students, and researchers with and without more technical backgrounds, wishing to learn more about the philosophy of quantum gravity, and its implications for metaphysics, epistemology, and foundations. More information about this element of our project can be found above, or at

2017 Speaker Series Starts!

Our first two talks of the year are coming up! Please join us.

• Wednesday 1 March 2017 at Geneva – Philipp Berghofer (Graz): Ontic structural realism and quantum field theory: are there intrinsic properties at the most fundamental level of Reality?

• Wednesday 8 March 2017 at Geneva – Fay Dowker (Imperial College London): Being and Becoming in Quantum Gravity (or The Birth of a Baby is not a Baby)

Details above or at: