The main issues in current philosophy of space and time and their implications for current debates on scientific realism, objects and objectivity, and struturalist approaches in science. The last part of the course will be devoted to an interdisciplinary seminar on the meaning and role of symmetries in science.
B. Dainton, Time and Space (Acumen: Chesham, UK, 2010); K. Brading-E. Castellani (eds.),Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections, CUP 2003; and texts indicated during the course (available on the moodle page of the course).
Knowledge: the course aims at introducing the students to some of the main advanced topics in current debates in the philosophy of science.
Competence: students will develop the ability to address the main questions and the principal texts treated in the course. They will sharpen their capacities of analysis and interpretation by comparing different scientific and historical contexts.
Skills: successful students will become familiar with advanced current debates in the philosophical reflection on science, as well as with the technical resources necessary for a deeper understanding of the subjects studied.
Lectures and seminars.
For last-minute informations (changes of schedule, and so on), see the homepage:
Type of Assessment
Oral examination on the main topics discussed in the course and a paper on an approved topic.
Main philosophical issues concerning the nature of space and time: 1) (space and time) the absolute vs relative and substantialism vs relationalism debates on the nature of space and time; space-time theories and the nature of motion; space-time symmetries (in particular: Galilean relativity and special relativity) and their philosophical implications; 2) (time) dynamic/static and tensed/tenseless theories of time; the metaphysics of time; time and change; the arrow of time; time travels. The implications of such issue for the current debate on scientfic realism, objects and objectivity, with a focus on structural approaches. The last part is devoted to a seminar series on the mesning and role of symmetries in science. Some attention will be devoted also to the role of symmetries in other contexts (in particular, in art).