Talk: Vincent Lam

The Geneva Symmetry Group, Beyond Spacetime, and the Space and Time After Quantum Gravity Project are happy to present a talk by Vincent Lam (Geneva):

Wednesday, 20 December 2017, 18:15-19:45, exceptionally in Room L208 at 2, Rue De-Candolle:

Vincent Lam (Geneva): Perspectives from general relativity and quantum gravity on laws of nature and causation

Anyone who wishes to attend is welcome.

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Vincent Lam (Geneva): Perspectives from general relativity and quantum gravity on laws of nature and causation

Abstract: This talk aims to update and enrich the two main families of metaphysical conceptions—reductive and non-reductive ones—about laws of nature and causation with insights from fundamental spacetime and gravitational physics. One of the crucial implications of the dynamical nature of general relativistic spacetime is that the global spacetime topology can be non-trivial in a way that may be at odds with the temporal (and ‘production’) aspects of non-reductive accounts. We will discuss the status of the global topological constraints that may be imposed on the spacetime structure within the reductive and non-reductive conceptions about laws and causation. Furthermore, we will specifically discuss how the non-linear and elliptic (constrained) structure of general relativity raises difficulties in evaluating counterfactuals in the initial value formulation of the theory. We will conclude with considerations on how to generalize the standard conceptions about laws and causation to the quantum gravity context where spacetime may not be fundamental in some sense.

In terms of technical difficulty, this talk mostly rates 1/5 (with a few peaks)

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About wuthrich

I am a philosopher of physics at the University of Geneva.
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