Head of the group
Christian Wüthrich is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Geneva. Christian’s philosophical interests most prominently include foundational issues in physics, particularly in classical general relativity and quantum gravity. Of course, he also gets excited about the implications of philosophy of physics for general philosophy of science and metaphysics. More specifically, he enjoys thinking about issues such as space and time, persistence, laws of nature, determinism, and causation.
Joshua Babic is a PhD student supervised by Fabrice Correia. He is a board member of the Swiss Graduate Society for Logic and Philosophy of Science. His interests lie in logic, metaphysics and the philosophy of physics.
Claudio Calosi is an SNF Assistant Professor at the University of Geneva, Department of Philosophy. He is the leader of the SNF-funded project, Metaphysics of Quantum Objects, which will run for 5 years. He works mainly in Analytic Metaphysics and Philosophy of Physics. The core of his research—or so he would say—concerns the application of formal methods (e.g. mereology, topology, dependence, location) to broad philosophical issues such as identity, composition, dependence, and fundamentality. When he is not doing philosophy he is reading, or watching Roger Federer and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Claudio Calosi dresses in black.
Enrico Cinti is a PhD student at the University of Geneva (supervisor: Christian Wüthrich) and the University of Urbino (supervisor: Vincenzo Fano). He works mainly on the philosophy of physics, with a particular focus on quantum gravity and cosmology. In particular, his PhD project concerns the implications of the firewall paradox and its resolution within the ER=EPR conjecture for our metaphysical picture of the world, in particular with regards to entanglement and emergence. Outside of this, he enjoys thinking about broader topics in metaphysics and philosophy of science, such as space and time, laws, modality, scientific realism, and the relation between mathematics, physics and the world.
Lorenzo Cocco is a PhD student working on Field’s Program for General Relativity under the supervision of Chris Wüthrich (Geneva) and Vincent Lam (Bern).
Saakshi Dulani, is a Fulbright-Swiss Government Excellence Scholar at the University of Geneva. For her PhD dissertation, she aims to precisify the role of information in the foundations of physics, focusing on the Black Hole Information Paradox and the Holographic Principle. In May 2019, she graduated from Columbia University’s Philosophical Foundations of Physics master’s program. Her broader research interests include naturalized metaphysics, epistemology of quantum gravity, theory choice, and values in science.
Stefano Furlan, conducting his Ph.D. studies between the University of Geneva (supervisor: Christian Wüthrich) and the MPIWG in Berlin (co-supervisor: Alexander Blum; “Historical Epistemology of the Final Theory Program”). His dissertation work is mainly focused on the conceptual and historical roots of quantum gravity, with a special emphasis on J.A. Wheeler, his private notebooks and the “parallel” work on the nature of singularities made by Zeldovich and Novikov in the Soviet Union. More specific issues concern a critical analysis of non-empirical arguments in contemporary physics; the way analogies are treated in secondary literature and how this is intertwined with Wheeler’s visual style; how the latter, together with his notion of history, contributed to shape his Princeton school of general relativity and, thus, the way in which related problems were (and still are) faced; the path that, from general relativity and quantum mechanics, led Wheeler to his pioneering ideas about the foundational role of information and its philosophical repercussions.
Baptiste Le Bihan: Currently an Ambizione Fellow, he received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Rennes and a habilitation in philosophy of science from the University of Bern. He will start a Swiss NSF Starting Grant as an Assistant Professor in Geneva in 2023 to explore the role of causation in explaining the emergence of spacetime in certain approaches to quantum gravity. He previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Space and Time after Quantum Gravity project and was a research associate in the project “To and Fro: Scientific Metaphysics at Physics’s Frontiers” in Geneva. He is also interested in philosophy of mind and comparative philosophy. He is currently working on improving his crêpe-making skills.
Niels Linnemann is a collaborateur scientifique in the SNF project ‘Philosophy Beyond Standard Physics’. From 2020-2022, he taught and carried out research as a Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter at the University of Bremen. From September 2020 to February 2021, he was also a member of the New Directions in Philosophy of Cosmology research project at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy (London, Ontario).
Niels is not a stranger to the GSG: he obtained his PhD under supervision by Christian Wüthrich at the University of Geneva. In his dissertation, he inquired into the basic strategies and conceptual obstacles for formulating a theory of quantum gravity. Currently, Niels mainly works on theory construction, the epistemology of spacetime and the status of laws of nature.
Emilia Margoni is a PhD student in Logic, History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pisa/Firenze (supervisor: Elena Castellani) and at the University of Geneva (supervisor: Christian Wüthrich). She holds a BS and MS in physics, and an MA in philosophy. She is currently working on a doctoral project titled “Emergence and Fundamentality in Quantum Gravity: A Philosophical Investigation” that investigates Group Field Theory as an attempt at unification in physics as well as its metaphysical consequences. Her main interests lie at the intersection of theoretical physics and metaphysics, with a specific focus on the ontological status of spacetime within quantum gravity projects.
Ryan Miller is a philosophy PhD student at the University of Geneva on the Metaphysics of Quantum Objects project led by Claudio Calosi. He wrote a licentiate thesis at the Catholic University of America on the metaphysics of material constitution and a masters’ thesis at the University of Saint Andrews on the mereology of emergence. His PhD thesis Quantum Considerations in the Metaphysics of Levels explores the relationships among mereologies, theories of emergence, and interpretations of quantum mechanics.
Tannaz Najafi is a PhD fellow at the research Centre of Philosophy of Science of the University of Lisbon and at the University of Geneva. Under the joint supervisions of Christian Wüthrich (UNIGE), João Luís de Lemos e Silva Cordovil (CFCUL) and José Nunes Ramalho Croca (CFCUL), she is carrying out a research project focused on the concept of time in some fundamental theories of physics. Her main interests are in philosophy of physics, time, probabilities and logic. Occasionally, she also dedicates her time to the philosophy of migration.
Maria Nørgaard is a PhD student at the University of Geneva and a part of Claudio Calosi’s project The Metaphysics of Quantum Objects. She has a BSc and MA in physics with a minor in philosophy from the University of Aarhus. Her main research interests lie within analytical metaphysics and ontology, as well as philosophy of physics. In particular, she wants to explore the use of process ontology and trope theory in the ontological study of quantum mechanics.
Marta Pedroni Marta Pedroni is a PhD student at the University of Geneva, involved with the SNF project Philosophy Beyond Standard Physics directed by Christian Wüthrich. Before coming to Geneva, she obtained her MA in Philosophy at USI. Her main interests lie at the intersection of Metaphysics and Philosophy of Physics. Her PhD project focuses on the fate and role of spacetime singularities in theories of quantum gravity.
Timotheus Riedel is a philosophy PhD student at the University of Geneva and a member of both the Geneva Symmetry Group and the project The Metaphysics of Quantum Objects. He holds an MA in Philosophy from the University of Heidelberg and an MSt in Philosophy of Physics from Oxford University. In his PhD, he investigates into the coherence and intelligibility of Relational Quantum Mechanics, as well as the merits of perspectival approaches to quantum theory more broadly. Besides that, he is also interested in meta-ontology and analytic philosophy of language.
Charlotte E. Zito is a PhD student at the University of Geneva and works within the SNF project “Philosophy Beyond Standard Physics” under the supervision of Professor Christian Wüthrich. In her PhD she aims at understanding the quantum measurement problem in the context of early universe cosmology by taking into consideration different theories of quantum gravity. Before coming to Geneva she obtained her MA in Philosophy from Università della Svizzera Italiana (Lugano) and from Università degli Studi of Milan. Her main interests lie at the intersection between metaphysics and philosophy of physics.
Catalina Curceanu is Senior Researcher at Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati (LNF), INFN, Italy, where she is leading a group of researchers performing advanced experiments in quantum foundations and in nuclear physics. Catalina is the spokesperson of the VIP2 collaboration, which is testing the Pauli Exclusion Principle and quantum collapse models at the Gran Sasso underground laboratory, and of the SIDDHARTA-2 collaboration, measuring exotic kaonic atoms at the DAFNE Collider at LNF-INFN. She is author of more than 400 peer reviewed articles, coordinator of various European and International projects in nuclear and quantum physics, and won important awards and prizes, among which awards from the John Templeton Foundation and the Foundational Question Institutes (FQXi), and the Emmy Noether 2017 prize from the European Physical Society.
Lorenzo Lorenzetti is a PhD student in philosophy at the University of Bristol, working under the supervision of James Ladyman and Karim Thébault, and funded by the AHRC. He received a master’s degree in philosophy from the Università della Svizzera Italiana. His main research areas are the philosophy of physics and the metaphysics of science, with a particular focus on the philosophy of quantum mechanics. His research interests concern mainly topics such as functionalism, emergence, reduction and the physical meaning of the quantum wave function.
Former members (most recent members first)
Manus Visser is a postdoc at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in Cambridge.
David Schroeren is a postdoctoral fellow in philosophy on the project The Metaphysics of Quantum Objects at the University of Geneva with principal research interests at the intersection of philosophy of physics and metaphysics. His current work develops a fairly general metaphysical framework for modern physics that underwrites the vision that symmetries of the world are fundamental, whereas the material constituents of the world (such as particles and fields) are ontologically derivative of them.
Lucy James is a PhD student at the University of Bristol, supervised by James Ladyman and Karim Thébault. She is currently undertaking a pre-doctoral fellowship funded by the John Templeton Foundation at the University of Geneva, where she is supervised by Christian Wuthrich. She holds a BSc in mathematics from Brunel University and an MA in philosophy of mathematics from the University of Bristol. Her PhD thesis, ‘Has Metaphysics Done Its Time?’, investigates metaphysical questions about time and locality by studying contemporary physical theories. The thesis asks whether this methodology, inspired by naturalised metaphysics, might be too constraining when considering certain kinds of metaphysical problems. Her research interests are broad, tending to cluster around physics, applied mathematics, and metaphysics.
Alberto Corti was a PhD student in philosophy and metaphysics of science at the University of Urbino (supervisor: Vincenzo Fano) in co-tutorship with the University of Geneva (supervisor: Christian Wüthrich), working on his PhD project “the metaphysics of quantum indeterminacy” where he investigated the applicability of metaphysical indeterminacy accounts to quantum phenomena. Before, he obtained both his bachelor and master in philosophy at the State University of Milan and he spent six months at the master of arts in philosophy at the Università della Svizzera Italiana of Lugano. His main interests lies in metaphysics (in particular persistence through time and indeterminacy), philosophy of science (debate on scientific realism and foundations of quantum mechanics) and their combination i.e. metaphysics of physics/naturalized metaphysics
Salim Hirèche‘s main philosophical interests are in metaphysics – in particular, in questions at the intersection of metaphysics and the philosophy of science (laws of nature, natural necessity, causation, dispositions, explanation). After completing his PhD at the University of Geneva, he obtained a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) postdoc mobility grant to work on the modality of causation and grounding at the Universities of Oxford and Glasgow. He joined the Symmetry Group in September 2019, as part of the SNF-funded project “To and Fro: Scientific Metaphysics at Physics’s Frontiers”, led by Christian Wüthrich; his current research mainly concerns the existence of natural entities and its modal status, and relies on insights from both metaphysics and physical theories.
Rasmus Jaksland is a PhD fellow in philosophy at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He works on a project titled “The Prospects of Naturalized Metaphysics” where he investigate the role of physics in metaphysics, and attempt to assess to what degree metaphysics should be informed by and founded in physics. He is also engaged in research on foundational issues in high energy physics, particularly on the nature of spacetime in the light of the AdS/CFT correspondence and on the metaphysical implications holographic relation between entanglement and spacetime.
Karen Crowther – now associate professor in Philosophy at the University of Oslo – worked as a postdoc on the Swiss NSF-funded project “New Avenues Beyond Space and Time”, together with Niels Linnemann and Christian Wüthrich (PI). Before this, she was a postdoc at the University of Pittsburgh, and before that she received her PhD from the University of Sydney. Karen’s research has focused on inter-theory relations in physics—in particular, the nature of the relationships between quantum gravity and general relativity. Currently, Karen is interested in exploring the role of scientific principles in theory-change, and the principles of quantum gravity.
Vincent Lam – now SNF professor in Philosophy at the University of Bern – served as a scientific collaborator at the University of Geneva and a honorary research fellow at the University of Queensland. His research interests include the philosophy and foundations of physics, the epistemology and metaphysics of science.
Radin Dardashti (former doctoral fellow of the Geneva Symmetry group) is a junior professor at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal. Radin studied physics in Aachen and Queen Mary University of London and philosophy of science at the London School of Economics. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Ludwig-Maximillians Universität München with a dissertation on novel scientific methodologies in modern fundamental physics. He works mainly in philosophy of science (scientific methodology, theory development and assessment) and philosophy of physics (role of symmetries, no-go theorems, analogue gravity).
Juliusz Doboszewski (former doctoral fellow of the Geneva Symmetry group) currently is a postdoc in the Lichtenberg Group for History and Philosophy of Physics (University of Bonn) and an Affiliate at the Black Hole Initiative (Harvard University). Juliusz obtained his PhD from Jagiellonian University in Cracow; his research interests focus on spacetime singularities and global structure of spacetime.