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HPS 0410 Einstein for Everyone

Somehow what Einstein did seems to have changed everything. Or at least that is the impression you get in almost every field of thought that looks at things at a really fundamental level. But how is someone who doesn't know much physics to figure out if this or that moral really is vindicated by Einstein's work? This course covers just enough of Einstein's work at an elementary level to help answer.
Taught frequently; most recently, Spring Term 2013.
capstone HPS 1702/1703 Junior Senior Seminar for HPS Majors and Writing Workshop

This upper level undergraduate seminar is a "capstone" seminar for HPS undergraduate majors intended to give them experience at synthesizing history of science with philosophy of science. It combines a survey of the philosophy of science literature on induction and confirmation with case studies in history of science
Taught Spring Term 2013-2014
Taught Spring Term 2004-2005.

Graduate

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galaxy HPS 2626/Phil 2626
Topics in Recent Philosophy of Physics


This seminar covers recent topics in philosophy of physics, drawing on suitable issues in quantum, relativistic and statistical physics, according to the interests of the participants.
Taught Fall Term 2013-2014
matrix image HPS 2523 History of Quantum Mechanics

This seminar traces the emergence in the mid 1920s of the "new quantum theory" from the "old quantum theory" that preceded it.
Taught Fall Term 2012-2013
cartoonized clock HPS 2501/Philosophy 2600 Philosophy of Science

This seminar is our graduate program's "core" introductory, seminar in philosophy of science for graduate students entering the department's graduate program and for graduate students in the Department of Philosophy.
Taught Fall Term 2011-2012
Taught Fall Term 2009-2010
Taught Fall Term 2006-2007.
die with words HPS 2682       Theories of Confirmation
Phil 2690


Science is distinguished from other investigations of nature in that the claims of mature sciences are strongly supported by empirical evidence. Theories of confirmation provide accounts of this relation of inductive support. We shall review the range of theories of confirmation, including formal and less formal approaches. The review will be critical; none of them is entirely successful. The theories will be tested against significant cases of the use of evidence in science.
Taught Fall terrm 2010-2011
clock HPS 2675       Philosophy of Space and Time
Phil 2660

Co-taught with John Earman

This seminar is concentrated on problems of time. Topics are drawn from the philosophy literature: tensed vs. tenseless theories of time, presentism vs. eternalism, McTaggart’s argument for the unreality of time; and from the philosophy of science literature:. the problem of the direction of time, the relations amongst the so-called ‘arrows of time’). We try to bring the two literatures into fruitful interaction.

Taught Spring term 2008-2009
hotel GSSPP08 - Geneva Summer School in the Philosophy of Physics 2008

This summer school is offered to doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars in philosophy of physics and is based loosely on the topic "What is the Nature of Space and Time?" My lectures cover causation in physics, determinism in classical physics and Einstein's method in his discovery of general relativity.

Summer 2008
Conformal diagram HPS 2534 General Relativity and Gravitation Fall 2007

Co-taught with John Earman

This seminar will survey historical and foundational issues in classical general relativity theory. Depending on seminar interest, we will look at Einstein's discovery of genreal relativity; the causal structure of spacetime; the initial value problem; the "hole argument", and the status of general covariance; and spacetime singularities.In general relativistic cosmology, we may look at the discovery of modern, relativistic cosmology; the "horizon problem" and the genesis of inflationary cosmology; accelerating expansion and "dark energy"; and the multiverse and anthropic selection.

Taught Fall Term 2007-2008
HPS 2626 Recent Topics in Philosopohy of Physics

This graduate seminar is devoted to reading recent topics in philosophy of physics. The choice of topics was determined by an in-seminar ballot.
Taught Fall Term 2004-2005.
HPS 2509 Einstein 1905

This graduate seminar is devoted to studying the work of Einstein's annus mirabilis, 1905. It was the year in which he published his investigations on the reality of atoms (Doctoral dissertation, Brownian motion); his papers on special relativity and E=mc2; and his light quantum paper.
Taught Spring term 2003-2004.

Guest Teaching

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Phil 2677 Foundations of Quantum Field Theory
Instructor: Giovanni Valente
Spring Term, Wednesday March 20, 2013.