HPS 2626
Phil 2626
Topics in Recent Philosophy of Physics Fall 2013

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John D. Norton, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Room 817L CL, 412 624 1051, jdnorton@pitt.edu


Room G28 CL


Thursday 9:30am-12:00 noon

Your Part

Discovery Exercise

You will seek out some philosophically unexplored or underexplored discovery in physics or episode in history of physics. In week 8 (October 17) the seminar meeting will consist of presentations by all seminar participants of the results of their discovery exercises.

Term paper

To be submitted on Friday December 13 in hard copy by noon in 1017CL; or e-versions in email to me by 5pm.

My policy is NOT to issue incomplete grades, excepting in extraordinary circumstances. I really do want your papers completed and submitted by the end of term. I do not want them to linger on like an overdue dental checkup, filling your lives with unnecessary worry and guilt.

In return for the rigidity of the deadline, the seminar will not meet in the final week of term (Thusday December 12) to give you extra time to complete the paper.

The paper may be on any subject of relevance to the seminar. You may want to (but need not) write a term paper on the topic of our discovery exercise.

To assist you in commencing work, I ask you submit a paper proposal by Thursday November 14 in email to me. The proposal need only be brief. It should contain a paragraph describing the topic to be investigated and give a brief indication of the sources you intend to use. Do talk to me about possible topics in advance!

Take your turn presenting material

The seminar will be structured around presentations by seminar members, including me. They are based on weekly readings drawn from the topics and reading list.

In presenting a reading, you should presume that the seminar has read the text. You should spend a short amount of time reviewing the principal ideas of the reading. This is not intended to replace the seminar's reading of the text, but merely to identify what you have found of importance and interest in the text. Your goal is establish a common understanding of the text's content upon which subsequent discussion is based.

Warm Up Exercises

Each week, at least in the initial weeks of term, I will set some warm up exercises, intended to ease you into the technical material of the readings. They are to be submitted to me in advance of the relevant class meeting, either on paper when the seminar starts or in advance by email.

Attendance and participation

... is expected. I look forward to seeing and hearing you each week in the seminar.