The Theory of Every Thing: Toward a Symmetry-Based Metaphysics of Matter
By David Schroeren (Princeton, Philosophy)
Date: Tuesday 11th February, 2020
Abstract: We are used to thinking that physics describes the world as fundamentally composed of matter: the fundamental building blocks of the world, like elementary particles or quantum fields. But when we look at modern physics and the pronouncements of its practitioners, we find forceful rejections of this familiar picture. We are told that what is fundamental are symmetries (such as Leibniz shifts), whereas matter is ontologically secondary and derivative on them. In this talk, I outline a metaphysics that underwrites this intriguing vision of fundamental reality and detail its implications for a range of issues in metaphysics, including monism, physical necessity, anti-haecceitism, the metaphysics of properties, as well as the metaphysics of space-time.
About the speaker: David Schroeren, PhD candidate in Philosophy at Princeton. Prior training in philosophy at Oxford, in mathematics at Cambridge, and in physics at Potsdam University. His principal research interests are in Philosophy of Physics, Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Science. He also has interests in nearby areas of philosophy, as well as in the Philosophy of Kant, Political Philosophy and Intergenerational Ethics.