Feb 14, 2017
Visiting Speaker February 24 - Dr. Alyssa Ney
Dr. Alyssa Ney, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California - Davis, will be giving a talk in our department on February 24. Her talk, titled “Physics and Fundamentality,” will be held from 2-4pm in 175 McCain Hall. Her abstract is as follows:
What justifies the allocation of funding to research in physics when many would argue research in the life and social sciences may have more immediate impact in transforming our world for the better? Many of the justifications for such spending depend on the claim that physics enjoys a kind of special status vis-a-vis the other sciences, that physics or at least some branches of physics exhibit a form of fundamentality. The goal of this paper is to articulate a conception of fundamentality that can support such justifications. I argue that traditional conceptions of fundamentality in terms of dynamical or ontic completeness rest on mistaken assumptions about the nature and scope of physical explanations.
We hope to see you there!