Philosophy of Physics


The Project will concentrate on the interpretations that have been offered of quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, and string theory. There are various interpretations which have been offered that state or entail alternative metaphysical accounts. With the benefit of Professor Steane’s expertise, the Project shall investigate such theories as the Copenhagen interpretation, the Modal Quantum Mechanics, the Instrumentalist interpretations, and the Relational interpretation. Furthermore, the particle-interpretation of Quantum Field Theory and the field interpretation will be studied for their advantages and shortcomings, as well as philosophical interpretations of String Theory. The Project will examine the type of questions asked, and the answers sand arguments given, criticisms and advantages, to identify the metaphysical assumptions made by each interpretation in approaching the quantum system problems; to assess each interpretation’s metaphysical soundness and its rationality or comprehensibility; and to trace its theoretical commitments to discovered possible weaknesses. This will create an ‘ontological map’ of these phenomena, but also a ‘diagnosis of incomprehension’ for the various interpretations.