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PhysPhil Conference 2012 : A Brief Look At The Big Picture

NB: The 2014 PhysPhil conference can be found here.


PhysPhil : The Physics & Philosophy Society

We were delighted to welcome over 120 people to PhysPhil's conference, which was also the first Philosophy of Physics conference to be held at St Andrews (see our flyer).

The day was divided into talks and discussions on the subject of space and time, the strange world of quantum mechanics, and the relationship between metaphysics and the physical sciences. Spanning the worlds of physics, philosophy, and philosophical theology, this turned out to be a very stimulating interdisciplinary conference. Prof Raymond Tallis, our leading chairman, described the event as

"a wonderful meeting - one of the most memorable and stimulating I have ever been to".

The Conference

The meeting, organised by William Simpson (chairman of PhysPhil), was held in St Andrews on Tuesday 11th September 2012. The lectures were given in Theatre A of the J.F. Allen Building (The Physics & Astronomy Department), North Haugh, St Andrews, KY16 9SS. Our speakers included Chris Hooley (St Andrews), Alastair Wilson, (Birmingham), Hans Halvorson, (Princeton), James Ladyman, (Bristol), and William Lane Craig (Biola).

  1. Introduction. (William Simpson)
  2. Introduction. (Raymond Tallis)
  3. Quantum Mechanics, Naturalism and Mind (Hans Halvorson)
  4. Quantum Mechanics and Causality (Chris Hooley)
  5. Quantum Mechanics and the Metaphysics of Many Worlds (Alastair Wilson)
  6. God, Time and Relativity (William Lane Craig)
  7. Metaphysics Naturalised (James Ladyman)
  8. Panel Discussion (All speakers)
You can also listen to a playlist on YouTube.

The conference organisers were William Simpson, Sahar Sahebdivan and Ryan Mullins. Other helpers included Paul Rimmer, Stephen Gamble, Kaley McCluskey and Syman Stevens (Oxford). We were delighted to welcome Raymond Tallis as our leading chairman. We were also joined by Simon Horsley (Exeter) and Andrew Pinsent (Oxford), who each chaired a talk.

We would like to thank The University of St Andrews and SUPA for their generous financial support.

Filming and photography by Stephen Gamble. Lights and sound arranged by Paul Rimmer.

About PhysPhil

In the summer of 2011, PhysPhil was founded for the purpose of bringing together a number of postgrads and postdocs with a shared interest in Physics and Philosophy for dialogue and discussion on a semi-regular basis. Our meetings take place in the Physics & Astronomy Building.

For the next PhysPhil conference in the series, see The Meaning of Matter and the Trouble with Time.