Modality in Physics. Kraków, June 11-13, 2018 

Description: The conference is devoted to clarify the question as to what role modality plays in theories of physics. Has our physical world an irreducible modal aspect? Are there modal properties, entities or other conceptual tools which are indispensable in understanding physical theories? If these elements are dispensable, does adding modality help to interpret these theories? If so, what kind of modal components constitute the conceptual bases of the different physical theories? Specifically, the conference intends to investigate the following questions:

  • Do we need modally-rich analyses of laws of nature?
  • If so, how to construct them? Is there any general reason to introduce modality in a physical theory?
  • Does modality play a role in classical physics?
  • Does statistical physics require modal notions?
  • Do we need modal conceptual tools to understand spacetime theories? Do quantum theories bring in any modal element?
  • What are the sources of modality in physics? (e.g. symmetries, indeterminism, initial value problem)

Date:  June 11-13, 2018 

Venue:  Faculty of Philosophy, Jagiellonian University, Grodzka 52, Kraków, Poland

Invited speakers:

  • Guido Bacciagaluppi (Utrecht University)
  • Andreas Bartels (University of Bonn)
  • Mauro Dorato (University of Rome 3)
  • László E. Szabó (Eötvös University, Budapest)
  • Samuel C. Fletcher (University of Minnesota)
  • Balázs Gyenis (Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest)
  • Barry Loewer (Rutgers University)
  • Tim Maudlin (New York University)
  • Thomas Müller (University of Konstanz)
  • Stephen Mumford (Durham University)
  • Oliver Pooley (University of Oxford)


  • Tomasz Placek (Jagiellonian University, Kraków)
  • Gábor Hofer-Szabó (Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest)
  • Joanna Luc (Jagiellonian University, Kraków)



9-9.30:  coffee, cakes, other goodies

9.30-9.45:  Opening: Michał Heller (Copernicus Center), Jerzy Gołosz (Chair, Philosophy, JU)

9.45-10.45:  Tim Maudlin (New York) – A Modal Free Lunch

10.45-10.50:  short break

10.50-11.50:  Barry Loewer (Rutgers) – Best systems Accounts of Scientific Modalities and Properties

11.50-12.05:  long break

12.05-13.05:  Balázs Gyenis (Budapest) – Towards new notion(s) of physical possibility

13.05-14.45:  lunch

14.45 -15.45:  Gábor Hofer-Szabó (Budapest) – Noncommuting common causes and modality

15.45-15.50:  short break

15.50 – 16.35:  Márton Gömöri (Budapest) – On the Role of Statistical versus Single-Case Dependencies in Einstein’s Incompleteness Arguments

16.35 -16.50:  long break

16.50 – 17.35:  Aldo Filomeno (Prague) – Statistical necessity without a guiding dynamics

17.35 -17.40:  short break

17.40 – 18.40:  Michael Stöltzner (South Carolina) – Possible worlds and random walks. The principle of least action as a thought experiment


9.30 – 10.30:  Guido Bacciagaluppi (Utrecht) – Causation as Emergent Phenomenon: A case study

10.30-10.35:  short break

10.35 – 11.35:  Stephen Mumford (Durham) – Causation in Quantum Mechanics (with Fredrik Andersen and Rani Lill Anjum)

11.35 – 11.50:  long break

11.50 – 12.35:  Marek Woszczek (Poznań) – Quantum Contextuality and the Time Symmetric Causal Powers

12.35 – 14.15:  lunch

14.15-15.15:  Mauro Dorato (Rome) – The early modern origin of the modal conception of the laws of nature

15.15-15.20:  short break

15.20 – 16.20:  Andreas Bartels (Bonn) – Explaining the Modal Force of Natural Laws

16.20 – 16.35:  long break

16.35 – 17.35:  Samuel Fletcher (Minnesota) – Counterfactual Reasoning within Physical Theories

17.35 – 17.40:  short break

17.40 – 18.40:  László E. Szabó (Budapest) – Intrinsic, extrinsic, and the constitutive a priori


9.30 – 10.15:  James Read (Oxford) – Explanation, geometry, and conspiracy in relativity theory

10.15 – 10.20:  short break

10.20 – 11.20:  Oliver Pooley (Oxford)  – Modality and the Hole Argument

11.20 – 11.35:  long break

11.35 –  12.20:  Tomasz Bigaj (Warsaw) – What kind of de remodality does the spacetime substantivalist need?

12.20 -12.25: short break

12.25 – 13.25:  Thomas Müller (Konstanz) – Anchoring the present in space-like modal correlations

13.25 – 15.15:  lunch

15.15 – 16.15:  Joanna Luc (Kraków) – Generalized manifolds as basic objects of General Relativity

16.15 -16.20:  short break

16.20 – 17.20:  Tomasz Placek (Kraków) – Models for Modal Indeterminism

Book of abstracts:  here

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Zapraszam na

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres email nie zostanie opublikowany. Pola, których wypełnienie jest wymagane, są oznaczone symbolem *

Witryna wykorzystuje Akismet, aby ograniczyć spam. Dowiedz się więcej jak przetwarzane są dane komentarzy.