On the Existence of Space and Time – Antonio Vassallo

Dear All,

I would like to invite you to a meeting as part of Philosophical Tuesdays. Our guest will be Dr Antonio Vassallo (Warsaw University of Technology), who will deliver a lecture: “On the Existence of Space and Time”.  The remote meeting will take place on Thursday, June 25th via Zoom at 6 p.m. Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87589726508

Antonio Vassallo is a coordinator of the Philosophy of Physics Group at ICFO, FASS, WUT and PI of the project Self-Subsisting Structures in Quantum Gravity.
Chair: Dr. Mateusz Kotowski
Are space and time real? And, if yes, what are they? These metaphysical questions have enthralled philosophers for ages, but no definitive answers are in sight even today. In this talk, I will present one of the most heated debates in the philosophy of space and time, namely, that between substantivalists and relationalists. Substantivalism is the stance according to which space and time are full-fledged substances capable of existing on their own. Relationalism, on the other hand, maintains that what we call “space” and “time” is just a web of relations holding among material objects and, hence, the existence of space and time is parasitic upon the existence of matter. My main claim is that, if we want to shed light on this debate, we have to take seriously what physics tells us about the nature of space and time. For this reason, I will frame the debate in the context of the scientific development of physical theories of space and time, starting from classical mechanics, continuing with general relativity, and ending with some philosophical remarks on a -yet to come- theory of quantum gravity.


PS. To participate in the meeting, you need to register (sign in) for Zoom on this website: https://zoom.us/signin and install the Zoom application on your computer (this is the most convenient solution), which can be downloaded here: https://zoom.us/download#client_4meeting. During the meeting, please also disable other platforms for remote meetings (e.g. Skype, Teams, Meet, etc.) so there are no conflicts between them.
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