Foundations of Philosophy of Science: Time and Space
- 2011-04-12 - 2011-05-20
- Tue. & Thu. 16-18h
- Aula 206, Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB.
Understanding the nature of time and space, and their relations to our experiences and our consciousness, is one of the main goals of science, as well as metaphysics. This course will cover many traditional views and arguments about the natures of space and time, from the classical setting (Newton, Leibniz, Kant), as well as 20th century debates, often based on interpretations of Einstein’s relativity theories.
Does time come divided into past, present and future? Is the future "open" in some way in which the past is not? Does time "flow", or is the passage of time an artifact of conscious experience? Is time asymmetric (in some sense to be clarified)? Is space a real thing (substance) partly or wholly independent of material things (and/or independent of conscious experience)? To what extent is motion "relative", and what implications does this relativity have for the status of space? We will address all these questions in a careful and philosophical way. Physics, both classical and 20th-century, will be drawn on where necessary, but no technical background is necessary to follow the readings or the arguments we will look at.
This course will be evaluated on the basis of class attendance & participation (50%) and on the basis of written work that may include short-essay homework assignments and/or a final paper.