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Philosophy of Physics


This course offers an introduction to the philosophy of physics, which deals with methodological, epistemological, and metaphysical issues in physics. It consists of three parts offering a rich menu in philosophically deep questions arising in modern physics: space and time, quantum mechanics, and advanced topics of contemporary physics.

The first part on space and time deals with questions such as the topology, dimensions, and geometry of space, as well as the nature of space and time itself, and with the possibility of time travel. It also introduces spacetime, and its nature according to special and general relativity. The second part focuses on the vexing issues arising in quantum mechanics, such as the measurement problem and quantum non-locality, and includes a discussion of determinism and indeterminism in modern physics. The third---and shortest---part addresses more advanced topics such as fine-tuning and anthropic reasoning in cosmology or the disappearance of space and time in quantum gravity.

Accessibility and Prerequisites

This course will be self-contained and has no prerequisites. While some background in physics, mathematics, and philosophy will be helpful, I will not assume any specific knowledge beyond high school mathematics.



Wuethrich C.

Course director

Additional information

Academic year
Master of Arts in Philosophy, Core course, Core Course, 1st year