Current Debates in Philosophy of Science (PHIL*4140)
Code and section: PHIL*4140*01
Term: Winter 2018
Instructor: Andrew Wayne
This course is crosslisted with PHIL*6720
This course surveys the development of our philosophical and scientific understanding of space and time from the ancient Greeks to the present day. We begin with Plato and Euclid. We then focus on the early modern debate about the reality of space in the work of Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Kant and Berkeley. We look at the revolutionary impact of relationalist (Mach), conventionalist (Poincaré) and relativistic (Einstein) accounts of space and time in the 19th and 20th centuries. We examine two major philosophical critiques of these accounts, one from logical positivism (Reichenbach) and one from phenomenology (Husserl).