History and Philosophy of Science
Eötvös University, Budapest
Philosophy of Science Colloquium
Room 6.54 (6th floor) Monday 4:00 PM

Pázmány P. sétány 1/A  Budapest Phone/Fax: (36-1) 372 2924 Location?


20 September  4:00 PM   6th floor 6.54   
Robert Bishop
 Philosophy, Probability, and Modeling Group
Center for Junior Research Fellows
University of Konstanz
Free will and physics
Is our will genuinely free and, if so, how are we to conceive of this freedom? These are clearly two of the most profound questions concerning our human condition. Developments in modern physics over the previous century have led many philosophers and physicists to speculate on the relevance of physics to questions concerning free will. Determinists such as J. J. C. Smart, Ted Honderich and Derk Pereboom have argued that quantum mechanics is either irrelevant to brain operations, consciousness and free will, or requires incredible coincidences in order to be involved in free will. Recent work by Henry Stapp, and Ilya Prigogine and collaborators, however, suggest a kind of interplay between determinism and indeterminism offering new avenues for research on how physics may be connected with consciousness and free will.

27 September  4:00 PM   6th floor 6.54   
  László E. Szabó
Theoretical Physics Research Group
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
Does principle of relativity hold in relativistic physics?
In classical mechanics, Galilean covariance and the principle of relativity are completely equivalent and hold for all possible dynamical processes. In contrast, in relativistic physics the situation is much more complex. It will be shown that Lorentz covariance and the principle of relativity are not completely equivalent. The reason is that the principle of relativity actually only holds for the equilibrium quantities that characterize the equilibrium state of dissipative systems. In the light of this fact it will be argued that Lorentz covariance should not be regarded as a fundamental symmetry of the laws of physics.

Related paper:
L. E. Szabó, On the meaning of Lorentz covariance, Foundations of Physics Letters (forthcoming) [preprint: PS, PDF]

Lecture slides: PDF
Comments & Discussion

The 60-minute lecture is followed by a 10-minute break. Then we hold a 30-60-minute discussion. The language of the presentation is indicated in the following way:
   English, except if all participants speak Hungarian
The participants may comment on the talks and are encouraged to initiate discussion through the Internet. The comments  should be written in the language of the presentation.

The organizer of the colloquium: László E. Szabó  (email: leszabo@hps.elte.hu)