Ontology of fundamental physics

ONTOLOGY OF FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICS

Workshop in
Philosophy of Physics

Instituto de Filosofía y Ciencias de la Complejidad (IFICC), Santiago, Chile
December 9, 2015

IDEA AND MOTIVATION

Fundamental physics aims to account for the behavior of nature. Yet, notwithstanding the empirical success of our best physical theories, there remain outstanding philosophical questions about their own foundations. In particular, the jury is still out concerning what are the basic constituents of matter. For instance, there is an ongoing debate about the ontology of Quantum Field Theory, in that it lends itself to either a particle or a field interpretation. Moreover, philosophers of physics disagree on what sort of realism, if any, one should adopt when trying to understand what physics tells us about the world. This workshops explores a number of open problems about the ontology of some of our most successful physical theories.