The Metaphysics of Black Holes

September 12, 2022
Department of Philosophy, University of Birmingham

Birmingham B15 2TT
United Kingdom

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


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University of Melbourne
University of Birmingham
University of Geneva
University of Birmingham
University of Leeds


University of Birmingham

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The FraMEPhys project will host a workshop on The Metaphysics of Black Holes on Monday 12 September 2022, at the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus.

If you have any queries about this event, please email [email protected].


Sam Baron (Australian Catholic University)

Baptiste Le Bihan (University of Geneva)

Nikk Effingham (University of Birmingham)

Katie Robertson (University of Birmingham)

Alastair Wilson (University of Birmingham)


Location TBC (campus map)
University of Birmingham
Pritchatt’s Road
Birmingham B15 2TT


Monday 12 September

09.45-10.45: Baptiste Le Bihan
“Prolegomena to a metaphysics of black holes”

11.00 -12.00: Katie Robertson
“Black Hole Thermodynamics: A Crisis of Identity”

13.15 -14.15: Nikk Effingham
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotlight Kind”

14.30 -15.30: Alastair Wilson
“The Time-Travelling Interventionist”

16.00 -17.00: Sam Baron & Baptiste Le Bihan
“Trouble on the Horizon for Presentism”


Katie Robertson (University of Birmingham)
“Black Hole Thermodynamics: A Crisis of Identity”
Do black holes expand for the same reason that cups of tea cool down? There is a striking similarity between the laws of black hole mechanics and the laws of thermodynamics; so striking, that some have gone as far as — indeed the orthodoxy in theoretical physics is — to say it is an identity. But others point out differences between the quantities associated to black holes and the quantities of ordinary thermal systems, like cups of tea and boxes of gas. How can we say black hole entropy is thermodynamic entropy when there are these differences? In this paper, I show to what extent the increasingly popular tool of functionalism can be used to understand the claim that SBH is STD.

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September 12, 2022, 9:45am BST

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