Causation and the Physical World

June 17, 2016 - June 18, 2016
Universität zu Köln/University of Cologne

Alter Sentassaal
Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne 50923
Germany

Sponsor(s):

  • DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)

Main speakers:

Thomas Blanchard
Illinois Wesleyan University
Alison Fernandes
Columbia University
Mathias Frisch
University of Maryland, College Park
Andreas Hüttemann
University of Cologne
Jenann Ismael
University of Arizona
Huw Price
Cambridge University
Brad Weslake
NYU Shanghai

Organisers:

Christian Loew
University of Cologne

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Aims and Scope

The place of causation in the physical world is hotly debated. We think of causation as a time-asymmetric dependence relation between relatively localized events. But many of our best physical theories describe the world in terms of dynamical laws that are (perhaps with minor exceptions) time-symmetric and relate very global events. A central problem in the metaphysics of causation, therefore, is how to reconcile the importance of causation for everyday life and the special sciences with how our best physics describes the world.

This workshop aims to clarify the nature of causation and its relation to fundamental physics: How are causes connected to their effects? Is causation an objective feature of reality? What accounts for its time-asymmetry? Can causation be grounded in fundamental physics (perhaps with the help of lawful constraints on the boundary conditions)? And how does causation relate to agency, explanation, counterfactuals, and the direction of time?

Registration

All participants are welcome, but please send a short email to cloew@uni-koeln.de by June 1st to let us know you are coming.

Travel Grants

We will be able to offer a restricted number of travel grants (up to 250 Euros each). PhD students and advanced M.A. students are encouraged to apply for these grants by submitting a short letter of motivation (200 words) and a short CV. Please send the applications to cloew@uni-koeln.de.

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Registration

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June 1, 2016, 11:45pm CET

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