2nd International Summer School in Philosophy of Physics: Probabilities in Physics
21-26 July 2014
Idea and Motivation
Some of the most fundamental results from physics come in a probabilistic guise. For instance, quantum mechanics can only provide probabilities for the outcomes of measurements; various ensembles in statistical mechanics are characterized by their probability distributions, and many other models in physics are random in character. But why are probabilities so ubiquitous in physics? How can we interpret the probabilities from physical theories? Are they just some „descriptive fluff“ for conveniently representing certain patterns? Or are there ontic chances out there in the world? If so, can we think of them as dispositions or Popperian propensities? Are genuine chances compatible with determinism? And how do probabilities figure in the most prominent interpretations of quantum mechanics? These are some of the questions that we will discuss in this summer school, which addresses graduate students and postdocs from philosophy of physics and related fields.