Philosophy of Physics Graduate Programs

This wiki provides an unranked list of Ph.D. programs that have strengths in philosophy of physics. The primary intended audience is anyone interested in the field, especially prospective and current graduate students who want to get the lay of the land by seeing who works where and on what.

This site, which is modeled on Shawn A. Miller's PhilBio.net, is a fork of Christian Wüthrich's Philosophers of Physics website at Taking up Spacetime, the content of which—a listing of nearly 250 philosophers of physics— he has generously given permission to republish. The content on these pages is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. All subsequent uses of this material must give explicit attribution to Christian Wüthrich.

Note to Prospective Graduate StudentsEdit

The purpose of this wiki is to aid your search for philosophy of physics graduate programs that suit your tastes. It does so in two ways:

  • By listing as many philosophy of physics graduate programs as possible.
  • By making research into those programs more efficient and convenient by identifying the relevant philosophy of physics faculty and providing easy access to their bios, research interests, CVs, partial publication lists, etc.

However, while this site may be where your research into programs starts, it decidedly should not be where it ends. You need to dig around and do your due diligence—e.g., contact people within the programs[1]—in order to put yourself in the best possible position to make an informed decision about where to apply. The American Philosophical Association, for instance, provides a useful Guide to Graduate Programs that is worth consulting. Good luck!

Standards, Practices, and GuidelinesEdit

  1. The criterion for program inclusion is that a philosophy (or interdisciplinary) Ph.D. program have at least one full-time permanent faculty member with a research interest in philosophy of physics. Programs do not have to be in English-speaking departments.
  2. The standard of evidence required to make the list is an indication that philosophy of physics is a primary research interest, as demonstrated, for example, by recent publications or presentations. The evidence can, e.g., be on a university or personal website, on a publicly available CV, or a research database.
  3. Philosophers who have made contributions to philosophy of physics but who do not list it as a current research interest are usually not listed. That said, erring on the side of being inclusive is generally a good policy since prospective students can peruse bios, CVs, and publication lists to help determine whether they think a given faculty member would be potentially helpful for their research interests.[2]
  4. Try to be specific when listing specialties and please keep them related to the philosophy of physics.
  5. Please list part-time and (if active) emeritus faculty with the affiliate faculty on the department-specific pages or at least indicate their status in parentheses on front-page entry.

How to ContributeEdit

This is a wiki, so anyone can contribute. No account is needed—though you are encouraged to create one—and all changes can be rolled back, so edit with a free hand.

Making EditsEdit

You can make edits in one of two ways: by clicking 'Edit', which enables WYSIWYG (or visual) editing, ala a wordprocessor. Alternately, you can click 'Edit source', which allows you to edit the wiki markup in plaintext (as shown below). Use whichever method you prefer. It takes a little longer to open the editing window in visual mode because the server has to translate wiki markup to html on the fly. So be patient. If things are too sluggish, you can switch over to 'Edit source'.

EditScreenMarkupCrop.png

Wiki formatting/markup is very straightforward, and all you need to do is mimic the current entries since formatting is standardized. You can experiment with editing over in the Sandbox, if you are feeling trepidatious.

Adding and SubtractingEdit

If programs or faculty have been overlooked—which is assuredly the case—you are encouraged to add them, even if you are not a member of that department. If programs or faculty are listed that should not be—by the lights of the Standards, Practices, and Guidelines section—you are encouraged to remove them and to indicate why you have done so in the editing summary box. Information will date rapidly, so by all means help keep things accurate and up to date.

This site does not pretend to provide an exhaustive list of philosophy of physics graduate programs, though that is the goal. Contributing will help to achieve that goal sooner rather than later.

Wiki Program PagesEdit

Every program listed also has a separate Wiki Program Page where additional information can be provided to prospective students. While the style and format of this main page should be kept consistent, individual Wiki Program Pages can take any form whatsoever. To edit one of these pages, simply follow the Wiki Program Page link underneath the department listing of interest and edit that page.

On the PhilBio.net site, the following programs have added considerably to their Wiki Program Pages. Feel free to mimic them.

Questions, comments, ideas? Let me know at shamiller@ucdavis.edu.

Ph.D. Programs (Australasia)Edit

All programs reside in philosophy departments, unless otherwise specified.

University of MelbourneEdit

Department Website

  • Kristian Camilleri, Ph.D. 2005 Melbourne University (HPS)
    • Specialties: The interpretations of quantum mechanics, the interplay between culture, philosophy and physics in the first half of the twentieth century, the structure of thought experiments in science and and the changing role of 'popular science' in the scientific culture of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries (via website)
    • Website, PhilPapers

University of SydneyEdit

Department Website

  • Eric Cavalcanti
    • Specialties: foundational questions in quantum theory as well as applications to quantum information theory, including ontological models, generalized probabilistic theories, characterization and measures of entanglement, quantum nonlocality, mesoscopic systems, quantum cryptography and quantum optics (via website)
    • Website, PhilPapers
  • Dean Rickles, Ph.D. 2004 University of Leeds
    • Specialties: History and philosophy of modern physics (with a focus on quantum gravity and string theory).
    • Website, PhilPapers

Ph.D. Programs (Canada)Edit

All programs reside in philosophy departments, unless otherwise specified.

McMaster UniversityEdit

Department Website

McGill UniversityEdit

Department Website

University of AlbertaEdit

Department Website

University of British ColumbiaEdit

Department Website

University of GuelphEdit

Department Website

University of TorontoEdit

Department Website

  • Margaret Morrison
    • Specialties: Philosophy of science, Kant, Descartes, history of physics
    • website, PhilPapers
  • Joseph Berkovitz

University of WaterlooEdit

Department Website

University of Western OntarioEdit

Department Website

  • Robert DiSalle
    • Specialties: history and philosophy of physics from Newton to the present; space and time; analytic philosophy
    • website, PhilPapers
  • Carl Hoefer
    • Specialties: Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Space & Time, Philsophy of Probability
    • website, PhilPapers
  • Wayne Myrvold
    • Specialties: Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Physics (particular interest in foundations of quantum theories), Probability in Science
    • website, PhilPapers
  • Chris Smeenk
    • Specialties: history and philosophy of physics (esp. cosmology, but also QFT, time), general issues in philosophy of science, and seventeenth century natural philosophy
    • website, PhilPapers

Ph.D. Programs (Europe)Edit

All programs reside in philosophy departments, unless otherwise specified. Wiki Program Pages contain identical information to front-page listings, also unless otherwise specified.

University of GenevaEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Christian Wüthrich (starting in August 2015) // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: philosophy of physics, quantum gravity, general relativity, quantum mechanics, metaphysics of science
  • Nicolas Gisin // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: EPR experiments, quantum mechanics, quantum optics
  • Jan Lacki // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: history and philosophy of physics, quantum field theory

LMU Munich (Munch Center for Mathematical Philosophy)Edit

  • Erik Curiel // website
    • Specialties: General Relativity, Quantum Field Theory, Thermodynamics, Classical Mechanics, Quantum Gravity.
  • Michael Cuffaro // website
    • Specialties: Quantum Information, Quantum Computation, Quantum Mechanics.
  • Richard Dawid // website
    • Specialities: String Theory, Particle Physics, Quantum Mechanics.
  • Samuel Fletcher // website
    • Specialities: General Relativity, Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics.
  • Stephan Hartmann // website
    • Specialities: Probabilities in Physics, Quantum Field Theory, Quantum Mechanics.
  • Karim Thébault // website
    • Specialities: Quantum Gravity, General Relativity, Quantum Field Theory, Quantum Mechanics.

University of SalzburgEdit

  • Lena Zuchowski

University of Nijmegen (Mathematical Physics)Edit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of BergenEdit

  • Sorin Bangu // website
    • Specilities: Symmetries, inter-theoretic reduction, emergence

Ph.D. Programs (United Kingdom)Edit

All programs reside in philosophy departments, unless otherwise specified. Wiki Program Pages contain identical information to front-page listings, also unless otherwise specified.

Durham UniversityEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

King's College LondonEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Eleanor Knox // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Philosophy of Spacetime, general relativity, intertheoretic relations, quantum gravity.

University of LeedsEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Juha Saatsi // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Physics, with a special focus on Scientific Realism, Explanation, Modelling, Metaphysics of Science.
  • Steven French // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Field Theory, Quantum Gravity, Metaphysics of Science, Scientific Realism

London School of Economics (Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method)Edit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Roman Frigg // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Physics, with a special focus on Climate Change, Statistical Physics, Chaos Theory, Scientific Modelling, and Representation.
  • Miklós Rédei // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: foundational and philosophical problems of modern physics, quantum logic, general issues in philosophy of science.
  • Bryan W. Roberts // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: philosophy and foundations of physics (esp. quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, spacetime physics, semiclassical gravity, classical mechanics), philosophy of science, philosophy of time

University of AberdeenEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of BirminghamEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Alastair Wilson // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics, Philosophy of Cosmology, Chance, Time, Laws of nature, Counterfactuals, Causation, Explanation, Confirmation

University of BristolEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • James Ladyman // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Quantum Mechanics, QFT, Space-time Theories, Thermal and Statistical Physics
  • Ryan Samaroo // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialities: History and Philosophy of Modern Physics (especially the foundations of space-time theories and quantum mechanics), History of Modern Philosophy, Philosophy of Mathematics
  • Karim Thébault // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialities: Quantum Gravity, General Relativity, Quantum Field Theory, Quantum Mechanics.

University of CambridgeEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of EdinburghEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Michela Massimi // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: history and philosophy of physics (18th century natural science, quantum mechanics, and particle physics, in particular)
  • Alasdair Richmond // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: philosophy of time and time-travel
  • Wolfgang Schwarz // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: chance and probability in quantum mechanics

University of OxfordEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

Ph.D. Programs (United States)Edit

All programs reside in philosophy departments, unless otherwise specified. Wiki Program Pages contain identical information to front-page listings, also unless otherwise specified.

Boston UniversityEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

Brown UniversityEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Nina Emery // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: time, chance, laws of nature, foundations of statistical mechanics, foundations of quantum mechanics

Carnegie Mellon UniversityEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate CenterEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

Columbia UniversityEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

Cornell UniversityEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

Georgetown UniversityEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

Harvard UniversityEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Ned Hall // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: causation, laws of nature, direction of time, objective probability, grounding, relevance of qm and statistical mechanics to all of the above

Indiana University (History and Philosophy of Science)Edit

{Wiki Program Page}

Johns Hopkins UniversityEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Linguistics and Philosophy)Edit

{Wiki Program Page}

New York UniversityEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Jonathan Bain // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Foundations of quantum field theory, spacetime physics, quantum gravity
  • Michael Strevens // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: statistical theories of complex systems (including foundations of statistical mechanics), general philosophy of science, philosophical applications of cognitive science

Princeton UniversityEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Shamik Dasgupta // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: spacetime, symmetries, quantities
  • Adam Elga // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: probability, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics
  • Hans Halvorson // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, classical mechanics, structure of scientific theories

Recent PhDs in Philosophy of Physics include David Baker, Josh Hershey, Noel Swanson.

Rutgers UniversityEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • David Albert (part-time appointment; teaches one seminar a year) // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties:
  • Barry Loewer // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: 1) Metaphysics of physics: especially laws, probability, direction of time 2) foundations of quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics 3) philosophy of cosmology
  • Sheldon Goldstein // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: foundations of quantum mechanics especially Bohmian Mechanics
  • Jill North (Starting in fall 2015; currently at Cornell) // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: direction of time, statistical mechanics, classical mechanics, metaphysics of physics (including quantum mechanics, spacetime, and structure in physics)
  • Roderich Tumulka // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Foundations of quantum mechanics

Stanford PhilosophyEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of ArizonaEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of California, DavisEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of California, Irvine (Logic and Philosophy of Science)Edit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • James Weatherall // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Classical and quantum field theory

University of California, Los AngelesEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of California, San DiegoEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Craig Callender // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: direction of time, statistical mechanics, quantum gravity, quantum mechanics, spacetime, metaphysics of time, laws of nature

University of ChicagoEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of Colorado, BoulderEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of FloridaEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of GeorgiaEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Yuri Balashov // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: spacetime, metaphysics of time and persistence

University of Illinois, ChicagoEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of MarylandEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of Massachusetts, AmherstEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Maya Eddon // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Metaphysics of quantity, laws of nature
  • Christopher Meacham // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Statistical mechanics, chance, laws of nature

University of MiamiEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Berit Brogaard // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Special relativity, time
  • Otavio Bueno // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Quantum mechanics, identity, structural realism.
  • Peter Lewis // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Quantum mechanics, probability, scientific realism.

University of MichiganEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Larry Sklar // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: General relativity, history and philosophy of classical mechanics, statistical mechanics.
  • Laura Ruetsche // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Quantum field theory, quantum statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics (esp. modal interpretations), the modal structure of physical theories.
  • David Baker // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Quantum field theory, quantum mechanics (esp. many-worlds interpretation), general relativity, symmetries, metaphysics of quantity, laws of nature.
  • Gordon Belot // website,PhilPapers
    • Specialties: General relativity, gauge theories, electromagnetism, symmetries, geometry and modality, classical mechanics, quantum gravity.

University of Minnesota, Twin CitiesEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of North Carolina at Chapel HillEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of Notre DameEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of OklahomaEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Heather Demarest // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: metaphysics of physics; fundamental laws of nature and fundamental properties; personal identity and physics; time and physics

University of PittsburghEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Mark Wilson // website
    • Specialties:

University of RochesterEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • David Glick // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialities: structural realism, philosophy of quantum mechanics
  • Alison Peterman // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialities: history of physics (modern period)

University of South CarolinaEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of Southern CaliforniaEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

University of South FloridaEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Eric Winsberg // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Foundations, methodology and epistemology of computer simulations, the foundations of climate modeling, and the foundations of statistical mechanics and the arrow of time, Bell inequalities.

University of WashingtonEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

  • Benjamin Feintzeig // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Probability
  • Arthur Fine // website, PhilPapers
    • Specialties: Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Science
  • Andrea Woody // website [1]
    • Specialties: Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Chemistry

University of Wisconsin-MadisonEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

M.A. ProgramsEdit

Northern Illinois UniversityEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

Virginia TechEdit

{Wiki Program Page}

NotesEdit

  1. This site is not in the business of giving prospective students advice—on how to select programs or anything else—but it can be very helpful and illuminating to contact graduate students currently enrolled in departments you are considering and asking if they would be willing to share their impressions of and experience in the programs. The worst that can happen is that they say 'no'. Of course, what they share must be taken with a grain of salt since everyone's experiences differ, and disgruntled students will paint a radically different picture than contented ones. For that reason, seeking out multiple sources can be worthwhile.
  2. Also, as long as a department has one permanent, full-time, self-described philosopher of physics, the graduate program is listed.
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