This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Tuesday 15 June 2021, 6pm to 7.30pm
  • Location: Online
  • Audience: Open to alumni, staff, students, the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Annual Royal Institute of Philosophy / Institute of Physics Public Lecture

Dr Alexander Franklin, Department of Philosophy, King's College London (
Introduced by Professor James Ladyman, Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol

The Departments of Philosophy and Physics at the University of York proudly present their Annual Royal Institute of Philosophy / Institute of Physics Public Lecture on the Philosophy of Physics

Biologists, chemists, and physicists all seek to describe the behaviour and activity of the same stuff; the difference is, roughly, the level of magnification employed: for instance most biologists look at much larger collections of matter than most chemists or physicists. This suggests a puzzle – how come it's no problem for expert biologists to be ignorant of swathes of physics? In this talk, Alexander will motivate the puzzle by defending the view that, in some sense, biology and chemistry can be reduced to physics. He'll then explore a case study from physics, and suggest that this can help resolve the puzzle: underlying structures and processes coordinate to allow relative simplicity to emerge.

About this event: Professor James Ladyman is an Honorary Visiting Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of York. At our annual RIP/IoP Philosophy of Physics public lecture, Professor Ladyman joins us to present and discuss some recent research in the philosophy of physics.

All Welcome!