John Norton: Approximation and Idealization
March 15, 2013, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
This Rotman Lecture focuses on approximation and idealization, and how important the fact that only idealizations involve novel reference is when describing infinite limits, as in statistical mechanics.
John D. Norton studied chemical engineering at the University of New South Wales (1971-1974), then worked for two years as a technologist at the Shell Oil Refinery at Clyde, Sydney. He then switched fields and began a doctoral program in the School of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of New South Wales (1978-1981). His dissertation was on the history of general relativity. When it was finished, he visited at the Einstein Papers Project (1982-83) when the Papers were located at Princeton University Press with John Stachel as editor. In September 1983, he came to Pittsburgh as a visitor in the Center for Philosophy of Science/visiting faculty member in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He’s been in the Department of HPS ever since. He was promoted to full professor in 1997, served as Chair in 2000-2005 and is now Director of the Center for Philosophy of Science.
Read more about John D. Norton.