Project Description

Home / Members / Graduate Students / Edoardo Tagliani

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  • Philosophy of Cosmology

  • Foundations of Quantum Mechanics

  • Philosophy of Science



Doctoral Student;
Department of Philosophy, Western University

I began studying philosophy at the University of Parma, obtaining a bachelor degree in philosophical studies. I soon became fascinated with philosophy of science, especially foundations of physics and, for this reason, I have proceeded my philosophical education at Utrecht University, in the Netherlands, obtaining my master’s degree in History and Philosophy of Science. There, I took several courses in the philosophy of physics, including foundations of quantum mechanics, philosophy of spacetime and foundations of statistical mechanics. My master’s thesis, titled Measurements and Elements of Reality in Relational Quantum Mechanics was nominated for the Hanneke Janssen Memorial Prize and received an honourable mention from the jury. I am now in the first year of my PhD in philosophy at Western University in order to continue my research in philosophy of physics, and I am particularly interested in working in the field of philosophy of cosmology.

My first interest in the field of philosophy of science arose during the development of my bachelor’s thesis, where I have contrasted David Lewis’ theory of natural properties and Nelson Goodman’s ways of worldmaking and the second riddle of induction. From this, I became interested in the debate between realism and anti-realism in science: do our scientific theories latches onto the blueprint of the world? I was specifically interested in understanding what current physical theories say about the phyiscal world and what we can know about it. Therefore, I enrolled in the master’s program (back in 2019) in History and Philosophy of Science at Utrecht University, specifically in light of the course offering in the field of philosophy of physics. There, I completed two courses on the foundations of quantum mechanics and I became especially interested with the notion of locality and Bell’s theorem. One of the interpretations of quantum mechanics that struck my interest was the relational interpretation proposed by Carlo Rovelli. In fact, I then wrote my master’s thesis, Measurements and Elements of Reality in Relational Quantum Mechanics (which received an honorable mention at the Hanneke Janssen memorial prize, 2022), in which I have extended the notion of physical reality by supplementing relational quantum mechanics with the notion of retrospective causality developed by Grete Hermann back in 1935 (and showing the compatibility between the two accounts). Furthermore, I have taken two courses in the philosophy of spacetime (a basic one dealing with newton’s theory, and an advanced one dealing with Einstein’s relativity theory). From these courses, I began to appreciate the philosophical issues in cosmology, and I now aim at carrying out research in this field. In particular, on the notion of time in cosmology (specifically the difficulties in defining time in the early universe) and the epistemic status of dark matter in the standard model of cosmology. These latter aspects of cosmology are the one on which I now intend to focus my research on.

Fall and Winter Terms, Introduction to Philosophy (TA and Grader)