On Friday, June 10th, immediately following the LMP conference, the Rotman Institue is pleased to announce a special colloquium talk:


“Laws of Nature: Revisiting the 17th Century Debate”

Stathis Psillos
Friday, June 10th, 3:30-5:00pm
StvH 1145

In this talk I will review the transition from powers to laws in the seventeenth century. I will argue that though natural powers, qua sui generis qualities of substances, were abandoned in favour of a law-governed universe, a key feature of powers, viz., that they ground natural necessity, was retained but transferred to laws. But how do laws acquire their necessity and how are they executed by a passive and causally inert matter? I will show that powers started to make a re-appearance by promising to ground answers to the foregoing questions. I will conclude by discussing Newton’s and Hume’s different attempts to retain a notion of law of nature by reconceptualisting natural necessity.

In conjunction with the LMP Graduate Conference (June 9-10), and Information-Theoretic Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics conference (June 11-12), this will be an excellent four days of philosophy. Please join us for all of these engaging events.