Philosophy of Quantum Field Theory Workshop
April 24 – 26, 2009
University of Western Ontario

A central part of the philosophy of science is the investigation of the conceptual structure of particular scientific theories, and their import for our conception of what the world is like. Quantum field theory (QFT) plays a central role in our most fundamental physical theories, including particle physics. Nevertheless, QFT, unlike the more basic theory of quantum mechanics to which it is a successor, has only within the past two decades begun to attract significant attention from philosophers of science. There has, however, been a burgeoning of work in this area, and several young philosophers of physics have turned their attention to these topics. The purpose of this workshop is to bring young researchers who are dealing with philosophical issues in QFT together with more established scholars, in order to facilitate communication and possible collaboration. It will be held in conjunction with an annual graduate student conference in the philosophy of
Logic, Mathematics, and Physics.


Jon Bain — Intertheoretic Implications of Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theories
David Baker — Broken Symmetry and Spacetime
Gordon Belot — The Wave-Function for Primitive Ontologists
John Earman — The Unruh Effect for Philosophers
Gordon Fleming — Observations on Unstable Quantons, Hyperplane Dependence and Quantum Fields
Doreen Fraser  — Interpreting Quantum Field Theories: The Significance of Variant Formulations (Part II)
Hilary Greaves — Towards a Geometrical Understanding of the CPT Theorem
Nick Huggett — Are Quarticles Discernible?
Laura Ruetsche — Why be normal?
David Wallace — Taking particle physics seriously: a critique of the algebraic approach to the foundations of QFT
Steve Weinstein — Decoherence and the emergence of classicality

For further information about the workshop, please visit the website:

If you are interested in attending the workshop, please contact Chris Smeenk ([email protected]).