University of California, Irvine
Fall Term 2015
Jim Weatherall is Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at the University of California, Irvine. He is also an associate editor of Philosophy of Science. Most of his work is on the mathematical and philosophical foundations of physics, though he has also written on the history and philosophy of finance, general philosophy of science, epistemology, and the history of philosophy. He is the author of The Physics of Wall Street (2013, HMH) and is currently finishing a second book, on "nothingness" in modern physics. While in Pittsburgh, he will be working on a cluster of related projects concerning charge, motion, and field dynamics in classical field theories, including general relativity, Newton-Cartan theory, and Yang-Mills theory. Outside of philosophy, Jim enjoys gardening, cooking, reading fiction of all sorts, and playing games with his twin daughters, who will turn three while they are in Pittsburgh.
My book _Void: The Strange Physics of Nothing_ was published in November 2016. I have written two forthcoming papers: one, "Conservation, Inertia, and Spacetime Geometry" will be published in a special issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics in honor of Harvey Brown; the other, "Market Crashes as Critical Phenomena? Explanation, Idealization, and Universality in Econophysics," co-authored with Jennifer Jhun (Lake Forest) and Patricia Palacios (Munich), is forthcoming in Synthese. I have also been working on a project, in collaboration with Chris Smeenk (Western) and JB Manchak (Irvine), on the philosophy of cosmology, funded through a grant by the Templeton Foundation.
I finished a book this year, called Void: The Strange Physics of Nothing, which will be published in the Fall by Yale University Press; it was mostly written while I was visiting the Center this Fall. I am now working on a short, somewhat more technical book based on a series of lectures I will give at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy this July, as part of their summer school for female students. I also have an essay review of Michael Weisberg's Simulation and Similarity, co-authored with Cailin O'Connor, forthcoming in Philosophy of Science; and I was awarded a Templeton grant with Chris Smeenk and John Manchak to begin work on a new project in philosophy of cosmology. This coming summer I will be a Visiting Fellow and Clare Hall College, Cambridge and a Visitor at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics.