Dr Jeremy Butterfield, The uses of infinity: Emergent phenomena in physics

Speaker:Dr Jeremy Butterfield (Faculty of Philosophy)
Venue: Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College
Time: 01/03/2010 20:30, drinks from 20:15

The talk is available.

‘Emergence’ and ‘reduction’ are buzz-words in both physics and philosophy. Both physicists and philosophers disagree about the extent to which we can understand large-scale or complex phenomena in terms of their microscopic parts. Examples include everyday phenomena, like the freezing and boiling of liquids, and fancy ideas like fractals. I will pour some oil on these troubled waters by arguing that many cases exemplify both emergence and reduction.

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