Introducing the reader to the very latest developments in the philosophical foundations of physics, this book covers advanced material at a level suitable for beginner and intermediate students. A detailed overview is provided of the central debates in the philosophy of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, quantum computation, and quantum gravity.Each chapter consists of a 'state of the art' review written by a specialist in the field and introduces the reader to the relevant formal aspects along with the philosophical implications. These, and the various interpretive options, are developed in a self-contained, clear, and concise manner. Special care is given to situating the reader within the contemporary debates by providing numerous references and readings. This book thus enables both philosophers and physicists to engage with the most pressing problems in contemporary philosophy of physics in a fruitful way.
Contents: Preface; Advancing the philosophy of physics, Dean Rickles; Philosophy of quantum mechanics, David Wallace; A field guide to recent work on the foundations of statistical mechanics, Roman Frigg; Philosophical aspects of quantum information theory, Chris Timpson; Quantum Gravity: a primer for philosophers, Dean Rickles; References; Index.
About the Editor: Dean Rickles is a Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney, Australia.
Reviews: 'This is an excellent collection. The four areas of physics chosen – the interpretation of quantum mechanics, quantum information theory, statistical mechanics, and quantum gravity – are gold mines. Each has many rich veins for a philosopher of physics to work on. Besides, each of the four survey articles provides an up to date and approachable introduction to its area. So the book is very much to be welcomed.'
Jeremy Butterfield, Trinity College, University of Cambridge, UK
'I'm very enthusiastic about this collection. It is going to make it much easier to explain to students what contemporary philosophy of physics is all about, and why it matters. Highly recommended.'
Huw Price, University of Sydney, Australia
‘…The comprehensive bibliographies should be of particular use to the browsing theoretical physicist who heretofore was not philosophically inclined…essential to researchers, this volume should be available in research institutions with concentrations in physics and its philosophy…Highly recommended.’ Choice
‘The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics would serve as an excellent resource for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the philosophy of physics. The rich bibliography offers ample sources for further research.’ Philosophy in Review
‘This is a very useful and easily assimilated summary of recent work in the philosophy of physics. … Each chapter is distinctly flavoured by the particular positions its author has staked out in the literature, and this should make the book useful to more advanced researchers, too. … The overall account is effective in addressing its intended audience, and should help direct more philosophers of physics to this emerging field.’ Metascience
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