The investigator will engage in philosophical analysis in order to shed new light on a long-standing, ongoing debate over the existence and the nature of space-time. She will bring into consideration new results from physics (such as different theories of quantum gravity) and new insight from metaphysics (having to do with the notion of grounding, for example). The results of this study should serve to clarify the ontological commitments of the physical theories involved, and to advance understanding of the fundamental nature of the physical world. It will have far-reaching consequences for metaphysics (developing the notion of grounding in new contexts), philosophy of physics (drawing philosophical conclusions from recent work in quantum gravity), and philosophy of science (by exploring the relations between different levels of science). It will also introduce new and useful concepts that will serve to foster mutually beneficial communication between physicists and philosophers, who are substantially and increasingly engaged in collaborative efforts. The broader significance of this project relates to the investigator's multidisciplinary approach and her efforts to address the glaring under-representation of women in the fields of philosophy of science and the conceptual foundations of physics, which is a serious problem. The results of this study will be disseminated in a variety of multidisciplinary journals and conferences that engage the attention of philosophers, physicists, and historians of science. The research undertaken will enrich classes taught by the investigator and enhance her mentoring of students, in particular women students. She will use her influence to affect the gender balance of conferences she attends, and cultivate supportive relationships with junior women faculty in her area of expertise.
|Effective start/end date||7/1/15 → 7/31/16|
- National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))
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