Title: Constructivist approaches to the epistemology of spacetime
Speaker: Dr Niels Linnemann, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Philosophy, University of Bremen
In this talk, I consider what are known as constructivist approaches to the epistemology of spacetime— i.e., approaches that supposedly linearly build up physical geometry from supposedly self-evident observational facts. By contrasting the Ehlers-Pirani-Schild (EPS) approach with the (arguably Neo-Kantian) protophysics program, I showcase the different epistemological motivations behind constructivist programs as well as their varied lessons for today.
The talk aims at a general philosophy of science audience, and thus does not require much physics background. Recommended background reading is https://compass.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/phc3.12821
Parts of the talk are based on joint work with Emily Adlam and James Read in the course of a joint research effort on re-assessing the EPS scheme (see https://arxiv.org/abs/2112.14063 and https://arxiv.org/abs/2208.07249).