Large Grants
    - Introduction
    - Awardees
Mini-Grants
    - Introduction
    - Winners
 
Previous Programs

2019 Intelligence in the Physical World
Awardees

2019 Information as Fuel
Awardees

2018 Agency in the Physical World
Awardees; RFP download

2016 Physics of the Observer
Awardees; RFP download

2015 The Physics of What Happens
Awardees; RFP download

2013 Physics of Information
Awardees; RFP download

2010 The Nature of Time
Awardees; RFP download

2008 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

Daniele Oriti
LMU-Munich

Stephan Hartmann
LMU-Munich



Project Title

The Epistemic Nature of Physical Laws: From Intelligent Agents to Quantum Gravity and Cosmology

Project Summary

According to the popular view, laws of nature are objective and exist independently of intelligent agents like us. This view has a long tradition in philosophy and seems to be in line with the scientific practice: doing science means to discover the laws which exist out there. But where do they actually exist? In Plato's heaven? This does not seem to be very plausible. And does the popular view really explain best how science works and proceeds? The goal of this project is to argue for a radically different and new conception of laws of nature according to which the laws of nature are the product of the imagination of creative scientists who interact with nature. While laws play an important role in this process, we argue that they are intricately related to us: "No la ws without intelligent agents"--or so we will argue. We will also show that the agency account of laws provides a better explanation for how fundamental physics works and that it helps us addressing a number of outstanding questions: Can we do physics without spacetime? What is causality? Is it all about information processing? How does spacetime emerge, then? What is cosmology, for an emergent universe?



Back to List of Awardees  
Please enter your e-mail address:

Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.