PHYSICS AND ONTOLOGY
A Tribute to Robert Brout
XIII INTERNATIONAL ONTOLOGY CONGRESS
SAN SEBASTIAN: 2-6 OCTOBER 2018 / BARCELONA: 9 OCTOBER 2018
Under the Honorary Presidence of
François Englert, Nobel Prize of Physics
International Scientific Committee: A. Aspect (Paris); P. Aubenque (Paris) F.J. Ayala (California); J. Bouveresse (Paris); †E. Chillida (San Sebastián); A. Grünbaum (Pittsburgh); †W. Lamb (Arizona); T. Marco (Madrid); U. Moulines (München); †I.Prigogine (Bruxelles); †H. Putnam (Harvard); C. Rovelli (Marseille). Coordinator: V. Gómez Pin (Barcelona).
The organizing committee of the International Ontology Congress is proud to present the opening and closing sessions of our 13th edition, which will take place at Chillida-Leku Museum in San Sebastián.
1) The event will begin with a few words of tribute to Robert Brout, pioneer along with François Englert in the research on the so-called Higgs field and boson.
- François Englert (Université Libre de Bruxelles. Nobel Prize in Physics, Honorary President of this edition).
- Jean Marie Frère (Université Libre de Bruxelles).
- Gerardus ‘t Hooft (Utrecht University. Nobel Prize in Physics).
2) Opening Conference: François Englert.
Presidency of the session: Pedro Echenique (Prince of Asturias Award and Max Planck Prize for Physics)
Concert / Concierto / Kontzertua
Concert. Countertenor: Carlos Mena.
Works by A. Donostia, M. Ravel, B. Britten, A. Iglesias.
Chair: Javier Echeverría (Ikerbasque)
1) Closing talks.
10.30-11:30 Greek Thought and Contemporary Physics: the Case of Aristotle's Physics.Colloquium with the physicist Carlo Rovelli (Aix-Marseille University).
Speakers: Tomás Calvo (Complutense University of Madrid)
Gerhard Seel (University of Bern)
Francis Wolff (École Normale Supérieure)
11:30-12:30 Juan José Gómez-Cadenas (DIPC) Is the Neutrino its Own Antiparticle? (What We Talk about when We Talk about Neutrinos).
2) The session will finish with a closing speech by Prof. Gerardus ‘t Hooft (Nobel Prize of Physics. Utrecht University).
Concert / Concierto / Kontzertua
PIANO CONCERT. Works presented by composers:
José María Sánchez-Verdú
Pianist: Isabel Puente
François Englert (2013 Nobel Prize of Physics. Université Libre de Bruxelles)
Gerardus 't Hooft (1999 Nobel Prize of Physics. Utrecht University)
Tomás Calvo (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Francesc Casadesús (Universitat de les Illes Balears)
Elena Castellani (University of Florence)
Alberto Cordero (CUNY)
Joseph Dauben (CUNY)
Elie During (Université de Nanterre)
Pedro M. Echenique (Donostia International Physics Center)
Dimitri El Murr (ENS)
Jean-Marie Frère (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
J.J. Gómez Cadenas (Donostia International Physics Center)
Richard Healey (University of Arizona)
Carl Hoefer (Universitat de Barcelona)
Simon Kochen (Princeton University)
Michela Massimi (The University of Edinburgh)
Tim Maudlin (New York University)
Gérard Naddaf (York University)
Carlo Rovelli (Aix-Marseille Université)
Pilar Ruiz-Lapuente (Universitat de Barcelona)
Juha Saatsi (University of Leeds)
Ruediger Schack (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Gerhard Seel (University of Bern)
Demetra Sfendoni-Mentzou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Jesús Ugalde (Jakiunde, Academia de las Ciencias, de las Artes y de las Letras del País Vasco).
Peter Vickers (Durham University)
David Wallace (University of Southern California)
Francis Wolff (École Normale Supérieure)
In 1964 Robert Brout and François Englert published an article in Physical Review Letters that delved into hypotheses already advanced by themselves. In this article they defended that a singular particle should be given in the category of the so-called bosons. A few months later, the Scottish scientist Peter Higgs advanced an analogous hypothesis. In 2012, the Brout-Englert hypothesis was verified. Unfortunately, too late for Robert Brout to enjoy this great moment of satisfaction... he had passed away in 2011. Great physicists, sometimes Brout's students, follow his scientific path. Philosophers, who are nourished by the results of the scientists' effort to make the nature intelligible, owe him, undoubtedly, tribute.
Since the first conference took place back in 1993, the aim of the International Ontology Congress, of which most of the conferences have been held under the auspices of UNESCO, has been to breathe new life into the great topics of Greek philosophy, examining them from a contemporary perspective, namely, using the tools provided by contemporary science. These problems keep being brought up constantly, either because of the emergence of new scientific data or because of the irruption of new philosophic perspectives.
It is obvious that the philosophical and ontological reflection about nature, what was in other times known as natural philosophy, cannot take place without the support of the “natural science of our times”, in Heisenberg's words. It is well known that in the first twenty-five years of the XX century, experimental facts showed that the classical picture of nature was not completely justified in the realm of the microscopic. This was not the consequence of a philosophical whim, but it was imposed on the scientific community by the progressive accumulation of facts impossible to accommodate inside the previous picture of nature.
The main ontological implications of the new discipline were shown at the 1927 Solvay conference. A.S. Eddington asserted later that, if it was confirmed, the collapse of Absolute Causality announced in Solvay by Heisenberg, Born and others would make of this meeting one of the crux moments of the scientific and philosophical thought. But, as the Royal Majesty in the verses of Shakespeare, Causality never dies alone: it sweeps along a whole set of entangled principles that, from Greek physikoi to Einstein, had been considered the very grounds of our representation of nature. From then (and in spite of new theoretical data and crucial experiments) we can say that many of the questions discussed in the Solvay conference remain open and nourish in our days a fascinating debate. We hope to be able to discuss about these implications as well as to create new avenues for discussion at the first main section we are proposing for the XIII International Ontology Congress to be held in San Sebastián, from the 2nd to the 6th of October 2018: Since “Solvay 1927”: Nature and Quantum Physics (state of the art).
But it has not been the first time that philosophical problems rise in the history of Physics. In fact, the first West physicists, the thinkers of the marina cities of Ionia and their successors, were already confronted to deep questionings, which leaded to the advent of meta-physics, understood as the fate of Physics itself. This is why in 1948, Nobel Prize winner Erwin Schrödinger interrupted a course at Trinity College in Dublin arguing that, before continuing to work on physics, it was necessary for him to know the meaning of the word Physis. As he greatly admired the Greek intuition of scientific view, Schrödinger seemed to think that returning to the roots was the best way of staying faithful to the spirit of science. Then, let's turn our attention to those roots, asking nevertheless if others civilizations were already developing an embryonic conception of nowadays physics. The International Ontology Congress maintains deep reliance on the roots, the foundations of current science and this confidence has been the inspiration for our second main section also to be held in San Sebastian, from the 2nd to the 6th of October 2018: Back to Ionia: the conception of Physis that makes Physics possible.
MAIN LANGUAGES OF THE CONGRESS: SPANISH, BASQUE AND ENGLISH
Nevertheless, we are open to evaluate and accept papers in other languages.
SECTIONS IN SAN SEBASTIAN (2-6 OCTOBER 2018) at the UNIVERSITY OF THE BASQUE COUNTRY, PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT:
1. Since “Solvay 1927”: Nature and Quantum Physics (state of the art).
SPECIAL SESSION IN BARCELONA (9 OCTOBER 2018), IN COOPERATION WITH 'CASA ASIA' and 'INSTITUTO CONFUCIO':
The Roots of Science and Philosophy in China: State of the Art.
Chaired by the President of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies, Dr. Luca Scarantino.
Venue: Confucius Institute in Barcelona
(Address: C/Elisabets, 10)
October 9th, 2018. At 18:00 hours
Session devoted to China in the framework of the XIII International Ontology Congress.
- Welcoming words (by representatives of the hosting institutions)
- Presentation by Dr. Yao Xinzhong (Chinese with translation to Spanish)
- Presentation by Chinese academic (TBC) (Chinese with translation to Spanish)
- Presentation by Dr. Joseph Dauben on “Recent Archaeological Discoveries and the Evolution of Mathematics in Ancient China”. (English)
- Presentation of the main themes and conclusions of the 24thWorld Philosophy Congress held in Beijing last month of August. By Dr. Luca Scarantino, President of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies. (Spanish).
- Brief remarks on the World Congress by Co-chair of the session, Dr. Víctor Gómez Pin, Coordinator of the International Ontology Congress. (Spanish).
- Roundtable among the panellists.
International Ontology Congress, Casa Asia, Confucius Institute in Barcelona
Dr. Yao Xinzhong
Professor Yao Xinzhongis Dean of the School of Philosophy at Renmin University of Chinain Beijing, as well as author and editor of the Encyclopaedia of Confucianism. He was formerly director of the King's China Institute at King's College London. Prior to this appointment, Professor Yao was Professor of Religion and Ethics at the University of Wales, Lampeter, and a senior research fellow at the Ian Ramsey Centre, University of Oxford. He was educated at Renmin University, and took his Doctorate Degree at University of Wales.
Professor Yao has written books and articles on the subject of Confucianism, including comparative studies with Christianity. In 1998, in recognition of his work promoting Confucianism in the UK, he was made honorary President of the Confucian Academy in Hong Kong.
Chinese academic (TBC)
Dr. Joseph Dauben
Lehman College and Graduate Center history professor Joseph W. Dauben earned his doctorate from Harvard in 1972, the same year he joined the Lehman faculty. He is the author of two biographies that are considered classics: Georg Cantor: His Mathematics and the Philosophy of the Infinite (Harvard University Press, 1979) and Abraham Robinson: The Creation of Nonstandard Analysis, A Personal and Mathematical Odyssey (Princeton University Press, 1998). In recognition of his singular contributions to the understanding of the development of Chinese mathematics in the Western world, Dauben was elected an Honorary Professor of the Institute for the History of Natural Science, a branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 2002. Only eight other persons have received this honor. He is also a recently-elected member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the oldest scientific society in Europe.
Dr. Luca Scarantino
Luca Maria Scarantino teaches Philosophy and Politics of Culture at IULM University, Milan, Italy. He has extensively published on contemporary Italian philosophy. His current research interests include the definition of cross-cultural moral patterns, focusing on basic interpersonal features, such as persuasion, violence, trust, resentment, generosity, and love. He is the general Editor of the international journal and President of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP) for the term 2018-2023. He was Secretary General of FISP from 2008 to 2018.
DEBATE IN A CORUÑA (17 OCTOBER 2018) IN COOPERATION WITH 'FUNDACIÓN PAIDEIA':
Pedro Miguel Echenique and Javier Echeverría will debate on: "Ciencia: Educación y Belleza".
SECCIONES EN SAN SEBASTIAN (2-6 OCTUBRE 2018) en la UNIVERSIDAD DEL PAÍS VASCO, DEPARTAMENTO DE FILOSOFÍA:
1. Desde "Solvay 1927": Naturaleza y Física Cuántica (estado de la cuestión).
2. Retorno a Jonia: la concepción de Physis que hace posible la Física.
* Aunque la XIII edición del Congreso Internacional de Ontología dará prioridad a las secciones mencionadas anteriormente, los artículos centrados en el desarrollo del concepto de naturaleza también serán bienvenidas comunicaciones relativas a temas análogos, por ejemplo, "el concepto de naturaleza en la Edad Media".
Las comunicaciones serán presentadas exclusivamente en San Sebastián.
SESIÓN ESPECIAL EN BARCELONA (9 DE OCTUBRE DE 2018) EN COOPERACIÓN CON 'CASA ASIA' e 'INSTITUTO CONFUCIO':
Las raíces de la ciencia y la filosofía en China: estado de la cuestión.
DEBATE EN A CORUÑA (17 DE OCTUBRE DE 2018) EN COOPERACIÓN CON 'FUNDACIÓN PAIDEIA':
Pedro Miguel Echenique y Javier Echeverría debatirán sobre: "Ciencia: Educación y Belleza".