• The Foundations of Physics @Harvard series is co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy
• This is a free Zoom event (no registration fee)
• The meeting ID and password will be shared with those who register
• Each talk will be 1 hour, followed by a 5-minute break and then 55 minutes for questions
• You can find more events in this series in the navigation panel on the left
• You can visit the YouTube channel here
Questions or comments: Jacob Barandes, <lastname>(at)g.harvard.edu (organizer)
I define ‘toy theories’ as theories whose laws do not permit the existence of observers. In scientific practice, such theories are often treated as if they have a clear physical interpretation, but on standard philosophical accounts of the methodology of interpretation, it isn't obvious how this is possible. I discern three different senses in which a toy theory could possess a meaningful interpretation, and apply this taxonomy to resolve a disagreement between Gordon Belot and David Wallace on the interpretation of symmetries in toy theories.