On Functional Freedom and Penrose’s Critiques of String Theory

James Read – University of Oxford

Tuesday, April 30, 2024
10:30am–12:00pm (East Coast time) (Please note the modified time!)

[Registration Form] (Abstract, Video, and Slides Below)

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Video (YouTube), Slides (PDF)


Open Discussion and Q&A


In his The Road to Reality as well as in his Fashion, Faith and Fantasy, Roger Penrose criticises string theory and its practitioners from a variety of angles ranging from conceptual, technical, and methodological objections to sociological observations about the string theoretic scientific community. In this talk, I assess Penrose’s conceptual/technical objections to string theory, focussing in particular upon those which invoke the notion of ‘functional freedom’.

(Based upon joint work with Matěj Krátký (Oxford); preprint available here: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/22732/.)