Département de philosophie

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PhD student of Christian Wüthrich

Stefano Furlan, conducting his Ph.D. studies between the University of Geneva (supervisor: Christian Wüthrich) and the MPIWG in Berlin (co-supervisor: Alexander Blum; “Historical Epistemology of the Final Theory Program”). His dissertation work is mainly focused on the conceptual and historical roots of quantum gravity, with a special emphasis on J.A. Wheeler, his private notebooks and the “parallel” work on the nature of singularities made by Zeldovich and Novikov in the Soviet Union. More specific issues concern a critical analysis of non-empirical arguments in contemporary physics; the way analogies are treated in secondary literature and how this is intertwined with Wheeler’s visual style; how the latter, together with his notion of history, contributed to shape his Princeton school of general relativity and, thus, the way in which related problems were (and still are) faced; the path that, from general relativity and quantum mechanics, led Wheeler to his pioneering ideas about the foundational role of information and its philosophical repercussions.