1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 28, 2021
ISBN 9781138653078
May 28, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
896 Pages 54 B/W Illustrations

USD $250.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the state of the art in the philosophy of physics. It contains 54 self-contained chapters written by leading philosophers of physics at both senior and junior levels, making it the most thorough and detailed volume of its type on the market – nearly every major perspective in the field is represented.

The Companion’s 54 chapters are organized into 12 sections. The first seven sections cover all of the major physical theories investigated by philosophers of physics today, and the last five explore key themes that unite the study of these theories.

I. Classical Mechanics
II. Special Relativity
III. General Relativity
IV. Non-Relativistic Quantum Mechanics
V. Quantum Field Theory
VI. Quantum Gravity
VII. Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics
VIII. Explanation
IX. Intertheoretic Relations
X. Symmetries
XI. Metaphysics
XII. Cosmology

The level of the articles has been carefully pitched so as to offer both accessible summaries for those new to philosophy of physics and standard reference points for active researchers on the front lines. An introductory essay by the editors maps out the field, and each section also begins with a short summary that places the individual chapters in context. The volume will be indispensable to any serious student or scholar of philosophy of physics.

Table of Contents

Eleanor Knox and Alastair Wilson

Section A: Theories

Part I: Classical mechanics
Introduction to Part I

1. Newtonian Mechanics
Ryan Samaroo

2. Formulations of Classical Mechanics
Jill North

3. Classical Spacetime Structure
James Weatherall

4. Relationism in Classical Mechanics
Julian Barbour

Part II: Special Relativity
Introduction to Part II

5. Relativity and Spacetime Geometry
Tim Maudlin

6. The Dynamical Approach to Spacetime Theories
Harvey Brown and James Read

7. Relativity and the A-Theory
Antony Eagle

8. Relativistic Constraints on Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics
Wayne Myrvold

Part III: General Relativity
Introduction to Part III

9. The Equivalence Principle
Dennis Lehmkuhl

10. The Hole Argument
Oliver Pooley

11. Relativistic Spacetime Structure
Samuel Fletcher

Part IV: Non-relativistic Quantum Mechanics
Introduction to Part IV

12. Bell’s Theorem, Quantum Probabilities, and Superdeterminism
Eddy Keming Chen

13. Decoherence
Elise Crull

14. Everettian Quantum Mechanics: Structure
Simon Saunders

15. Everettian Quantum Mechanics: Probability
Simon Saunders

16. Collapse Theories
Peter Lewis

17. Bohmian Mechanics
Roderich Tumulka

Part V: Quantum Field Theory
Introduction to Part V

18. The Quantum Theory of Fields
David Wallace

19. Renormalization Group Methods
Porter Williams

20. Locality in (Algebraic) Quantum Field Theory
Laura Ruetsche

21. Particles in Quantum Field Theory
Doreen Fraser

Part VI: Quantum Gravity
Introduction to Part VI

22. The Development of Quantum Gravity
Dean Rickles

23. String Theory
Richard Dawid

24. Quantum Gravity from General Relativity
Christian Wüthrich

25. Spacetime ‘Emergence'
Nick Huggett

26. The Problem of Time
Karim Thébault

Part VII: Statistical Mechanics & Thermodynamics
Introduction to Part VII

27. Equilibrium in Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics
Roman Frigg and Charlotte Werndl

28. Equilibrium in Gibbsian Statistical Mechanics
Roman Frigg and Charlotte Werndl

29. Quantum Foundations of Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics
Orly Shenker

30. Entropy Asymmetry
Arianne Shahvisi

Section B: Themes

Part VIII: Explanations in Physics
Introdution to Part VIII

31. Causal Explanation in Physics
Matthias Frisch

32. Non-Causal Explanations in Physics
Juha Saatsi

33. Mechanistic Explanation in Physics
Laura Felline

34. The Explanatory Value of Choosing the Appropriate Scale
Lina Jansson

Part IX: Intertheoretic Relations
Introduction to Part IX

35. Nagelian Reduction
Foad Dizadji-Bahmani

36. Phase Transitions
Sorin Bangu

37. Universality
Robert Batterman

38. Chance and Determinism
Nina Emery

Part X: Symmetries
Introduction to Part X

39. Symmetry and Superfluous Structure: A Metaphysical Overview
Shamik Dasgupta

40. Symmetry and Superfluous Structure: Lessons from History and Tempered Enthusiasm
Jenann Ismael

41. Permutations
Adam Caulton

42. Gauge Theories
Nicholas Teh

43. Time Reversal
Bryan Roberts

44. Symmetry Breaking
Elena Castellani and Radin Dardashti

Part XI: Metaphysics and Physics
Introduction to Part XI

45. Laws
Marc Lange

46. Chance
Mauricio Suárez

47. Holism
Richard Healey

48. Dimensionality
Susan Sterrett

49. Fundamentality
Steven French

Part XII: Cosmological Questions
Introduction to Part XII

50. Why is there Something rather than Nothing?
Sean Carroll

51. Time in Cosmology
Craig Callender and Casey McCoy

52. Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Life
Luke Barnes

53. Dark Matter and Dark Energy
Melissa Jacquart

54. Evidence in Astrophysics
Sibylle Anderl

View More



Eleanor Knox is Reader in Philosophy of Physics at King’s College London. She works in philosophy of physics, particularly the philosophy of spacetime physics, and is also interested in issues of reduction and emergence, and how these two come together in quantum gravity.

Alastair Wilson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Birmingham and Senior Adjunct Research Fellow at Monash University. He works on philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, metaphysics, and epistemology, with special interests in the philosophy of quantum theory and the metaphysics of dependence. He is the author of The Nature of Contingency: Quantum Physics as Modal Realism (Oxford UP, 2020).