Lecture series on Foundations of Science: Scientific Realism


Whether there exists a reality to be described by science is one of the oldest question in philosophy of science. Are theoretical entities merely useful predictive tools or a faithful description of an outside real world?


Summer term 2018, Thursdays 16.00-19.00h, Boltzmann-Hörsaal (2.5 ECTS)

Crucial fundamental issues in quantum theory, such as the ontological status of the wave function and of the properties of particles are still heatedly debated. Physicists like N. David Mermin point out 

that disagreement about the meaning of quantum theory is stronger than ever - new interpretations appear every day, but none of them ever disappear. Following Adan Cabello’s proposal to rank interpretations according to their level of reality, we have invited some of the most prominent representatives of different interpretations to reconsider the foundations of Scientific Realism.



  • 08.03.2018 A Philosophical Introduction to Scientific Realism
    Martin Kusch, University of Vienna
  • 22.03.2018 The de Broglie-Bohm Pilot-Wave-Theory
    Antony Valentini, Clemson University (USA)
  • 12.04.2018 The Many-Observer Problem of Quantum Mechanics
    Amanda Gefter, MIT (USA)
  • 19.04.2018 Date change: 26.04.2018 The Epistemic View of Quantum States
    Robert Spekkens, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (CA)
  • 03.05.2018 Information-based Realism
    Anton Zeilinger, University of Vienna
  • 17.05.2018 QBism, or Quantum Bettabilitarianism
    Christopher Fuchs, University of Massachusetts Boston (USA)
  • 07.06.2018 Relational Quantum Mechanics
    Carlo Rovelli, Aix-Marseille Université (F)
  • 14.06.2018 Scientific Realism within Logical Empiricism
    Friedrich Stadler, University of Vienna
  • 21.06.2018 Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
    Ruth Kastner, University of Maryland (USA)

Scientific advisor: Caslav Brukner

Organisers: Flavio Del Santo, Emanuel Schwarzhans, Moritz Kriegleder, Nino Lauber, Gerd Krizek, Mark Strempel, Angelika Schwarzhans


Further information: ufind.univie.ac.at

Organised by Naturwissenschaftscafé