Photographer: onbekend

dr. S. (Sebastian) de Haro Ollé

  • Amsterdam University College
  • Visiting address
    Science Park AUC
    Science Park 113  Amsterdam
    Room number: 2.23
  • Postal address:
    Science Park  113
    1098 XG  Amsterdam
    T: 0205258170

Sebastian De Haro

Senior lecturer in philosophy, mathematics and theoretical physics at the Amsterdam University College and the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam. Tarner scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge (2015-2020) in Philosophy of Science and History of Ideas, where I work with Jeremy Butterfield. Member of the Vossius Center for History of Humanities and Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. I did my PhD in theoretical physics in 2001 under Gerard 't Hooft (Nobel Prize in Physics 1999).

My current research in philosophy of physics focuses on dualities, the equivalence of theories, and emergence: in particular, emergence of gravity and emergence of spacetime. See my list of publications under a separate research tab.
I also work in general philosophy of science: on scientific understanding with Henk de Regt, on the relation between science and philosophy, and on other aspects of the epistemology of science. I work on the history of quantum gravity with Jeroen van Dongen.
I also have active interests in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of information: on how these fields inform philosophy of science, and on how philosophy of science can be informed by them.

My reserach in theoretical physics is on the holographic description of gravity and topological aspects of quantum field theories. In particular, I am working on the extension of the holographic principle to space-times with a positive cosmological constant, using a special class of solutions called 'instantons'.


Talks for a General Audience

  • The Universe from Information? 
  • Strings and Quantum Gravity. Consequences for Reductionism. University of Navarre, Pamplona, Spain. June 21, 2011.
  • The Quest for a Theory of Everything,  Het Wereldbeeld, June 6, 2011, Amsterdam.
  • De zoektocht naar een unificerende theorie. De Leidsche Fles, symposium 'De randvan de wetenschap', Universiteit Leiden, 10 november 2011.
  • Hiërarchisch of democratisch? Over de eenheid van de natuurwetenschap. Jaarlijkse nationale natuurkundeconferentie Fysica 2011, sessie  Interdisciplinariteit van de realiteit,  VU, April 15, 2011.
  • Black Hole Horizons: The Gravity of Paradigms.  CREA lecture series, March 9, 2011, Amsterdam.
  • Wat rechtvaardigt de eenheid van de wetenschap? Waar alfa, bèta en gamma samenkomen. College StudieMarathon, Oude Manhuispoort, UvA. 19 januari 2011.

List of Publications

See my list of publications on Google scholar.

Lecture Notes (download)

Theses (undergraduate):

General fields in which I can supervise your thesis:

  • Philosophy of physics and Philosophy of science
  • General philosophy
  • General relativity
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • String Theory and Quantum Gravity
  • Mathematical Physics



Theses (MA, MSc):

Generally, I will supervise theses on one of the two following broad topics:

  • Philosophy of physics and philosophy of science
  • General philosophy 
  • History of science
  • Gauge/gravity dualities and the Holographic Principle
  • Topological Quantum Field Theory
  • Quantum Information and Origin of Gravity



  • De Haro, S. (2016). Dualities and emergent gravity: Gauge/gravity duality. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics[details]
  • De Haro, S. (2016). On Artigas and Analytic Philosophy. Scientia[details]
  • De Haro, S. (2016). Spacetime and Physical Equivalence. Synthese[details]
  • De Haro, S., & Butterfield, J. N. (2016). Conceptual Aspects of Gauge/Gravity Duality. Foundations of Physics, 46, 1381. [details]
  • De Haro, S., Butterfield, J. N., & Teh, N. (2016). Comparing Dualities and Gauge Symmetries. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics[details]
  • De Haro, S., Butterfield, J. N., & Teh, N. (2016). On the Relation between Dualities and Gauge Symmetries. Philosophy of Science, 83(5)(12), 1059-1069. [details]


  • De Haro, S., Henke, J., & Tang, D. (2015). A. Cappelli, E. Castellani, F. Colomo and P. Di Vecchia (Eds.): The Birth of String Theory. Foundations of Physics, 45(6), 657-660. [details]
  • Dieks, D., van Dongen, J., & de Haro, S. (2015). Emergence in holographic scenarios for gravity. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 52, 203-216. DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsb.2015.07.007 [details] [PDF]


  • De Haro, S., & Petkou, A. C. (2014). Instantons and the Hartle-Hawking-Maldacena Proposal for dS/CFT. The Journal of High Energy Physics, 11, 126. DOI: 10.1007/JHEP11(2014)126 [details]


  • De Haro, S., & Hahn, A. (2013). Chern-Simons Theory and the Quantum Racah Formula. Reviews in mathematical physics, 25, 1350004. [details]
  • De Haro, S., 't Hooft, G., Dieks, D., & Verlinde, E. P. (2013). Forty Years of String Theory: Reflecting on the Foundations. Foundations of Physics, 43(1). DOI: 10.1007/s10701-012-9691-3 [details]


  • De Haro, S. (Author). (2016). Reply to James Read on Background-Independence. Beyond Spacetime, Chicago-Geneva. [details]


  • De Haro, S. (2013). Science and Philosophy: A Love-Hate Relationship[details]
This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications.
  • Prometheus/Bert Bakker
    Writing a popular science book

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