dr. S. (Sebastian) de Haro Ollé
Amsterdam University College
Science Park AUC
Science Park 113 Room number: 2.23
Science Park 113
1098 XG Amsterdam
Sebastian De Haro
Currently: visiting fellow in philosophy at Harvard University, Black Hole Initiative (until 28 Feburary 2019).
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). See my list of publications and more information about my research under separate tabs.
- Join us for a workshop of the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena on Emergence: Conceptual and Philosophical Aspects. See the call for papers here.
- Invited speaker, Black Holes and Holography, Tsinghua Sanya International Mathematics Forum, Sanya, Hainan, China (7-11 January 2019).
- Invited speaker, Black Holes, Inflation and Gravitational Waves, HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), Hong Kong (3-5 January 2019).
- Symposium organiser: Equivalence, Duality, and the Interpretation of Physical Theories, Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, Seattle, 1-4 November 2018.
- Invited speaker, Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science. Towards a Theory of Emergence in the Physical Sciences (19 October 2018).
- Invited speaker, The Philosophy and Physics of Noether's Theorems, Centenary Conference on the 1918 Work of Emmy Noether, LSE (5-6 October 2028).
- Workshop given at the Spring Course of the Dutch Research School on Philosophy 'Much Ado about Nothing': On the Notions of Nothing, Vacuum, and Void in Particle Physics and Cosmology (1-2 June 2018).
- Duality, Symmetry, and Gauge, Hundred Years of Gauge Theory, Bad Honnef, 30 July-3 August 2018.
- Formulating Emergence in the Physical Sciences, Philosophy of science conference, Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik (16 April 2018) and at the 19th UK and European Meeting Foundations 2018, Utrecht.
- Essay Prize from the University of Chicago at Illinois and University of Geneva for my paper Spacetime and Physical Equivalence (May 2017).
- Invited speaker, Quantum Gravity: Physics and Philosophy, IHES Paris (24-27 October 2017).
- Speaker and symposium organiser, The Ninth European Congress of Analytic Philosophy, LMU Munich (21-26 August).
- Invited speaker, Probing the spacetime fabric: from concepts to phenomenology, Trieste (10-14 July 2017).
- Speaker, Symmetries and Asymmetries in Physics, Hannover (6-8 July 2017), joint talk with Jeremy Butterfield.
- Invited speaker, Seven Pines Symposium, Minnesota (17-21 May 2017).
- Speaker at the Annual Conference of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science in Cardiff, UK (7-8 July 2016).
- Speaker at the Sixth International Conference Integrated History and Philosophy of Science, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Shared talk with Jeroen van Dongen. (3-5 July 2016).
- Invited speaker at Oxford Philosophy of Physics Seminar (9 June 2016).
- Invited lecture at LSE's Sigma Club, London (6 June 2016).
- Colloquium in Philosophy, Logic and Philosophy of Science, Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (1 June 2016).
- Sharing a talk with Jeremy Butterfield at Carlofest, Carlo Rovelli's 60th birthday conference in Marseille (23-27 May 2016).
- Speaker at Philosophy of Science in a Forest, the three-yearly conference of the Dutch Association for Philosophy of Science (19-21 May, 2016).
- Invited speaker at the Conference on emergence at the Université Catholique de Louivaine, Louvaine-la-Neuve. Shared talk with Elena Castellani (8-11 May 2016).
- 4-minute pitch, showcase cutting edge research directions in philosophy of physics in The Netherlands, at the meeting of the National Science Agenda (Nationale Wetenschapsagenda) Route 5, Felix Meritis, Amsterdam (22 March 2016). The slides can be found here.
- Visit the new Vossius Center for History of Humanities and Sciences of the University of Amsterdam!
- Invited speaker at DICE2016, International Workshop on Spacetime - Matter - Quantum Mechanics in Castiglioncello, Tuscany, Italy (12-16 September 2016).
- Talk at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Geneva, Switzerland (14 January 2016). It was part of the Chicago-Geneva joint seminar of the project Beyond Spacetime, live broadcasted on YouTube. See the YouTube film embedded below.
- My paper Emergence in holographic scenarios for gravity was published in SHPMP!
- Visit to Massimo Bianchi's String Theory Group at Tor Vergata, Rome (10-13 Nov. 2015).
- Talk at the conference Effective Theories, Mixed Scale Modeling, and Emergence, University of Pittsburgh, USA (2-4 Oct 2015)
- Invited speaker at the conference Duality in Contemporary Mathematics - Philosophical Aspects, workshop at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal (3-5 Sept 2015)
- Invited speaker, Humboldt University Berlin, Interdisciplinary Excellence Cluster Image Knowledge Gestaltung. Research Seminar (24 Jun 2015)
- Invited speaker at the conference Equivalent Theories in Physics and Metaphysics, Princeton University, NJ, USA (20-22 March 2015)
- Spreaker at the Philosophy of Physics section of the conference on Philosophy of Science in Dubrovnik, Croatia (13-17 April 2015)
- My paper Dualities and Emergent Gravity: Gauge/gravity Duality, for a special issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, edited by Elena Castellani and Dean Rickles (27 Jan 2015)
- My abstract for the 1st Munich Graduate Workshop in Mathematical Philosophy: Philosophy of Physics (9-11 April 2015) at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, LMU, just got accepted!
- A Holographic Universe?, slides from my talk for a general physics audience at the 17th International Interdisciplinary Seminar, London, 1-6 January, 2015, available here.
- Emergent Time and Emergent Space in Quantum Gravity, Max-Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, 15-18 Dec. 2014, Potsdam. Slides available here.
- Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, 6-9 November 2014, Chicago, USA, where I gave a joint talk with Jeremy Butterfield on "Two kinds of Under-Determination of Space-Time Structure". Slides available here.
- Foundations of Dualities, Florence, 15-16 September, 2014. Paper coming out soon! "Dual and Emergent Gravity: AdS/CFT and Verlinde's Scenario". Slides available here.
- Latest paper: Instantons and the Hartle-Hawking-Maldacena Proposal for dS/CFT, published in JHEP.
- Foundations of Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Gravity, 24-25 April 2014, Imperial College, London, working group meeting for EU COST Action MP1006.
- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 27 April 4 May 2014, colaboration financed by EU COST project The String Theory Universe.
- Emergence in Holographic Scenarios for Gravity, preprint on PhilSci (with D. Dieks and J. van Dongen), 9 April 2014.
- I am teaching a course on AdS/CFT: Student Seminar Theoretical Physics, March-May 2014.
- Reduction and Emergence in Holographic Scenarios for Quantum Gravity, talk given at the conference Reduction and Emergence in the Sciences, LMU Munich, 14-16 November 2013.
- Science and Philosophy: A Love-Hate Relationship, talk given at the conference Rethinking Liberal Education, Amsterdam, 15 June 2013.
- Lecture notes Symmetries and the Quantum Universe, see link below.
- Forty Years of String Theory: Reflecting on the Foundations, Special Issue of Foundations of Physics. Editors: G. 't Hooft, E. Verlinde, S. de Haro, D. Dieks.
- Seminar at École Polytechnique, Paris, 23 October 2012.
- My book on recent results in physics, in Dutch at Prometheus/BertBakker. 2014.
- Follow the developments on Twitter @sebastiandeharo.
Talks for a General Audience
- Physics, Metaphysics, and Emergence. Conference 'Can Science Shape a New Humanity?', London, 6 January, 2018.
- Changing Views on Space, Time and Spacetime, Wijsgerig Festival Drift, 13 May, 2017. Joint talk delivered with F.A. Muller.
- Emergence and Reduction in Science. International Interdisciplinary Seminar on 'What differentiates human persons from animals and machines?', London, 4 January, 2017.
- Strings and Quantum Gravity. Consequences for Reductionism. University of Navarre, Pamplona, Spain. June 21, 2011.
- 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.
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My current research in philosophy focuses on dualities, the equivalence of theories, and emergence. I have recently worked out a schema for dualities that can be applied in examples, and I am interested in how the schema relates to discussions of theoretical equivalence and physical equivalence. I am also interested in the bearing of recent accounts of equivalence for the notions of theory, model, and interpretation. Regarding emergence: I aim at explicating ontological vs. epistemic emergence, based on the notions of theory and interpretation developed in the project on dualities and equivalence. I am particularly interested in the applications of ontological emergence to the emergence of spacetime and the emergence of gravity. See my list of recent publications under the publications tab, and the full list under the research tab.
I also work 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 have active interests in the history and philosophy of information, the philosophy of technology, and philosophy of mind: on how these fields inform philosophy of science, and on how philosophy of science can be informed by them.
See my recent list of publications and activities under a separate tab. My full list of publications is below.
Full List of Publications
See my full list of publications on Google scholar. For a recent list of publications and activities, see the separate tab.
Lecture Notes (download)
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
Recent undergraduate theses:
- Jasper Roosmale Nepveu (2018), Theories of massive vector fields: the Stueckelberg mechanism and the Higgs mechanism.
- Khaled Tamimy (2018), Random Matrices and the Topological Expansion: A Case Study of the Saddle Point Method for Hermitian One-Matrix Models.
- Sytze Bouma (2018), It's About Time. Rethinking philosophies of the passage of time (awarded 'thesis of distinction').
- Samir Khan (2018), The Human in Alfred North Whitehead’s Cosmology.
- Declan Jagt (2017), Different Strings and Different Behaviour: A comparison of the motion of fundamental and classical strings.
- Basil van Wijk (2017), The Yukawa Model in a Field Theoretical Perspective.
- Elena Dobretsova (2017), The Analysis of Secure Cryptographic Methods in Quantum Key Distribution Applied Over Long Distances.
- Elio Monaco (2017), The WKB-Kemble one-dimensional model: Estimating the e ects of quantum tunneling in nuclear fusion.
- Yolanda Murillo (2016), Three Interpretations for a Single Physical Reality.
- Louis Leestemaker (2016), The Theory and Detection of Gravitational Waves (awarded 'thesis of distinction').
- Kamiel Mobach (2016), Reconstructing Entropy from Objective Probabilities.
- Paul Verhagen (2015), Understanding the Theory of Everything: Evaluating Criticism Aimed at String Theory.
- Jens Maluck (2013), An Introduction to Supersymmetric Quantum Mechanics and Shape Invariant Potentials (awarded 'thesis of distinction').
- Davide Dispenza (2013), Symmetry Breaking and the Higgs Mechanism.
- Thomas Nutz (2013), The Instanton Approach to Quantum Gravity.
- Djuna Croon (2012), The Holographic Framework for the Coleman-De Luccia Instanton (awarded 'thesis of distinction').
- Stefano Lorini (2012), On the Emergence of Spacetime and the Origin or Gravity.
- Emma Winkels (2012), The Black Hole Information Paradox.
- Onno Huygen (2012), The Superconductor as a Hologram.
- Stefan van der Sterren (2012), Black Hole Entropy.
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., & de Regt, H. W. (2018). A precipice below which lies absurdity? Theories without a spacetime and scientific understanding. Synthese. DOI: 10.1007/s11229-018-1874-9
- De Haro, S., & de Regt, H. (2018). Interpreting Theories without Spacetime. European Journal for Philosophy of Science. DOI: 10.1007/s13194-018-0204-x
- De Haro, S. (2018). The Heuristic Function of Dualities. Synthese. DOI: 10.1007/s11229-018-1708-9
- Castellani, E., & De Haro , S. (in press). Duality, Fundamentality, and Emergence. In D. Glick, G. Darby, & A. Marmodoro (Eds.), The Foundation of Reality: Fundamentality, Space and Time Oxford University Press.
- De Haro, S., & Butterfield, J. N. (2018). A Schema for Duality, Illustrated by Bosonization. In J. Kouneiher (Ed.), Foundations of Mathematics and Physics One Century After Hilbert: New Perspectives (pp. 305-376). Cham: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-64813-2_12
- De Haro, S. (2017). The Invisibility of Diffeomorphisms. Foundations of Physics, 47(11), 1464–1497. DOI: 10.1007/s10701-017-0117-0 [details]
- De Haro, S., Teh, N., & Butterfield, J. N. (2017). Comparing Dualities and Gauge Symmetries. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 59, 68-80. DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsb.2016.03.001 [details]
- de Haro, S. (2017). Dualities and emergent gravity: Gauge/gravity duality. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 59, 109-125. DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsb.2015.08.004 [details]
- de Haro, S., Teh, N., & Butterfield, J. (2016). On the Relation between Dualities and Gauge Symmetries. Philosophy of Science, 83(5), 1059-1069. DOI: 10.1086/687938 [details]
- De Haro, S., Mayerson, D. R., & Butterfield, J. N. (2016). Conceptual Aspects of Gauge/Gravity Duality. Foundations of Physics, 46(11), 1381-1425. DOI: 10.1007/s10701-016-0037-4 [details]
- De Haro, S. (2016). On Artigas and Analytic Philosophy. Scientia et Fides, 4(2), 215-243. DOI: 10.12775/SetF.2016.027
- De Haro, S. (Accepted/In press). Spacetime and Physical Equivalence. In N. Huggett, C. Wüthrich, & K. Matsubara (Eds.), Space and Time in Quantum Gravity Cambridge University Press.
- De Haro, S., & Hahn, A. (2013). Chern-Simons Theory and the Quantum Racah Formula. Reviews in mathematical physics, 25(3), . DOI: 10.1142/S0129055X13500049
- de Haro, S., Dieks, D., 't Hooft, G., & Verlinde, E. (2013). Forty Years of String Theory: Reflecting on the Foundations. Foundations of Physics, 43(1), 1-7. DOI: 10.1007/s10701-012-9691-3 [details]
- De Haro, S. (Author). (2016). Reply to James Read on Background-Independence. Web publication/site, Beyond Spacetime, Chicago-Geneva.Retrieved from https://beyondspacetime.net/2016/06/15/reply-to-read/
- de Haro, S., Henke, J., & Tang, D. (2015). A. Cappelli, E. Castellani, F. Colomo and P. Di Vecchia (Eds.): The Birth of String Theory: [Review of: A. Cappelli, E. Castellani, F. Colomo, P. Di Vecchia (2012) The Birth of String Theory]. Foundations of Physics, 45(6), 657-660. DOI: 10.1007/s10701-015-9900-y [details]
- De Haro, S. (2016). Prize competition for essays on Space and Time after Quantum Gravity.
- De Haro, S. (2015). The Tarner scholarhsip, Trinity College, Cambridge.
Talk / presentation
- De Haro, S. (speaker) (19-10-2018). Towards a Theory of Emergence in the Physical Sciences, Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science, Boston University, USA.
- De Haro, S. (participant) (2-11-2018). Equivalence and Duality of Physical Theories, Seattle, United States. Symposium organiser (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
- De Haro, S. (visiting researcher) (12-10-2018 - 28-2-2019). Harvard University (visiting an external institution).
- De Haro, S. (participant) (10-7-2018). Foundations 2018. Member of the programme committee. (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
- De Haro, S. (participant) (24-8-2017). Duality, Equivalence, and Emergence, Munich, Germany. Symposium organiser (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
- De Haro, S. (2013). Science and Philosophy: A Love-Hate Relationship.
Writing a popular science book