Which philosophy of physics books are relatively recent (say, post-1980), but still clear classics that every graduate student in the field should at least paw through? Here’s a preliminary list, ordered alphabetically.
- Albert, David: QM & Experience
- Albert, David: Time & Chance
- Barrett, Jeff: QM of minds & worlds
- Bell, John: Speakable & Unspeakable in QM
- Bub, Jeff: Interpreting the Quantum World
- Cartwright, Nancy: How the Laws of Physics Lie
- Earman, John: Bangs, Crunches, Whimpers & Shrieks
- Earman, John: Primer on Determinism
- Earman, John: World Enough & Spacetime
- Fine, Arthur: The Shaky Game
- Friedman, Michael: Foundations of Spacetime Theories
- Hughes, RIG: Structure & Interpretation of QM
- Maudlin, Tim: Metaphysics Within Physics
- Maudlin, Tim: Quantum Non-locality & Relativity
- Penrose, Roger: The Emperor’s New Mind
- Price, Hugh: Time’s Arrow & Archimedes’ Point*
- Redhead, Michael: Incompleteness, Non-locality & Realism
- Redhead, Michael: From Physics to Metaphysics
- Sklar, Lawrence: Philosophy of Physics*
- Sklar, Lawrence: Physics & Chance*
- Teller, Paul: Interpretive Introduction to QFT
- van Fraassen, Bas: QM An Empiricist View
Also, some classic unpublished texts:
Also, quickly becoming classics:
- Brown, Harvey: Physical Relativity
- Healey, Richard: Gauging What’s Real
- Lange, Marc: Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics
- Monographs contained in the Handbook of Philosophy of Physics, Earman & Butterfield (eds)
One important book on the list, John Earman’s (1986) Primer on Determinism, has unfortunately reached “rare” status, and is fairly difficult get ahold of for less than $200. Nevertheless, let it be known that an electronic copy of this book does is circulating on the inter-tubes. If you look around a bit, you’ll likely be able to find and download a copy for free. Just throwing that out there.
See also my advice about reading on the cheap, and about learning GR online. This list was inspired by a recent post over at It’s Only a Theory — further suggestions are more than welcome. Happy reading!
(*) Added Feb. 11 – Thanks commenters!
Soul Physics is authored by Bryan W. Roberts. Thanks for subscribing.
Want more Soul Physics? Try the Soul Physics Tweet.
- Galilean Freefall Confirmed
- Unitary operators and spacetime symmetries