Sebastien Rivat

Title | Organization: 
Graduate Student | Ph.D. program in Philosophy
Student Year: 
4th Year PhD Student (Dissertation Phase)
Areas of Specialization: 

Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy and History of Science


My research focuses on the conceptual structure of quantum field theories and their metaphysical underpinnings. I’m especially interested in three questions: (i) the possibility of attributing physical meaning to mathematical artefactual structure; (ii) the virtues of idealizations and approximations and how the tension resolves between the two; (iii) and the nature of scientific observation and the measurement problem. I’m addressing these questions and their metaphysical implications in more specific case-studies such as gauge symmetries, the Higgs mechanism, the renormalization group theory, and virtual particles.

Other areas of interest:

Foucault and historical epistemology; 20th and 19th century European philosophy; Kant; Early modern period; metaphysics.

I completed my BA in Mathematics, Physics (Ecole Centrale Paris) and Philosophy (Paris Sorbonne). I gained a master’s degree (part iii) in Theoretical Physics in 2012, followed by a MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science in 2013, both at the University of Cambridge.