Karim P. Y. Thébault
I am an Associate Professor (formerly Reader) in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Bristol. I am also an external member of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (LMU Munch).
research is principally within physics and the philosophy of
physics. My main research focus is the problem of time in
classical and quantum theories of gravity. Further topics of
current interest include dynamical approaches to symmetry,
black hole physics, analogue gravity, quantum cosmology, the
arrow of time in quantum theory, and the foundations of
previously worked on various topics in the epistemology and
methodology of natural and social sciences.
I am keen to support the applications of students for doctoral studies relating to technically informed projects in the philosophy and foundations of physics. If you have the appropriate background and interests please contact me.
Why Trust a Theory?
Collection of essays on the epistemology of fundamental physics edited with Radin Dardashti and Richard Dawid. (CUP, 2019), online access print (DOI:10.1017/9781108671224)
Journal Articles and Contributions
 On Mach on Time, Studies in the History and
Philosophy of Science 89:84-102, 2021.
preprint published (DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsa.2021.08.001)
 What can bouncing oil droplets tell us about
quantum mechanics?, with P. Evans, European Journal for
Philosophy of Science 10(49) 2020. preprint published
 What science can do for democracy – A
complexity science approach, with T. Eliassi-Rad, H. Farrell, D. Garcia,
S.Lewandowsky, P. Palacios, D. Ross, D. Sornette and K. Wiesner, Humanities & Social
Sciences Communications 7(30) 2020. preprint published
 On the Limits of Experimental Knowledge, with P.
Evans, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 378(2177) 2020.
 On the Universality of Hawking Radiation,
with S. Gryb and P. Palacios, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
(forthcoming). preprint published (DOI:
 Hawking radiation and analogue experiments:
a Bayesian analysis, with R. Dardashti, S. Hartmann, and E.
Winsberg, Studies in the History and Philosophy of
Modern Physics. 67:1-11, 2019. preprint
 Is there a Bayesian justification of hypothetico-deductive inference?, with S. Okasha, Noûs (online). preprint published (DOI: 10.1111/nous.12277)
 Bouncing unitary cosmology I. Mini-superspace general solution, with S. Gryb, Classical and Quantum Gravity 36(3), 2019. preprint published (DOI: 10.1088/1361-6382/aaf823)
 Bouncing unitary cosmology II.
Mini-superspace phenomenology, with S. Gryb, Classical and
Quantum Gravity 36(3), 2019. preprint published
 Stability of democracies: a complex systems perspective, with K. Wiesner, A. Birdi, T. Eliassi-Rad, H. Farrell, D. Garcia, S.Lewandowsky, P. Palacios, D. Ross, D. Sornette, European Journal of Physics, 40 014002, 2018. published (DOI: 10.1088/1361-6404/aaeb4d)
 On the Empirical Consequences of the AdS/CFT Duality, with R. Dardashti, R. Dawid, and S. Gryb, in Beyond Spacetime: The Philosophical Foundations of Quantum Gravity, Huggett, Le Bihan, Matsubara and Wüthrich (Eds.), (CUP), 2020. preprint published (DOI: 10.1017/9781108655705.016)
 Superpositions of the cosmological constant allow for singularity resolution and unitary evolution in quantum cosmology, with S. Gryb, Physics Letters B, 784: 324-329, 2018. preprint published (DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2018.08.013)
 The Problem of Time, in Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics, Knox and Wilson (Eds.), (Routledge), forthcoming. preprint
 What can we learn from analogue experiments?, in Why Trust a Theory?, Dardashti, Dawid and Thébault (Eds.), (CUP), 2019. preprint published (DOI: 10.1017/9781108671224.014)
 Models on the move: migration and imperialism, with S. Bradley,Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 77: 81-92, 2019. preprint published (DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsa.2017.11.008)
 Modelling inequality, with S. Bradley and A. Reutlinger, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 69(3): 691–718, 2018. preprint published (DOI: 10.1093/bjps/axw028)
 Confirmation via analogue simulation: what dumb holes could tell us about gravity, with R. Dardashti and E. Winsberg, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 68(1):55-89, 2017. preprint published (DOI: 10.1093/bjps/axv010)
 Ψ-Epistemic Quantum Cosmology?, with P. Evans and S. Gryb Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 56, 2016. preprint published (DOI:10.1016/j.shpsb.2016.10.005)
 Regarding the `hole argument' and the `problem of time', with S. Gryb, Philosophy of Science, 83(4): 563-584, 2016. preprint published (DOI: 10.1086/687262)
 Time remains, with S. Gryb, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 67(3):663-705,2016. preprint published (DOI: 10.1093/bjps/axv009)
 Schrödinger evolution for the universe: reparametrization, with S. Gryb, Classical and Quantum Gravity, 33 (6), 2016. preprint published (DOI: 10.1088/0264-9381/33/6/065004)
 Quantization as a guide to ontic
structure, British Journal for the Philosophy of
Science, 67(1): 89-114, 2016. preprint
published (DOI: 10.1093/bjps/axu023)
 Dispositions and the principle of least action revisited, [with B. Smart]
Analysis, 75(3):386-395, 2015. preprint published (DOI: 10.1093/analys/anv050)
 Many worlds: incoherent or decoherent?,
with R. Dawid, Synthese, 192(5): 1559-1580, 2015,
preprint published (DOI:10.1007/s11229-014-0650-8)
 Against the empirical viability of the Deutsch-Wallace-Everett approach to quantum mechanics, with R. Dawid, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 47, 2014. preprint published (DOI:10.1016/j.shpsb.2014.05.005)
 Unsharp humean chances in statistical physics: a reply to Beisbart, with L. Glynn, R. Dardashti, and M. Frisch, In New Directions in the Philosophy of Science (Springer), Volume 5, pp 531-542, 2014. preprint published (DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-04382-1_37)
 Symmetry and evolution in quantum gravity, with S. Gryb, Foundations of Physics, 44(3): 305–348, 2014. preprint published (DOI:10.1007/s10701-014-9789-x)
 Three denials of time in the interpretation of canonical gravity, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 43(4):277-294, 2012. preprint published (DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2011.03.031)
 The role of time in relational quantum theories, with S. Gryb, Foundations of Physics, 42(9):1210-1238, 2012. preprint published (DOI:10.1007/s10701-012-9665-5)
 Symplectic reduction and the problem of time in nonrelativistic mechanics, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 63(4):789-824, 2012. preprint published (DOI: 10.1093/bjps/AXR045)
 Symmetry, reduction and quantisation ; how should we interpret quantum Hamiltonian constraints? Symmetry, 3(2):134-154, 2011. open access (DOI:10.3390/sym3020134)
 The disunity of philosophy of science as a worrying hypothesis, Review of ‘Physical Theory: Method and Interpretation’ edited by Lawrence Sklar International Studies in Philosophy of Science, (forthcoming), preprint
 Review of `Geometric Possibility' by Gordon Belot, Philosophy in Review, 32(2), 2012
Analogue quantum simulation: a philosophical prospectus, with D. Hangleiter and J. Carolan. preprint
On the metaphysics of least action, with B.
Symmetry, ontology and the problem of time: on the interpretation and quantisation of Canonical Gravity. Final Version
I am currently working on a history and
philosophy of science project on the development of the
classifications of stars and supernovae with Ana-Maria