This is the website of the Montreal Inter-University Seminar on the History and Philosophy of Science as it had somehow been preserved (up to June 2008) at its old site - at Concordia's Science College before moving to a new website. Concordia University deleted the (new) seminar website in October 2010 - they deleted what was increasing Concordia's academic visibility.


Montreal Inter-University Seminar on the History and Philosophy of Science


  • The seminar is intended to serve as a forum where researchers from Montreal's Universities and Colleges can report on their research results and exchange ideas on the history and philosophy of science.

  • Both graduate and undergraduate students may find the seminar helpful and a source of further motivation and inspiration. Graduate students are particularly encouraged to present the results of their research projects.

  • In the interest of raising public awareness on the implications of important scientific discoveries in various fields, the seminar is open to all who wish to attend.

Montreal Gazette Ad

Public Lecture

The Third International Conference on the Nature and Ontology of Spacetime, which will commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of Hermann Minkowski's talk "Space and Time", will end with a public lecture organized by the International Society for the Advanced Study of Spacetime and the Montreal Inter-University Seminar on the History and Philosophy of Science.

Hermann Minkowski
"Space and Time"
1908 - 2008

Spacetime and Reality:
Hermann Minkowski's Discovery of Spacetime and its Implications for our Understanding of Reality

Vesselin Petkov (Concordia University)


In 1908 Hermann Minkowski proposed that the consequences of the special theory of relativity could be regarded as manifestations of the four-dimensionality of a world in which time is the fourth dimension. In this four-dimensional world, which we now call spacetime, past, present, and future have equal existence. The crucial importance of the concept of spacetime for science has been well-established and is best demonstrated by the fact that modern physics would be impossible without it. But the situation is not the same with the impact of Minkowski's discovery on our understanding of reality. For a hundred years Minkowski has been owed an answer to the fundamental question: "Is spacetime just a mathematical space or does it represent a real four-dimensional world with one temporal and three spatial dimensions?" Possible answers to this question will be outlined in a way that will allow the audience to judge how our view of reality should be made compatible with the experimental evidence that supports the theory of relativity.

Date: Sunday, June 15, 2008
Time: 19:30
Room: H-110
Place: Concordia University (Building H), 1455 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West, 1st Floor (Metro station Guy-Concordia, exit Guy Street)
Contact: 514-848-2424 ext 2595
Admission: Free

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