Lisbon Philosophy of Physics Seminars: Vassallo & Naranjo (11 May on Zoom)

On Wednesday, 11 May, Antonio Vassallo (Warsaw University of Technology) and Pedro Naranjo (Warsaw University of Technology) will give a talk titled “A Proposal for a Metaphysics of Self-Subsisting Structures” (abstract below).


The series of online seminars is organized in the context of the activities of the LanCog Research Group at the Centre of Philosophy of the University of Lisbon, and will focus on the foundations of quantum and spacetime physics.


The meeting will be online on Zoom (17:00-19:00 CEST). If you have not registered yet, you can do so here.


You can address any question to Andrea Oldofredi (


We present a new metaphysical framework for physics that is conceptually clear, ontologically parsimonious, and empirically adequate. This framework relies on the notion of self-subsisting structure, a set of fundamental physical elements whose individuation and behavior are described in purely relational terms, without any need for a background spacetime. Although the specification of the fundamental aspects of the ontology depends on the particular physical domain considered–and is thus susceptible to scientific progress–the structural features of the framework are preserved through theory change. The kinematics and dynamics of these self-subsisting structures are technically implemented using the theoretical framework of Pure Shape Dynamics, which provides an entirely relational physical description of a system in terms of the intrinsic geometry of a suitably defined Riemannian space, called shape space.