University of Urbino, Italy
Geometry, Force and General Covariance
Alexander was born in Indiana, in fact on the banks of the Wabash, which makes him one of the world’s few genuine Hoosiers. But he soon left the country and headed first to the frozen North, in due course to the banks of the Isis, the Seine, the Cam, the Thames, etc. and only made it back to America in 2004, during his first semester as Visiting Fellow. He’s now back in Urbino, where there’s no river, the truffles are unusually good, the Duke’s profile is everywhere, and he teaches things like philosophy of physics, Hume, history of science, Duhem, methodology of natural science. Alexander somehow got to the foundations of physics from classics: he began with a rather general BA—with courses in Greek literature & philosophy, mathematics, and Italian literature (from Dante to Tasso)—at McGill, then went to Paris (IV Sorbonne), did a Maîtrise in Lettres classiques (Greek, Latin, French) with a thesis on Aristotle, and got interested in history and philosophy of science. Then an M Phil in HPS at Cambridge, and a Ph.D. on the philosophy of quantum mechanics at the London School of Economics. Alexander is currently working on philosophy of space and time.
“Optico-mechanical analogy: an axiomatic approach” has been published in the International Journal of Theoretical Physics, http://www.springerlink.com/content/101594/?k=afriat … I’m still working on Weyl’s theory of gravitation and electricity, on which I’ve written www.uniurb.it/Filosofia/afriat/EinsteinWeyl.pdf, as well as the attached paper which, when finished, I’ll send to the Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics … I’ve also given talks about it in London, Utrecht, Bologna, Bergamo, Padua, Lecce, Bari, Cesena, Potenza and Urbino (see www.uniurb.it/Filosofia/afriat/CV.htm). A PDF CV is at www.uniurb.it/Filosofia/afriat/CV.pdf.
“How Weyl stumbled across electricity while pursuing mathematical justice,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Alexander is now “Maître de conférences” in the Philosophy Department at the University of Brest.