The Metaphysics of the Disunified World

Pluralism is usually opposed to realism. This paper argues that the two come naturally into conflict only given a third assumption-imperialism, i.e., the doctrine that some one, or some handful, of our favourite theories are universal. This paper attempts to show why that assumption is implausible, even in the case of fundamental theories in physics. It argues first that physics theories are true only in their models: for the most part the successes of a theory are confined to situations that resemble the models. Second it argues specifically for the possibility of peaceful co-existence between quantum and classical physics.
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DOI 10.2307/192946
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S. French & J. Ladyman (1997). Superconductivity and Structures: Revisiting the London Account. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 28 (3):363-393.

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