Simplicity and observability: When are particles elementary?

Synthese 79 (3):89 - 100 (1989)
It is not possible to dismiss the atomistic paradigm because the proposed elementary particles are too many (and, hence, it is claimed, they do not provide a simple account of nature) or because it is not possible to observe quarks in an isolated manner. The developments in particle physics have brought about radical changes to our notions of simplicity and observability, and in this paper we elaborate on these changes. It is as a result of these changes that the present situation in elementary particle physics justify us to claim that we have indeed reached a level of explanation where the constituent particles (quarks, leptons, gluons, and intermediate bosons) used for the explanation of the various phenomena considered to be delineating a particular level in the descriptive framework of the physical phenomena and a specific stratum in the organization of nature, can be regarded as elementary.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00869286
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
P. W. Anderson (1994). More is Different. In H. Gutfreund & G. Toulouse (eds.), Biology and Computation: A Physicist's Choice. World Scientific 3--21.
M. L. G. Redhead (1980). Some Philosophical Aspects of Particle Physics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 11 (4):279-304.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
John R. Welch (2013). New Tools for Theory Choice and Theory Diagosis. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 44 (3):318-329.
Constantin Antonopoulos (2004). Moving Without Being Where You're Not; a Non-Bivalent Way. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 35 (2):235 - 259.
Constantin Antonopoulos (2003). The Tortoise is Faster. Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (4):491-510.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

11 ( #219,154 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #147,227 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.