David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 35 (4):643-670 (2004)
After decades of neglect philosophers of physics have discovered gauge theories--arguably the paradigm of modern field physics--as a genuine topic for foundational and philosophical research. Incidentally, in the last couple of years interest from the philosophy of physics in structural realism--in the eyes of its proponents the best suited realist position towards modern physics--has also raised. This paper tries to connect both topics and aims to show that structural realism gains further credence from an ontological analysis of gauge theories--in particular U(1) gauge theory. In the first part of the paper the framework of fiber bundle gauge theories is briefly presented and the interpretation of local gauge symmetry will be examined. In the second part, an ontological underdetermination of gauge theories is carved out by considering the various kinds of non-locality involved in such typical effects as the Aharonov-Bohm effect. The analysis shows that the peculiar form of non-separability figuring in gauge theories is a variant of spatiotemporal holism and can be distinguished from quantum theoretic holism. In the last part of the paper the arguments for a gauge theoretic support of structural realism are laid out and discussed.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
John Worrall (1989). Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds? Dialectica 43 (1-2):99-124.
Steven French & James Ladyman (2003). Remodelling Structural Realism: Quantum Physics and the Metaphysics of Structure. [REVIEW] Synthese 136 (1):31-56.
J. Ladyman (1998). What is Structural Realism? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
Larry Laudan (1981). A Confutation of Convergent Realism. Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
John Earman & John Norton (1987). What Price Spacetime Substantivalism? The Hole Story. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (4):515-525.
Citations of this work BETA
Simon Friederich (2013). Gauge Symmetry Breaking in Gauge Theories—in Search of Clarification. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (2):157-182.
Peter Mark Ainsworth (2010). What is Ontic Structural Realism? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (1):50-57.
Roman Frigg & Ioannis Votsis (2011). Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Structural Realism but Were Afraid to Ask. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):227-276.
Holger Lyre (2008). Does the Higgs Mechanism Exist? International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (2):119-133.
Antigone M. Nounou (2015). For or Against Structural Realism? A Verdict From High Energy Physics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 49:84-101.
Similar books and articles
Paul Teller (2000). The Gauge Argument. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):481.
John Earman (2002). Gauge Matters. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S209--20.
Richard Healey (2009). Gauging What's Real: The Conceptual Foundations of Contemporary Gauge Theories. OUP Oxford.
Holger Lyre (2009). Structural Realism and Abductive-Transcendental Arguments. In P. Kerszberg, J. Petitot & M. Bitbol (eds.), Constituting Objectivity. Transcendental Perspectives on Modern Physics.
Holger Lyre (2001). The Principles of Gauging. Philosophy of Science 68 (3):S371-S381.
Alexandre Guay (2008). A Partial Elucidation of the Gauge Principle. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 39 (2):346-363.
Richard Healey (2007). Gauging What's Real. Oxford University Press.
Steven Weinstein (1999). Gravity and Gauge Theory. Philosophy of Science 66 (3):155.
Richard Healey (2004). Gauge Theories and Holisms. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 35 (4):619-642.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads62 ( #53,663 of 1,725,873 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #81,081 of 1,725,873 )
How can I increase my downloads?