The standard model as a philosophical challenge

Philosophy of Science 75 (4):447-457 (2008)
Abstract
There are two opposing traditions in contemporary quantum field theory (QFT). Mainstream Lagrangian QFT led to and supports the standard model of particle interactions. Algebraic QFT seeks to provide a rigorous consistent mathematical foundation for field theory, but cannot accommodate the local gauge interactions of the standard model. Interested philosophers face a choice. They can accept algebraic QFT on the grounds of mathematical consistency and general accord with the semantic conception of theory interpretation. This suggests a rejection of particle ontology. Or they can accept the standard model on the grounds of its established success. This alternative, which I defend, suggests revising philosophical accounts of scientific theory and finding some way of accommodating particles.
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