Graduate studies at Western
Erkenntnis 70 (3):379 - 395 (2009)
|Abstract||It was recognized almost from the original formulation of general relativity that the theory was incomplete because it dealt only with classical, rather than quantum, matter. What must be done in order to complete the theory has been a subject of considerable debate over the last century, and here I just mention a few of the various options that have been suggested for a quantum theory of gravity. The aim of what follows is twofold. First, I address worries about the consistency and physical plausibility of hybrid theories of gravity—theories involving a classical gravitational field and quantum matter fields. Such worries are shown to be unfounded. These hybrid theories—mongrel gravity—in fact comprise the only current, actual theories of gravity that incorporate quantum matter, and they also offer legitimate promise as tools for discovering the full theory of gravity. So my second aim is to highlight these theories as providing an interesting example of scientific revolution in action. I begin to try to draw some philosophical lessons from mongrel gravity theories, but more importantly I try to convince philosophers of physics that they should pay more attention to them.|
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