David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 79 (3):559 - 580 (1989)
The apparent underdetermination of the formalism of quantum field theory (QFT) as between a particle and a field interpretation is studied in this paper through a detour over the problem of unifying QFT with general relativity. All we have at present is a partial or approximate unification, QFT in non-Minkowskian spaces. The nature of this hybrid and the problem of its internal consistency are discussed. One of its most striking implications is that particles do not have an observer-independent existence. We trace the ways in which physicists reacted to this at first highly implausible ontological consequence. We conclude that quantum fields rather than particles are after all the basic entities in QFT.
|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
Geoffrey Joseph (1980). The Many Sciences and the One World. Journal of Philosophy 77 (12):773-791.
Michael Redhead (1982). Quantum Field Theory for Philosophers. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:57 - 99.
Fritz Rohrlich & Larry Hardin (1983). Established Theories. Philosophy of Science 50 (4):603-617.
Kenneth Eppley & Eric Hannah (1977). The Necessity of Quantizing the Gravitational Field. Foundations of Physics 7 (1-2):51-68.
Paul Teller (1983). Quantum Physics, the Identity of Indiscernibles, and Some Unanswered Questions. Philosophy of Science 50 (2):309-319.
Citations of this work BETA
Paul Teller (1993). Vacuum Concepts, Potentia, and the Quantum Field Theoretic Vacuum Explained for All. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):332-342.
Similar books and articles
Sunny Y. Auyang (1995). How is Quantum Field Theory Possible? Oxford University Press.
N. Huggett (2000). Philosophical Foundations of Quantum Field Theory. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (4):617-637.
Jeroen van Dongen (2010). Einstein's Unification. Cambridge University Press.
Andreas Bartels (1999). Objects or Events?: Towards an Ontology for Quantum Field Theory. Philosophy of Science 66 (3):184.
Edward MacKinnon (2008). The Standard Model as a Philosophical Challenge. Philosophy of Science 75 (4):447-457.
James Mattingly (2001). Singularities and Scalar Fields: Matter Theory and General Relativity. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S395-.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads33 ( #144,146 of 1,902,527 )
Recent downloads (6 months)15 ( #56,396 of 1,902,527 )
How can I increase my downloads?