Complementarity meets general relativity: A study in ontological commitments and theory unification

Synthese 79 (3):559 - 580 (1989)
Abstract
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)
Options
 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: 10,350
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
Jürgen Audretsch (1981). Quantum Gravity and the Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 12 (2):322-339.
John Earman (1978). Combining Statistical-Thermodynamics and Relativity Theory: Methodological and Foundations Problems. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1978:157 - 185.
Michael Redhead (1982). Quantum Field Theory for Philosophers. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:57 - 99.

View all 7 references

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

8 ( #165,166 of 1,096,714 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #162,598 of 1,096,714 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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