David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:393 - 403 (1992)
Since 1980 effective field theories (EFT's) have been the focus of much research by quantum field theorists but their philosophical implications have gone mostly unnoticed. Some authors claim EFT's are approximations to some fundamental theory. Others claim EFT's are ends in themselves, not approximations to some fundamental theory, and that we can use them to bypass the problem of renormalization. In the present work I argue that the EFT programme can bypass the problem if ontological commitments only come from theoretical predictions. Since the history of QFT suggests some form of entity realism, the EFT programme does not allow us to bypass the problem of renormalization.
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