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Profile: Chuang Liu (University of Florida)
  1. Chuang Liu, Fictional Models in Science.
    In this paper, I begin with a discussion of Giere’s recent work arguing against taking models as works of fiction. I then move on to explore a spectrum of scientific models that goes from the obviously fictional to the not so obviously fictional. And then I discuss the modeling of the unobservable and make a case for the idea that despite difficulties of defining them, unobservable systems are modeled in a fundamentally different way than the observable systems. While idealization and (...)
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  2. Chuang Liu, Fictionalism, Realism, Empiricism on Scientific Models.
    This paper defends an approach to modeling and models in science that is against model fictionalism of a recent stripe (the “new fictionalism” that takes models to be abstract entities that are analogous to works of fiction). It further argues that there is a version of fictionalism on models to which my approach is neutral and which only makes sense if one adopts a special sort of antirealism (e.g. constructive empiricism). Otherwise, my approach strongly suggests that one stays away from (...)
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  3. Chuang LIu, Re-Inflating the Conception of Scientific Representation.
    This paper argues for an anti-deflationist view of scientific representation. Our discussion begins with an analysis of the recent Callender-Cohen deflationary view on scientific representation. We then argue that there are at least two radically different ways in which a thing can be used to represent: one is purely symbolic and therefore conventional, and the other is epistemic. The failure to recognize that scientific models are epistemic vehicles rather than symbolic ones has led to the mistaken (deflationary) view that whatever (...)
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  4. Chuang Liu, Symbols Versus Models.
    In this paper I argue against a deflationist view that as representational vehicles symbols and models do their jobs in essentially the same way. I argue that symbols are conventional vehicles whose chief function is denotation while models are epistemic vehicles whose chief function is showing what their targets are like in the relevant aspects. It is further pointed out that models usually do not rely on similarity or some such relations to relate to their targets. For that referential relation (...)
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  5. Chuang Liu (2013). Deflationism on Scientific Representation. In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer. 93--102.
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  6. Chuang Liu, Confirming Idealized Theories and Scientific Realism.
    Two types of idealization in theory construction are distinguished, and the distinction is used to give a critique of Ron Laymon's account of confirming idealized theories and his argument for scientific realism.
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  7. Chuang Liu, How We Can Be Free From Physics.
    Our discussion in the first five sections shows that little new can be said about compatibilism, that van Inwagen's argument for incompatibilism still stands, and that the view of free agency for a libertarian has little chance unless she believes that agency contains elements that are not within the natural order. Borrowing from a suggestion from Russell we expanded the Nozick-Kane model of libertarian free agency and connected it to the Wignerian interpretation of quantum measurement. As such, free decisions and (...)
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  8. Chuang Liu (2006). La representación del espacio mediante coordenadas cartesianas y la unidad de la ciencia. Discusiones Filosóficas 7 (10):17-32.
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  9. Chuang Liu & Gerard G. Emch (2005). Explaining Quantum Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 36 (1):137-163.
    Two alternative accounts of quantum spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) are compared and one of them, the decompositional account in the algebraic approach, is argued to be superior for understanding quantum SSB. Two exactly solvable models are given as applications of our account -- the Weiss-Heisenberg model for ferromagnetism and the BCS model for superconductivity. Finally, the decompositional account is shown to be more conducive to the causal explanation of quantum SSB.
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  10. Chuang Liu (2004). Approximations, Idealizations, and Models in Statistical Mechanics. Erkenntnis 60 (2):235-263.
    In this paper, a criticism of the traditional theories of approximation and idealization is given as a summary of previous works. After identifying the real purpose and measure of idealization in the practice of science, it is argued that the best way to characterize idealization is not to formulate a logical model – something analogous to Hempel's D-N model for explanation – but to study its different guises in the praxis of science. A case study of it is then made (...)
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  11. Chuang Liu (2004). Laws and Models in a Theory of Idealization. Synthese 138 (3):363 - 385.
    I first give a brief summary of a critique of the traditional theories of approximation and idealization; and after identifying one of the major roles of idealization as detaching component processes or systems from their joints, a detailed analysis is given of idealized laws – which are discoverable and/or applicable – in such processes and systems (i.e., idealized model systems). Then, I argue that dispositional properties should be regarded as admissible properties for laws and that such an inclusion supplies the (...)
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  12. Chuang Liu (2003). Classical Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1219-1232.
    This paper aims at answering the simple question, “What is spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) in classical systems?” I attempt to do this by analyzing from a philosophical perspective a simple classical model which exhibits some of the main features of SSB. Related questions include: What does it mean to say that a symmetry is spontaneously broken? Is it broken without any causes, or is the symmetry not broken but merely hidden? Is the principle, “no asymmetry in, no asymmetry out,” violated (...)
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  13. Chuang Liu (2003). Gauge Gravity and the Unification of Natural Forces. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):143 – 159.
    Physics seems to tell us that there are four fundamental force-fields in nature: the gravitational, the electromagnetic, the weak, and the strong (or interactions). But it also seems to tell us that gravity cannot possibly be a force-field, in the same sense as the other three are. And yet the search for a grand unification of all four force-fields is today one of the hottest pursuits. Is this the result of a simple confusion? This article aims at clarifying this situation (...)
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  14. Chuang Liu (2003). Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking and Chance in a Classical World. Philosophy of Science 70 (3):590-608.
    This essay explores the nature of spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) in connection with a cluster of interrelated concepts such as Curie's symmetry principle, ergodicity, and chance and stability in classical systems. First, a clarification of the two existing senses of SSB is provided and an argument developed for a proposal for SSB, in which not only the possibilities but also the actual breakings are referred to. Second, a detailed analysis is given of classical SSB that answers the questions: (i) how (...)
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  15. Chuang Liu, Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking and Chance.
    In this paper I explore the nature of spontaneous symmetry breaking in connection with a cluster of interrelated concepts such as Curie's symmetry principle, chance, and stability.
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  16. Chuang Liu, Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking (II): Variations in Complex Models.
    This paper, part II of a two-part project, continues to explore the meaning of spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) by applying and expanding the general notion we obtained in part I to some more complex and, from the physics point of view, more important models (in condensed matter physics and in quantum field theories).
     
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  17. Chuang Liu, Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking: Its Meaning From a Simple Classical Model.
    This paper aims at answering the simple question `what is spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB)?` by analyzing from a philosophical perspective a simple classical model which exhibits all the requisite properties of SSB. Related questions include: what does it mean to say that a symmetry is spontaneously broken? Is it broken without any cause, or is the symmetry not broken but merely hidden? Is the meta-principle, `no asymmetry in, no asymmetry out,` violated by SSB? And what is the role in this (...)
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  18. Chuang Liu, The Meaning of Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking (I): From a Simple Classical Model.
    This paper, part I of a two-part project, aims at answering the simple question 'what is spontaneous symmetry breaking?' by analyzing from a philosophical perspective a simple classical model. Related questions include: what does it mean to break a symmetry spontaneously? Is the breaking causal, or is the symmetry not broken but merely hidden? Is the meta-principle, 'no asymmetry in, no asymmetry out,' violated? And what is the role in this of random perturbations (or fluctuations)?
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  19. Chuang Liu (2001). Infinite Systems in SM Explanations: Thermodynamic Limit, Renormalization (Semi-) Groups, and Irreversibility. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S325-.
    This paper examines the justifications for using infinite systems to 'recover' thermodynamic properties, such as phase transitions (PT), critical phenomena (CP), and irreversibility, from the micro-structure of matter in bulk. Section 2 is a summary of such rigorous methods as in taking the thermodynamic limit (TL) to recover PT and in using renormalization (semi-) group approach (RG) to explain the universality of critical exponents. Section 3 examines various possible justifications for taking TL on physically finite systems. Section 4 discusses the (...)
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  20. Chuang Liu (2000). Coins and Electrons: A Unified Understanding of Probabilistic Objects. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 71:243-260.
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  21. Chuang Liu, Coordination of Space and Unity of Science.
    In this essay, I explore a metaphor in geometry for the debate between the unity and the disunity of science, namely, the possibility of putting a global coordinate system (or a chart) on a manifold. I explain why the former is a good metaphor that shows what it means (and takes in principle) for science to be unified. I then go through some of the existing literature on the unity/disunity debate and show how the metaphor sheds light on some of (...)
     
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  22. Chuang Liu (1999). Explaining the Emergence of Cooperative Phenomena. Philosophy of Science 66 (3):106.
    Phase transitions are well-understood phenomena in thermodynamics (TD), but it turns out that they are mathematically impossible in finite SM systems. Hence, phase transitions are truly emergent properties. They appear again at the thermodynamic limit (TL), i.e., in infinite systems. However, most, if not all, systems in which they occur are finite, so whence comes the justification for taking TL? The problem is then traced back to the TD characterization of phase transitions, and it turns out that the characterization is (...)
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  23. Chuang Liu (1998). Decoherence and Idealization in Quantum Measurement. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 63:75-98.
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  24. Chuang Liu (1998). Models and Theories II: Issues and Applications. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (2):111 – 128.
    This paper is the second of a two-part series on models and theories, the first of which appeared in International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 11, No. 2, 1997. It further explores some of themes of the first paper and examines applications, including: the relations between “similarity” and “isomorphism”, and between “model” and “interpretation”, and the notion of structural explanation.
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  25. Chuang Liu (1997). Models and Theories I: The Semantic View Revisited. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (2):147 – 164.
    The paper, as Part I of a two-part series, argues for a hybrid formulation of the semantic view of scientific theories. For stage-setting, it first reviews the elements of the model theory in mathematical logic (on whose foundation the semantic view rests), the syntactic and the semantic view, and the different notions of models used in the practice of science. The paper then argues for an integration of the notions into the semantic view, and thereby offers a hybrid semantic view, (...)
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  26. Chuang Liu (1996). Gauge Invariance, Cauchy Problem, Indeterminism, and Symmetry Breaking. Philosophy of Science 63 (3):79.
    The concepts in the title refer to properties of physical theories (which are given, in this paper, a model-theoretic formulation and appropriate idealizations) and this paper investigates their nature and relations. The first three concepts, especially gauge invariance and indeterminism, have been widely discussed in connection to spacetime theories and the hole argument. Since the gauge invariance principle is at the crux of the issue, this paper aims at clarifying the nature of gauge invariance (either in general or as general (...)
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  27. Chuang Liu (1996). Holism Vs. Particularism: A Lesson From Classical and Quantum Physics. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 27 (2):267-279.
    The present essay aims at broadening the recent discussion on the issue of holism vs. particularism in quantum physics. I begin with a clarification of the relation between the holism/particularism debate and the discussion of supervenience relation. I then defend particularism in physics (including quantum physics) by considering a new classification of properties of physical systems. With such a classification, the results in the Bell theorem are shown to violate spatial separability but not physical particularism.
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  28. Chuang Liu (1996). Potential, Propensity, and Categorical Realism. Erkenntnis 45 (1):45 - 68.
    I argue that categorical realism, contrary to what most believe today, holds for quantum (and indeed for all) objects and substances. The main argument consists of two steps: (i) the recent experimental verification of the AB effect gives strong empirical evidence for taking quantum potentials as physically real (or substantival), which suggests a change of the data upon which any viable interpretation of quantum theory must rely, and (ii) quantum potentials may be consistently taken as the categorical properties of quantum (...)
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  29. Chuang Liu (1994). Is There a Relativistic Thermodynamics? A Case Study of the Meaning of Special Relativity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (6):983-1004.
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  30. Chuang Liu (1994). The Aharonov-Bohm Effect and the Reality of Wave Packets. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (4):977-1000.
    The objective of this paper is to show that, instead of quantum probabilities, wave packets are physically real. First, Cartwright's recent argument for the reality of quantum probabilities is criticized. Then, the notion of ‘physically real’ is precisely defined and the difference between wave functions and quantum probabilities clarified. Being thus prepared, some strong reasons are discussed for considering the wave packet to be physically real. Finding the reasons inconclusive, I explain how the Aharonov—Bohm effect delivers the final punch. I (...)
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  31. Chuang Liu (1993). The Arrow of Time in Quantum Gravity. Philosophy of Science 60 (4):619-637.
    This essay is a philosophical evaluation of some of the findings of Wald and Penrose in which they claim to have supported an arrow (or the irreversibility) of time in quantum gravity. First, the notion of lawlike irreversibility (or anisotropy) of time is spelled out, then the general situation in quantum mechanics is briefly discussed. Finally, the findings in quantum gravity are evaluated against such a background. My conclusion is that the arrow of time found in quantum gravity is at (...)
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