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Profile: David Baker (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
  1. David Baker (2009). Against Field Interpretations of Quantum Field Theory. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):585-609.
    I examine some problems standing in the way of a successful `field interpretation' of quantum field theory. The most popular extant proposal depends on the Hilbert space of `wavefunctionals.' But since wavefunctional space is unitarily equivalent to many-particle Fock space, two of the most powerful arguments against particle interpretations also undermine this form of field interpretation. IntroductionField Interpretations and Field OperatorsThe Wavefunctional InterpretationFields and Inequivalent Representations 4.1. The Rindler representation 4.2. Spontaneous symmetry breaking 4.3. Coherent representations The Fate of Fields (...)
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  2. David Baker (2007). Measurement Outcomes and Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (1):153-169.
    The decision-theoretic account of probability in the Everett or many-worlds interpretation, advanced by David Deutsch and David Wallace, is shown to be circular. Talk of probability in Everett presumes the existence of a preferred basis to identify measurement outcomes for the probabilities to range over. But the existence of a preferred basis can only be established by the process of decoherence, which is itself probabilistic.
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  3. David John Baker & Hans Halvorson (2013). How is Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking Possible? Understanding Wigner's Theorem in Light of Unitary Inequivalence. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):464-469.
    We pose and resolve a puzzle about spontaneous symmetry breaking in the quantum theory of infinite systems. For a symmetry to be spontaneously broken, it must not be implementable by a unitary operator in a ground state's GNS representation. But Wigner's theorem guarantees that any symmetry's action on states is given by a unitary operator. How can this unitary operator fail to implement the symmetry in the GNS representation? We show how it is possible for a unitary operator of this (...)
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  4. David Baker & Hans Halvorson (2010). Antimatter. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):93-121.
    Next SectionThe nature of antimatter is examined in the context of algebraic quantum field theory. It is shown that the notion of antimatter is more general than that of antiparticles. Properly speaking, then, antimatter is not matter made up of antiparticles—rather, antiparticles are particles made up of antimatter. We go on to discuss whether the notion of antimatter is itself completely general in quantum field theory. Does the matter–antimatter distinction apply to all field theoretic systems? The answer depends on which (...)
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  5. David Baker (2011). Broken Symmetry and Spacetime. Philosophy of Science 78 (1):128-148.
    The phenomenon of broken spacetime symmetry in the quantum theory of infinite systems forces us to adopt an unorthodox ontology. We must abandon the standard conception of the physical meaning of these symmetries, or else deny the attractive “liberal” notion of which physical quantities are significant. A third option, more attractive but less well understood, is to abandon the existing (Halvorson-Clifton) notion of intertranslatability for quantum theories.
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  6.  9
    David John Baker, Hans Halvorson & Noel Swanson (2015). The Conventionality of Parastatistics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (4):929-976.
    Nature seems to be such that we can describe it accurately with quantum theories of bosons and fermions alone, without resort to parastatistics. This has been seen as a deep mystery: paraparticles make perfect physical sense, so why don’t we see them in nature? We consider one potential answer: every paraparticle theory is physically equivalent to some theory of bosons or fermions, making the absence of paraparticles in our theories a matter of convention rather than a mysterious empirical discovery. We (...)
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  7.  36
    David John Baker, Does String Theory Posit Extended Simples?
    It is sometimes claimed that string theory posits a fundamental ontology including extended mereological simples, either in the form of minimum-sized regions of space or of the strings themselves. But there is very little in the actual theory to support this claim, and much that suggests it is false. Extant string theories treat space as a continuum, and strings do not behave like simples.
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  8.  32
    David John Baker, The Philosophy of Quantum Field Theory.
    If we divide our physical theories into theories of matter and theories of spacetime, quantum field theory is our most fundamental empirically successful theory of matter. As such, it has attracted increasing attention from philosophers over the past two decades, beginning to eclipse its predecessor theory of quantum mechanics in the philosophical literature. Here I survey some central philosophical puzzles about the theory's foundations.
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  9.  30
    David John Baker, Review of David Albert, After Physics. [REVIEW]
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  10.  51
    David John Baker (2013). Identity, Superselection Theory, and the Statistical Properties of Quantum Fields. Philosophy of Science 80 (2):262-285.
    The permutation symmetry of quantum mechanics is widely thought to imply a sort of metaphysical underdetermination about the identity of particles. Despite claims to the contrary, this implication does not hold in the more fundamental quantum field theory, where an ontology of particles is not generally available. Although permutations are often defined as acting on particles, a more general account of permutation symmetry can be formulated using superselection theory. As a result, permutation symmetry applies even in field theories with no (...)
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  11. David J. Baker (2005). Spacetime Substantivalism and Einstein's Cosmological Constant. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1299-1311.
    I offer a novel argument for spacetime substantivalism: We should take the spacetime of general relativity to be a substance because of its active role in gravitational causation. As a clear example of this causal behavior I offer the cosmological constant, a term in the most general form of the Einstein field equations which causes free floating objects to accelerate apart. This acceleration cannot, I claim, be causally explained except by reference to spacetime itself.
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  12. David John Baker, Hans Halvorson & Noel Swanson (2014). The Conventionality of Parastatistics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (4):axu018.
    Nature seems to be such that we can describe it accurately with quantum theories of bosons and fermions alone, without resort to parastatistics. This has been seen as a deep mystery: paraparticles make perfect physical sense, so why don’t we see them in nature? We consider one potential answer: every paraparticle theory is physically equivalent to some theory of bosons or fermions, making the absence of paraparticles in our theories a matter of convention rather than a mysterious empirical discovery. We (...)
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  13.  71
    David John Baker (2010). Symmetry and the Metaphysics of Physics. Philosophy Compass 5 (12):1157-1166.
    The widely held picture of dynamical symmetry as surplus structure in a physical theory has many metaphysical applications. Here, I focus on its relevance to the question of which quantities in a theory represent fundamental natural properties.
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  14.  15
    David P. Baker, Christopher F. Chabris & Stephen M. Kosslyn (1999). Encoding Categorical and Coordinate Spatial Relations Without Input‐Output Correlations: New Simulation Models. Cognitive Science 23 (1):33-51.
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  15.  2
    Emily Smith Greenaway, Juan Leon & David P. Baker (2012). Understanding the Association Between Maternal Education and Use of Health Services in Ghana: Exploring the Role of Health Knowledge. Journal of Biosocial Science 44 (6):733-747.
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  16. Emily Smith Greenaway, Juan Leon & David P. Baker (2012). Understanding the Association Between Maternal Education and Use of Health Services in Ghana: Exploring the Role of Health Knowledge. Journal of Biosocial Science 44 (6):733-747.
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  17. David John Baker (2012). “The Experience of Left and Right” Meets the Physics of Left and Right. Noûs 46 (3):483-498.
    I consider an argument, due to Geoffrey Lee, that we can know a priori from the left-right asymmetrical character of experience that our brains are left-right asymmetrical. Lee's argument assumes a premise he calls relationism, which I show is well-supported by the best philosophical picture of spacetime. I explain why Lee's relationism is compatible with left-right asymmetrical laws. I then show that the conclusion of Lee's argument is not as strong or surprising as he makes it out to be.
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  18.  6
    David John Baker (2014). Frank Arntzenius,Space, Time, and Stuff. Oxford: Oxford University Press , 320 Pp., $49.50. Philosophy of Science 81 (1):171-174.
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  19.  19
    David John Baker (2010). Gauging What's Real: The Conceptual Foundations of Gauge Theories, by Richard Healey. Mind 119 (474):490-494.
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  20.  19
    David John Baker (forthcoming). Review: Frank Arntzenius: Space, Time, and Stuff. [REVIEW] Philosophical Explorations.
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    Stephen M. Kosslyn, Christopher F. Chabris & David P. Baker (1995). Neural Network Models as Evidence for Different Types of Visual Representations. Cognitive Science 19 (4):575-579.
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  22.  22
    David John Baker, Review of Richard Healey, Gauging What's Real. [REVIEW]
    Review of Richard Healey's 2008 book. To appear in MIND.
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  23.  4
    Montgomery Van Wart, David Baker & Anna Ni (2014). Using a Faculty Survey to Kick-Start an Ethics Curriculum Upgrade. Journal of Business Ethics 122 (4):571-585.
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  24.  4
    Karl-Otto Apel, Jack Ayres, David Baker & David Seawright (2012). Abelson, Harold, and Gerald J. Sussman. The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Pro-Grams. Cambridge, MA, 1985. Adams, John, and Katie Schmuecker, Eds. Devolution in Practice 2006. London, 2005. Adams, John, and Peter Robinson, Eds. Devolution in Practice: Public Policy Differences Within the UK. London, 2002. [REVIEW] In Christian Emden & David R. Midgley (eds.), Beyond Habermas: Democracy, Knowledge, and the Public Sphere. Berghahn Books 205.
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  25. Marc Lange, Peter Vickers, John Michael, Miles MacLeod, Alexander R. Pruss, David John Baker, Clark Glymour & Simon Fitzpatrick (2013). 1. Really Statistical Explanations and Genetic Drift Really Statistical Explanations and Genetic Drift (Pp. 169-188). Philosophy of Science 80 (2).
     
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  26.  2
    David J. Baker (1997). Ea and Knowing in Hawai'i. Critical Inquiry 23 (3):640-659.
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  27.  1
    David Baker (2010). Understanding Musical Understanding: The Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology of the Musical Experience (Review). Philosophy of Music Education Review 18 (2):204-208.
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  28. David J. Baker (2007). Measurement Outcomes and Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (1):153-169.
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