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David John Baker [14]David J. Baker [2]David J. Baker [1]
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Profile: David Baker (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
  1. 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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  2.  13
    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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  3.  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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  4.  33
    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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  5.  30
    David John Baker, Review of David Albert, After Physics. [REVIEW]
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  6. 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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  7.  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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  8. 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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  9.  73
    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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  10. 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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  11.  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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  12.  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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  13.  19
    David John Baker (forthcoming). Review: Frank Arntzenius: Space, Time, and Stuff. [REVIEW] Philosophical Explorations.
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  14.  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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17.  2
    David J. Baker (1997). Ea and Knowing in Hawai'i. Critical Inquiry 23 (3):640-659.
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