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  1. Holism as the Empirical Significance of Symmetries.Henrique Gomes - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-41.
    Not all symmetries are on a par. For instance, within Newtonian mechanics, we seem to have a good grasp on the empirical significance of boosts, by applying it to subsystems. This is exemplified by the thought experiment known as Galileo’s ship: the inertial state of motion of a ship is immaterial to how events unfold in the cabin, but is registered in the values of relational quantities such as the distance and velocity of the ship relative to the shore. But (...)
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  • Relativity and Equivalence in Hilbert Space: A Principle-Theory Approach to the Aharonov–Bohm Effect.Guy Hetzroni - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (2):120-135.
    This paper formulates generalized versions of the general principle of relativity and of the principle of equivalence that can be applied to general abstract spaces. It is shown that when the principles are applied to the Hilbert space of a quantum particle, its law of coupling to electromagnetic fields is obtained. It is suggested to understand the Aharonov-Bohm effect in light of these principles, and the implications for some related foundational controversies are discussed.
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  • Idealizations, Essential Self-Adjointness, and Minimal Model Explanation in the Aharonov–Bohm Effect.Shech Elay - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4839-4863.
    Two approaches to understanding the idealizations that arise in the Aharonov–Bohm effect are presented. It is argued that a common topological approach, which takes the non-simply connected electron configuration space to be an essential element in the explanation and understanding of the effect, is flawed. An alternative approach is outlined. Consequently, it is shown that the existence and uniqueness of self-adjoint extensions of symmetric operators in quantum mechanics have important implications for philosophical issues. Also, the alleged indispensable explanatory role of (...)
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  • Leibniz Equivalence. On Leibniz's Influence on the Logical Empiricist Interpretation of General Relativity.Marco Giovanelli - unknown
    Einstein’s “point-coincidence argument'” as a response to the “hole argument” is usually considered as an expression of “Leibniz equivalence,” a restatement of indiscernibility in the sense of Leibniz. Through a historical-critical analysis of Logical Empiricists' interpretation of General Relativity, the paper attempts to show that this labeling is misleading. Logical Empiricists tried explicitly to understand the point-coincidence argument as an indiscernibility argument of the Leibnizian kind, such as those formulated in the 19th century debate about geometry, by authors such as (...)
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  • Sameness and Separability in Gauge Theories.John Dougherty - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1189-1201.
    In the philosophical literature on Yang-Mills theories, field formulations are taken to have more structure and to be local, while curve-based formulations are taken to have less structure and to be nonlocal. I formalize the notion of locality at issue and show that theories with less structure are nonlocal. However, the amount of structure had by some formulation is independent of whether it uses fields or curves. The relevant difference in structure is not a difference in set-theoretic structure. Rather, it (...)
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  • Scientific Realism Made Effective.Porter Williams - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):209-237.
    I argue that a common philosophical approach to the interpretation of physical theories—particularly quantum field theories—has led philosophers astray. It has driven many to declare the quantum field theories employed by practicing physicists, so-called ‘effective field theories’, to be unfit for philosophical interpretation. In particular, such theories have been deemed unable to support a realist interpretation. I argue that these claims are mistaken: attending to the manner in which these theories are employed in physical practice, I show that interpreting effective (...)
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  • The Aharonov-Bohm Debate in 3D.Afriat Alexander - unknown
    Going from two dimensions to three can shed light on the Aharonov-Bohm debate. The three-dimensional analogy is misleading if taken too literally; it makes sense on a more abstract, formal level. A slight tweak is enough to produce gauge freedom in three dimensions.
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  • Time and Structure in Canonical Gravity.Dean Rickles - 2004 - In Dean Rickles, Steven French & Juha T. Saatsi (eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity. Clarendon Press.
    In this paper I wish to make some headway on understanding what \emph{kind} of problem the ``problem of time'' is, and offer a possible resolution---or, rather, a new way of understanding an old resolution. The response I give is a variation on a theme of Rovelli's \emph{evolving constants of motion} strategy. I argue that by giving correlation strategies a \emph{structuralist} basis, a number of objections to the standard account can be blunted. Moreover, I show that the account I offer provides (...)
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  • Change in Hamiltonian General Relativity From the Lack of a Time-Like Killing Vector Field.J. Brian Pitts - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 47:68-89.
    In General Relativity in Hamiltonian form, change has seemed to be missing, defined only asymptotically, or otherwise obscured at best, because the Hamiltonian is a sum of first-class constraints and a boundary term and thus supposedly generates gauge transformations. Attention to the gauge generator G of Rosenfeld, Anderson, Bergmann, Castellani et al., a specially _tuned sum_ of first-class constraints, facilitates seeing that a solitary first-class constraint in fact generates not a gauge transformation, but a bad physical change in electromagnetism or (...)
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  • Two Approaches to Fractional Statistics in the Quantum Hall Effect: Idealizations and the Curious Case of the Anyon.Elay Shech - 2015 - Foundations of Physics 45 (9):1063-1100.
    This paper looks at the nature of idealizations and representational structures appealed to in the context of the fractional quantum Hall effect, specifically, with respect to the emergence of anyons and fractional statistics. Drawing on an analogy with the Aharonov–Bohm effect, it is suggested that the standard approach to the effects— the topological approach to fractional statistics—relies essentially on problematic idealizations that need to be revised in order for the theory to be explanatory. An alternative geometric approach is outlined and (...)
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  • Gauge-Underdetermination and Shades of Locality in the Aharonov–Bohm Effect.Ruward A. Mulder - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (2):1-26.
    I address the view that the classical electromagnetic potentials are shown by the Aharonov–Bohm effect to be physically real. I give a historico-philosophical presentation of this view and assess its prospects, more precisely than has so far been done in the literature. Taking the potential as physically real runs prima facie into ‘gauge-underdetermination’: different gauge choices represent different physical states of affairs and hence different theories. This fact is usually not acknowledged in the literature, neither by proponents nor by opponents (...)
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  • Against Pointillisme: A Call to Arms.Jeremy Butterfield - unknown
    This paper forms part of a wider campaign: to deny pointillisme. That is the doctrine that a physical theory's fundamental quantities are defined at points of space or of spacetime, and represent intrinsic properties of such points or point-sized objects located there; so that properties of spatial or spatiotemporal regions and their material contents are determined by the point-by-point facts. Elsewhere, I argued against pointillisme about chrono-geometry, and about velocity in classical mechanics. In both cases, attention focussed on temporal extrinsicality: (...)
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  • Change Without Change, and How to Observe It in General Relativity.Richard Healey - 2004 - Synthese 141 (3):381 - 415.
    All change involves temporal variation of properties. There is change in the physical world only if genuine physical magnitudes take on different values at different times. I defend the possibility of change in a general relativistic world against two skeptical arguments recently presented by John Earman. Each argument imposes severe restrictions on what may count as a genuine physical magnitude in general relativity. These restrictions seem justified only as long as one ignores the fact that genuine change in a relativistic (...)
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  • Invariance or Equivalence: A Tale of Two Principles.Caspar Jacobs - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    The presence of symmetries in physical theories implies a pernicious form of underdetermination. In order to avoid this theoretical vice, philosophers often espouse a principle called Leibniz Equivalence, which states that symmetry-related models represent the same state of affairs. Moreover, philosophers have claimed that the existence of non-trivial symmetries motivates us to accept the Invariance Principle, which states that quantities that vary under a theory’s symmetries aren’t physically real. Leibniz Equivalence and the Invariance Principle are often seen as part of (...)
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  • I Ain’T Afraid of No Ghost.John Dougherty - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88:70-84.
    This paper criticizes the traditional philosophical account of the quantization of gauge theories and offers an alternative. On the received view, gauge theories resist quantization because they feature distinct mathematical representatives of the same physical state of affairs. This resistance is overcome by a sequence of ad hoc modifications, justified in part by reference to semiclassical electrodynamics. Among other things, these modifications introduce "ghosts": particles with unphysical properties which do not appear in asymptotic states and which are said to be (...)
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  • A Partial Elucidation of the Gauge Principle.Alexandre Guay - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (2):346-363.
    The elucidation of the gauge principle ‘‘is the most pressing problem in current philosophy of physics’’ said Michael Redhead in 2003. This paper argues for two points that contribute to this elucidation in the context of Yang–Mills theories. (1) Yang–Mills theories, including quantum electrodynamics, form a class. They should be interpreted together. To focus on electrodynamics is potentially misleading. (2) The essential role of gauge and BRST symmetries is to provide a local field theory that can be quantized and would (...)
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  • Why is the Transference Theory of Causation Insuffcient? The Challenge of the Aharonov-Bohm Effect.Vincent Ardourel & Alexandre Guay - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 63:12-23.
    The transference theory reduces causation to the transmission of physical conserved quantities, like energy or momenta. Although this theory aims at applying to all felds of physics, we claim that it fails to account for a quantum electrodynamic effect, viz. the Aharonov-Bohm effect. After having argued that the Aharonov-Bohm effect is a genuine counter-example for the transference theory, we offer a new physicalist approach of causation, ontic and modal, in which this effect is embedded.
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  • Symmetries and Invariances in Classical Physics.Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani - unknown - In Jeremy Butterfield & John Earman (eds.). Elsevier.
    Symmetry, intended as invariance with respect to a transformation (more precisely, with respect to a transformation group), has acquired more and more importance in modern physics. This Chapter explores in 8 Sections the meaning, application and interpretation of symmetry in classical physics. This is done both in general, and with attention to specific topics. The general topics include illustration of the distinctions between symmetries of objects and of laws, and between symmetry principles and symmetry arguments (such as Curie's principle), and (...)
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  • Nonseparability, Classical, and Quantum.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):417-432.
    This article examines the implications of the holonomy interpretation of classical electromagnetism. As has been argued by Richard Healey and Gordon Belot, classical electromagnetism on this interpretation evinces a form of nonseparability, something that otherwise might have been thought of as confined to nonclassical physics. Consideration of the differences between this classical nonseparability and quantum nonseparability shows that the nonseparability exhibited by the classical electromagnetism on the holonomy interpretation is closer to separability than might at first appear.
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  • What Are Symmetries?David John Baker - unknown
    I advance a stipulational account of symmetries, according to which symmetries are part of the content of theories. For a theory to have a certain symmetry is for the theory to stipulate that models related by the symmetry represent the same possibility. I show that the stipulational account compares positively with alternatives, including Dasgupta's epistemic account of symmetry, Moller-Nielsen's motivational account, and so-called formal and ontic accounts. In particular, the stipulational account avoids the problems Belot and Dasgupta have raised against (...)
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  • Are Gauge Symmetry Transformations Observable?Katherine Brading & Harvey R. Brown - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):645-665.
    In a recent paper in this journal, Kosso ([2000]) discussed the observational status of continuous symmetries of physics. While we are in broad agreement with his approach, we disagree with his analysis. In the discussion of the status of gauge symmetry, a set of examples offered by 't Hooft ([1980]) has influenced several philosophers, including Kosso; in all cases the interpretation of the examples is mistaken. In this paper, we present our preferred approach to the empirical significance of symmetries, re-analysing (...)
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  • Non‐Locality in Classical Electrodynamics.Mathias Frisch - 2002 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (1):1-19.
    in Dirac's classical theory of the electron—is causally non-local. I distinguish two distinct causal locality principles and argue, using Dirac's theory as my main case study, that neither can be reduced to a non-causal principle of local determinism.
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  • Betting on Future Physics.Mike D. Schneider - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:000-000.
    The ‘cosmological constant problem’ has historically been understood as describing a conflict between cosmological observations in the framework of general relativity and theoretical predictions from quantum field theory, which a future theory of quantum gravity ought to resolve. I argue that this view of the CCP is best understood in terms of a bet about future physics made on the basis of particular interpretational choices in GR and QFT, respectively. Crucially, each of these choices must be taken as itself grounded (...)
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  • Gauge and Ghosts.Guy Hetzroni - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz021.
    This article suggests a fresh look at gauge symmetries, with the aim of drawing a clear line between the a priori theoretical considerations involved, and some methodological and empirical non-deductive aspects that are often overlooked. The gauge argument is primarily based on a general symmetry principle expressing the idea that a change of mathematical representation should not change the form of the dynamical law. In addition, the ampliative part of the argument is based on the introduction of new degrees of (...)
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  • Gravity and Gauge.Nicholas J. Teh - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):497-530.
    Philosophers of physics and physicists have long been intrigued by the analogies and disanalogies between gravitational theories and gauge theories. Indeed, repeated attempts to collapse these disanalogies have made us acutely aware that there are fairly general obstacles to doing so. Nonetheless, there is a special case space-time dimensions) in which gravity is often claimed to be identical to a gauge theory. I subject this claim to philosophical scrutiny in this article. In particular, I analyse how the standard disanalogies can (...)
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  • Against Pointillisme About Mechanics.Jeremy Butterfield - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):709-753.
    This paper forms part of a wider campaign: to deny pointillisme, the doctrine that a physical theory's fundamental quantities are defined at points of space or of spacetime, and represent intrinsic properties of such points or point-sized objects located there; so that properties of spatial or spatiotemporal regions and their material contents are determined by the point-by-point facts. More specifically, this paper argues against pointillisme about the concept of velocity in classical mechanics; especially against proposals by Tooley, Robinson and Lewis. (...)
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  • The Rotating Discs Argument Defeated.Jeremy Butterfield - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):1-45.
    The rotating discs argument against perdurantism has been mostly discussed by metaphysicians, though the argument of course appeals to ideas from classical mechanics, especially about rotation. In contrast, I assess the RDA from the perspective of the philosophy of physics. I argue for three main conclusions. The first conclusion is that the RDA can be formulated more strongly than is usually recognized: it is not necessary to ‘imagine away’ the dynamical effects of rotation. The second is that in general relativity, (...)
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  • Grounding at a distance.Sam Baron, Kristie Miller & Jonathan Tallant - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3373-3390.
    What distinguishes causation from grounding? One suggestion is that causation, but not grounding, occurs over time. Recently, however, counterexamples to this simple temporal criterion have been offered. In this paper, we situate the temporal criterion within a broader framework that focuses on two aspects: locational overlapping in space and time and the presence of intermediaries in space and time. We consider, and reject, the idea that the difference between grounding and causation is that grounding can occur without intermediaries. We go (...)
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  • General Relativity Needs No Interpretation.Erik Curiel - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (1):44-72.
    I argue that, contrary to the recent claims of physicists and philosophers of physics, general relativity requires no interpretation in any substantive sense of the term. I canvass the common reasons given in favor of the alleged need for an interpretation, including the difficulty in coming to grips with the physical significance of diffeomorphism invariance and of singular structure, and the problems faced in the search for a theory of quantum gravity. I find that none of them shows any defect (...)
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  • Which Worldlines Represent Possible Particle Histories?Samuel C. Fletcher - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (6):582-599.
    Based on three common interpretive commitments in general relativity, I raise a conceptual problem for the usual identification, in that theory, of timelike curves as those that represent the possible histories of particles in spacetime. This problem affords at least three different solutions, depending on different representational and ontological assumptions one makes about the nature of particles, fields, and their modal structure. While I advocate for a cautious pluralism regarding these options, I also suggest that re-interpreting particles as field processes (...)
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  • Is the World Made of Loops?Alexander Afriat - unknown
    In discussions of the Aharonov-Bohm effect, Healey and Lyre have attributed reality to loops $\sigma_0$ (or hoops $[\sigma_0]$), since the electromagnetic potential $A$ is currently unmeasurable and can therefore be transformed. I argue that $[A]=[A+d\lambda]_{\lambda}$ and the hoop $[\sigma_0]$ are related by a meaningful duality, so that however one feels about $[A]$ (or any potential $A\in[A]$), it is no worse than $[\sigma_0]$ (or any loop $\sigma_0\in[\sigma_0]$): no ontological firmness is gained by retreating to the loops, which are just as flimsy (...)
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  • Is the World Made of Loops?Alexander Afriat - 2013
    In discussions of the Aharonov-Bohm effect, Healey and Lyre have attributed reality to loops $\sigma_0$ (or hoops $[\sigma_0]$), since the electromagnetic potential $A$ is currently unmeasurable and can therefore be transformed. I argue that $[A]=[A+d\lambda]_{\lambda}$ and the hoop $[\sigma_0]$ are related by a meaningful duality, so that however one feels about $[A]$ (or any potential $A\in[A]$), it is no worse than $[\sigma_0]$ (or any loop $\sigma_0\in[\sigma_0]$): no ontological firmness is gained by retreating to the loops, which are just as flimsy (...)
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  • Holism and Structuralism in U(1) Gauge Theory.Holger Lyre - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (4):643-670.
    After decades of neglect philosophers of physics have discovered gauge theories--arguably the paradigm of modern field physics--as a genuine topic for foundational and philosophical research. Incidentally, in the last couple of years interest from the philosophy of physics in structural realism--in the eyes of its proponents the best suited realist position towards modern physics--has also raised. This paper tries to connect both topics and aims to show that structural realism gains further credence from an ontological analysis of gauge theories--in particular (...)
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  • Why Not Categorical Equivalence?James Owen Weatherall - unknown
    In recent years philosophers of science have explored categorical equivalence as a promising criterion for when two theories are equivalent. On the one hand, philosophers have presented several examples of theories whose relationships seem to be clarified using these categorical methods. On the other hand, philosophers and logicians have studied the relationships, particularly in the first order case, between categorical equivalence and other notions of equivalence of theories, including definitional equivalence and generalized definitional equivalence. In this article, I will express (...)
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  • Interpreting Heisenberg Interpreting Quantum States.Simon Friederich - 2012 - Philosophia Naturalis 50 (1):85-114.
    The paper investigates possible readings of the later Heisenberg's remarks on the nature of quantum states. It discusses, in particular, whether Heisenberg should be seen as a proponent of the epistemic conception of states – the view that quantum states are not descriptions of quantum systems but rather reflect the state assigning observers' epistemic relations to these systems. On the one hand, it seems plausible that Heisenberg subscribes to that view, given how he defends the notorious "collapse of the wave (...)
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  • On the Persistence of Homogeneous Matter.Jeremy Butterfield - unknown
    Some recent philosophical debate about persistence has focussed on an argument against perdurantism that discusses rotating perfectly homogeneous discs. The argument has been mostly discussed by metaphysicians, though it appeals to ideas from classical mechanics, especially about rotation. In contrast, I assess the RDA from the perspective of the philosophy of physics. After introducing the argument and emphasizing the relevance of physics, I review some metaphysicians' replies to the argument, especially those by Callender, Lewis, Robinson and Sider. Thereafter, I argue (...)
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  • Conceptual Foundations of Yang–Mills Theories. [REVIEW]Alexandre Guay - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (3):687-693.
    Essay review of Gauging What’s Real: The Conceptual Foundations of Contemporary Gauge Theories R. Healey. Oxford University Press (2007). To be published in the Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 39(3):687-693, 2008.
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  • Are Newtonian Gravitation and Geometrized Newtonian Gravitation Theoretically Equivalent?James Weatherall - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (5):1073-1091.
    I argue that a criterion of theoretical equivalence due to Glymour :227–251, 1977) does not capture an important sense in which two theories may be equivalent. I then motivate and state an alternative criterion that does capture the sense of equivalence I have in mind. The principal claim of the paper is that relative to this second criterion, the answer to the question posed in the title is “yes”, at least on one natural understanding of Newtonian gravitation.
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  • The Arbitrariness of Local Gauge Symmetry.Alexandre Guay - 2004
    This paper shows how the study of surpluses of structure is an interesting philosophical task. In particular I explore how local gauge symmetry in quantized Yang-Mills theories is the by-product of the specific dynamical structure of interaction. It is shown how in non relativistic quantum mechanics gauge symmetry corresponds to the freedom to locally define global features of gauge potentials. Also discussed is how in quantum field theory local gauge symmetry is replaced by BRST symmetry. This last symmetry is apparently (...)
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  • Presentism and Quantum Gravity.Bradley Monton - 2001 - In Dennis Dieks (ed.), The Ontology of Spacetime.
    There is a philosophical tradition of arguing against presentism, the thesis that only presently existing things exist, on the basis of its incompatibility with fundamental physics. I grant that presentism is incompatible with special and general relativity, but argue that presentism is not incompatible with quantum gravity, because there are some theories of quantum gravity that utilize a fixed foliation of spacetime. I reply to various objections to this defense of presentism, and point out a flaw in Gödel's modal argument (...)
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  • Against Pointillisme About Geometry.Jeremy Butterfield - 2005 - In Michael Stöltzner & Friedrich Stadler (eds.), Time and History: Proceedings of the 28. International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium, Kirchberg Am Wechsel, Austria 2005. De Gruyter. pp. 181-222.
    This paper forms part of a wider campaign: to deny pointillisme. That is the doctrine that a physical theory's fundamental quantities are defined at points of space or of spacetime, and represent intrinsic properties of such points or point-sized objects located there; so that properties of spatial or spatiotemporal regions and their material contents are determined by the point-by-point facts. More specifically, this paper argues against pointillisme about the structure of space and-or spacetime itself, especially a paper by Bricker (1993). (...)
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  • Fiber Bundles, Yang–Mills Theory, and General Relativity.James Weatherall - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8).
    I articulate and discuss a geometrical interpretation of Yang–Mills theory. Analogies and disanalogies between Yang–Mills theory and general relativity are also considered.
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  • Categories and the Foundations of Classical Field Theories.James Owen Weatherall - forthcoming - In Elaine Landry (ed.), Categories for the Working Philosopher. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    I review some recent work on applications of category theory to questions concerning theoretical structure and theoretical equivalence of classical field theories, including Newtonian gravitation, general relativity, and Yang-Mills theories.
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  • A Versus B! Topological Nonseparability and the Aharonov-Bohm Effect.Tim Oliver Eynck, Holger Lyre & Nicolai von Rummell - 2001
    Since its discovery in 1959 the Aharonov-Bohm effect has continuously been the cause for controversial discussions of various topics in modern physics, e.g. the reality of gauge potentials, topological effects and nonlocalities. In the present paper we juxtapose the two rival interpretations of the Aharonov-Bohm effect. We show that the conception of nonlocality encountered in the Aharonov-Bohm effect is closely related to the nonseparability which is common in quantum mechanics albeit distinct from it due to its topological nature. We propose (...)
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  • Which Gauge Matters?James Mattingly - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (2):243-262.
  • Rehabilitating Relationalism.Gordon Belot - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (1):35 – 52.
    I argue that the conviction, widespread among philosophers, that substantivalism enjoys a clear superiority over relationalism in both Newtonian and relativistic physics is ill-founded. There are viable relationalist approaches to understanding these theories, and the substantival-relational debate should be of interest to philosophers and physicists alike, because of its connection with questions about the correct space of states for various physical theories.
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  • Causes, Counterfactuals, and Non-Locality.Mathias Frisch - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):655-672.
    In order to motivate the thesis that there is no single concept of causation that can do justice to all of our core intuitions concerning that concept, Ned Hall has argued that there is a conflict between a counterfactual criterion of causation and the condition of causal locality. In this paper I critically examine Hall's argument within the context of a more general discussion of the role of locality constraints in a causal conception of the world. I present two strategies (...)
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  • On Emergence in Gauge Theories at the ’T Hooft Limit‘.Nazim Bouatta & Jeremy Butterfield - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (1):55-87.
    Quantum field theories are notoriously difficult to understand, physically as well as philosophically. The aim of this paper is to contribute to a better conceptual understanding of gauge quantum field theories, such as quantum chromodynamics, by discussing a famous physical limit, the ’t Hooft limit, in which the theory concerned often simplifies. The idea of the limit is that the number N of colours goes to infinity. The simplifications that can happen in this limit, and that we will consider, are: (...)
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  • Why Yang-Mills Theories?Alexandre Guay - 2006
    The elucidation of the gauge principle ``is the most pressing problem in current philosophy of physics" Redhead. This paper argues two points that contribute to this elucidation in the context of Yang-Mills theories. 1) Yang-Mills theories, including quantum electrodynamics, form a class. They should be interpreted together. To focus on electrodynamics is a mistake. 2) The essential role of gauge and BRST surplus is to provide a local theory that can be quantized and would be equivalent to the quantization of (...)
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  • Maudlin's Mathematical Maneuver: A Case Study in the Metaphysical Implications of Mathematical Representations.Robbie Hirsch - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (1):170-210.