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Physics Meets Philosophy at the Panck Scale

Cambridge University Press (2001)

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  1. Underdetermination in Cosmology: An Invitation.Jeremy Butterfield - 2012 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 86 (1):1-18.
    I discuss how modern cosmology illustrates underdetermination of theoretical hypotheses by data, in ways that are different from most philosophical discussions. I confine the discussion to the history of the observable universe from about one second after the Big Bang, as described by the mainstream cosmological model: in effect, what cosmologists in the early 1970s dubbed the ‘standard model’, as elaborated since then. Or rather, the discussion is confined to a (very!) few aspects of that history. I emphasize that despite (...)
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  • Humean Supervenience in the Light of Contemporary Science.Vassilios Karakostas - 2009 - Metaphysica 10 (1):1-26.
    It is shown that Lewis’ ontological doctrine of Humean supervenience incorporates at its foundation the so-called separability principle of classical physics. In view of the systematic violation of the latter within quantum mechanics, the claim that contemporary physical science may posit non-supervenient relations beyond the spatiotemporal ones is reinforced on a foundational basis concerning constraints on the state representation of physical systems. Depending on the mode of assignment of states to quantum systems — unit state vectors versus statistical density operators (...)
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  • Probabilistic Time.C. Wetterich - 2012 - Foundations of Physics 42 (11):1384-1443.
    The concept of time emerges as an ordering structure in a classical statistical ensemble. Probability distributions p τ (t) at a given time t obtain by integrating out the past and future. We discuss all-time probability distributions that realize a unitary time evolution as described by rotations of the real wave function $q_{\tau}(t)=\pm \sqrt{p_{\tau}(t)}$ . We establish a map to quantum physics and the Schrödinger equation. Suitable classical observables are mapped to quantum operators. The non-commutativity of the operator product is (...)
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  • Planck-Scale Physics: Facts and Beliefs. [REVIEW]Diego Meschini - 2007 - Foundations of Science 12 (4):277-294.
    The relevance of the Planck scale to a theory of quantum gravity has become a worryingly little examined assumption that goes unchallenged in the majority of research in this area. However, in all scientific honesty, the significance of Planck’s natural units in a future physical theory of spacetime is only a plausible, yet by no means certain, assumption. The purpose of this article is to clearly separate fact from belief in this connection.
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  • Moderate Structural Realism About Space-Time.Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam - 2008 - Synthese 160 (1):27 - 46.
    This paper sets out a moderate version of metaphysical structural realism that stands in contrast to both the epistemic structural realism of Worrall and the—radical—ontic structural realism of French and Ladyman. According to moderate structural realism, objects and relations (structure) are on the same ontological footing, with the objects being characterized only by the relations in which they stand. We show how this position fares well as regards philosophical arguments, avoiding the objections against the other two versions of structural realism. (...)
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  • A Matter of Principle: The Principles of Quantum Theory, Dirac’s Equation, and Quantum Information.Arkady Plotnitsky - 2015 - Foundations of Physics 45 (10):1222-1268.
    This article is concerned with the role of fundamental principles in theoretical physics, especially quantum theory. The fundamental principles of relativity will be addressed as well, in view of their role in quantum electrodynamics and quantum field theory, specifically Dirac’s work, which, in particular Dirac’s derivation of his relativistic equation of the electron from the principles of relativity and quantum theory, is the main focus of this article. I shall also consider Heisenberg’s earlier work leading him to the discovery of (...)
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  • Reality Without Realism: On the Ontological and Epistemological Architecture of Quantum Mechanics.Arkady Plotnitsky & Andrei Khrennikov - 2015 - Foundations of Physics 45 (10):1269-1300.
    First, this article considers the nature of quantum reality and the concept of realism in quantum theory, in conjunction with the roles of locality, causality, and probability and statistics there. Second, it offers two interpretations of quantum mechanics, developed by the authors of this article, the second of which is also a different theory of quantum phenomena. Both of these interpretations are statistical. The first interpretation, by A. Plotnitsky, “the statistical Copenhagen interpretation,” is nonrealist, insofar as the description or even (...)
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  • On Structuralism's Multiple Paths Through Spacetime Theories.Edward Slowik - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):45-66.
    This essay examines the underdetermination problem that plagues structuralist approaches to spacetime theories, with special emphasis placed on the epistemic brands of structuralism, whether of the scientific realist variety or not. Recent non-realist structuralist accounts, by Friedman and van Fraassen, have touted the fact that different structures can accommodate the same evidence as a virtue vis-à-vis their realist counterparts; but, as will be argued, these claims gain little traction against a properly constructed liberal version of epistemic structural realism. Overall, a (...)
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  • Moderate Structural Realism About Space-Time.Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam - 2008 - Synthese 160 (1):27-46.
    This paper sets out a moderate version of metaphysical structural realism that stands in contrast to both the epistemic structural realism of Worrall and the — radical — ontic structural realism of French and Ladyman. According to moderate structural realism, objects and relations are on the same ontological footing, with the objects being characterized only by the relations in which they stand. We show how this position fares well as regards philosophical arguments, avoiding the objections against the other two versions (...)
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  • Robert J. Russell's Eschatological Theology in the Context of Cosmology.Willem B. Drees - 2010 - Zygon 45 (1):228-236.
    The main title of Robert J. Russell's Cosmology from Alpha to Omega: The Creative Mutual Interaction of Theology and Science catches the substance of the essays; the subtitle his methodological vision. The mutualis modest as far as the influence from theology on science goes; in no way is Russell curtailing the pursuit of science. Driven by intellectual honesty, he holds that in the end religious convictions will have to stand the test of compatibility with scientific knowledge. And as a Christian (...)
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