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  1. The Conventionality of Parastatistics.David John Baker, Hans Halvorson & Noel Swanson - 2015 - 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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  • Generalism and the Metaphysics of Ontic Structural Realism.David Glick - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy008.
    Ontic structural realism (OSR) claims that all there is to the world is structure. But how can this slogan be turned into a worked-out metaphysics? Here I consider one potential answer: a metaphysical framework known as generalism (Dasgupta, 2009, 2016). According to the generalist, the most fundamental description of the world is not given in terms of individuals bearing properties, but rather, general facts about which states of affairs obtain. However, I contend that despite several apparent similarities between the positions, (...)
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  • The Parthood of Indiscernibles.Lidia Obojska - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-13.
    In the following work we propose to incorporate the main feature of quantum mechanics, i.e., the concept of indiscernibility. To achieve this goal, first we present two models of set theories: a quasi-set theory and a non-antisymmetric mereology. Next, we show how specific objects of QST—m-atoms—can be defined within NAM. Finally, we introduce a concept of a parthood of indiscernibles and discuss its features in respect to standard notions of indiscernibles and within NAM.
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  • Roads to the Past: How to Go and Not to Go Backward in Time in Quantum Theories.Cristian López - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):27.
    In this article I shall defend, against the conventional understanding of the matter, that two coherent and tenable approaches to time reversal can be suitably introduced in standard quantum mechanics: an “orthodox” approach that demands time reversal to be represented in terms of an anti-unitary and anti-linear time-reversal operator, and a “heterodox” approach that represents time reversal in terms of a unitary, linear time-reversal operator. The rationale shall be that the orthodox approach in quantum theories assumes a relationalist metaphysics of (...)
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  • Entities Without Intrinsic Physical Identity.Vincent Lam - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (5):1157-1171.
    This paper critically discusses recent objections that have been raised against the contextual understanding of fundamental physical objects advocated by non-eliminative ontic structural realism. One of these recent objections claims that such a purely relational understanding of objects cannot account for there being a determinate number of them. A more general objection concerns a well-known circularity threat: relations presuppose the objects they relate and so cannot account for them. A similar circularity objection has also been raised within the framework of (...)
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  • The Entanglement Structure of Quantum Field Systems.Vincent Lam - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):59 - 72.
    This article discusses the peculiar features of quantum entanglement and quantum non-locality within the algebraic approach to relativistic quantum field theory (RQFT). The debate on the ontology of RQFT is considered in the light of these well-known but little discussed features. In particular, this article examines the ontic structural realist understanding of quantum entanglement and quantum non-locality and its contribution to this debate.
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  • Unitary Inequivalence as a Problem for Structural Realism.Steven French - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 43 (2):121-136.
    Howard argues that the existence of unitarily inequivalent representations in Quantum Field Theory presents a problem for structural realism in this context. I consider two potential ways round this problem: 1), follow Wallace in adopting the 'naive' Lagrangian form of QFT with cut-offs; 2), adapt Ruetsche's 'Swiss Army Knife' approach. The first takes us into the current debate between Wallace and Fraser on conventional vs. algebraic QFT. The second involves consideration of the role of inequivalent representations in understanding spontaneous symmetry (...)
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  • The Role of Symmetry in the Interpretation of Physical Theories.Adam Caulton - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):153-162.
    The symmetries of a physical theory are often associated with two things: conservation laws and representational redundancies. But how can a physical theory's symmetries give rise to interesting conservation laws, if symmetries are transformations that correspond to no genuine physical difference? In this article, I argue for a disambiguation in the notion of symmetry. The central distinction is between what I call "analytic" and "synthetic" symmetries, so called because of an analogy with analytic and synthetic propositions. "Analytic" symmetries are the (...)
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  • The Conventionality of Parastatistics.David John Baker, Hans Halvorson & Noel Swanson - 2013 - 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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  • Substantivalism Vs Relationalism About Space in Classical Physics.Shamik Dasgupta - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (9):601-624.
    Substantivalism is the view that space exists in addition to any material bodies situated within it. Relationalism is the opposing view that there is no such thing as space; there are just material bodies, spatially related to one another. This paper assesses this issue in the context of classical physics. It starts by describing the bucket argument for substantivalism. It then turns to anti-substantivalist arguments, including Leibniz's classic arguments and their contemporary reincarnation under the guise of ‘symmetry’. It argues that (...)
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  • A Formal Framework for the Study of the Notion of Undefined Particle Number in Quantum Mechanics.Newton C. A. Da Costa & Federico Holik - 2015 - Synthese 192 (2):505-523.
    It is usually stated that quantum mechanics presents problems with the identity of particles, the most radical position—supported by E. Schrödinger—asserting that elementary particles are not individuals. But the subject goes deeper, and it is even possible to obtain states with an undefined particle number. In this work we present a set theoretical framework for the description of undefined particle number states in quantum mechanics which provides a precise logical meaning for this notion. This construction goes in the line of (...)
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  • Semi-Realism, Sociability and Structure.Steven French - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):1 - 18.
    Semi-realism offers a metaphysics of science based on causal properties. Insofar as these are understood in terms of dispositions for specific relations that comprise the concrete structure of the world it can be regarded as a form of structural realism. And insofar as these properties are 'sociable' and cohere into the groupings that comprise the particulars investigated by science, it captures the underlying intuition behind forms of entity realism. However, I shall raise concerns about both these features. I shall suggest (...)
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