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  1. Lawrence P. Horwitz: Relativistic Quantum Mechanics: Springer, Dordrecht, 2015.Donald Reed - 2017 - Foundations of Physics 47 (11):1498-1502.
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  • How to Take Particle Physics Seriously: A Further Defence of Axiomatic Quantum Field Theory.Doreen Fraser - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (2):126-135.
    Further arguments are offered in defence of the position that the variant of quantum field theory (QFT) that should be subject to interpretation and foundational analysis is axiomatic quantum field theory. I argue that the successful application of renormalization group (RG) methods within alternative formulations of QFT illuminates the empirical content of QFT, but not the theoretical content. RG methods corroborate the point of view that QFT is a case of the underdetermination of theory by empirical evidence. I also urge (...)
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  • Particles, Cutoffs and Inequivalent Representations: Fraser and Wallace on Quantum Field Theory.Matthias Egg, Vincent Lam & Andrea Oldofredi - 2017 - Foundations of Physics 47 (3):453-466.
    We critically review the recent debate between Doreen Fraser and David Wallace on the interpretation of quantum field theory, with the aim of identifying where the core of the disagreement lies. We show that, despite appearances, their conflict does not concern the existence of particles or the occurrence of unitarily inequivalent representations. Instead, the dispute ultimately turns on the very definition of what a quantum field theory is. We further illustrate the fundamental differences between the two approaches by comparing them (...)
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  • The Ontology of Quantum Field Theory: Structural Realism Vindicated?David Glick - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:78-86.
    In this paper I elicit a prediction from structural realism and compare it, not to a historical case, but to a contemporary scientific theory. If structural realism is correct, then we should expect physics to develop theories that fail to provide an ontology of the sort sought by traditional realists. If structure alone is responsible for instrumental success, we should expect surplus ontology to be eliminated. Quantum field theory (QFT) provides the framework for some of the best confirmed theories in (...)
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  • Taking Particle Physics Seriously: A Critique of the Algebraic Approach to Quantum Field Theory.David Wallace - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (2):116-125.
    I argue against the currently prevalent view that algebraic quantum field theory (AQFT) is the correct framework for philosophy of quantum field theory and that “conventional” quantum field theory (CQFT), of the sort used in mainstream particle physics, is not suitable for foundational study. In doing so, I defend that position that AQFT and CQFT should be understood as rival programs to resolve the mathematical and physical pathologies of renormalization theory, and that CQFT has succeeded in this task and AQFT (...)
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  • Lessons From Realistic Physics for the Metaphysics of Quantum Theory.David Wallace - 2018 - Synthese:1-16.
    Quantum mechanics, and classical mechanics, are framework theories that incorporate many different concrete theories which in general cannot be arranged in a neat hierarchy, but discussion of ‘the ontology of quantum mechanics’ tends to proceed as if quantum mechanics were a single concrete theory, specifically the physics of nonrelativistically moving point particles interacting by long-range forces. I survey the problems this causes and make some suggestions for how a more physically realistic perspective ought to influence the metaphysics of quantum mechanics.
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  • Lessons from realistic physics for the metaphysics of quantum theory.David Wallace - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4303-4318.
    Quantum mechanics, and classical mechanics, are framework theories that incorporate many different concrete theories which in general cannot be arranged in a neat hierarchy, but discussion of ‘the ontology of quantum mechanics’ tends to proceed as if quantum mechanics were a single concrete theory, specifically the physics of nonrelativistically moving point particles interacting by long-range forces. I survey the problems this causes and make some suggestions for how a more physically realistic perspective ought to influence the metaphysics of quantum mechanics.
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  • The Quantum Theory of Fields.David Wallace - 2021 - In Eleanor Knox & Alistair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics.
    I give an introduction to the conceptual structure of quantum field theory as it is used in mainstream theoretical physics today, aimed at non-specialists. My main focuses in the article are the common structure of quantum field theory as it is applied in solid-state physics and as it is applied in high-energy physics; the modern theory of renormalisation.
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  • Four Attitudes Towards Singularities in the Search for a Theory of Quantum Gravity.Karen Crowther & Sebastian De Haro - forthcoming - In Antonio Vassallo (ed.), The Foundations of Spacetime Physics: Philosophical Perspectives.
    Singularities in general relativity and quantum field theory are often taken not only to motivate the search for a more-fundamental theory (quantum gravity, QG), but also to characterise this new theory and shape expectations of what it is to achieve. Here, we first evaluate how particular types of singularities may suggest an incompleteness of current theories. We then classify four different 'attitudes' towards singularities in the search for QG, and show, through examples in the physics literature, that these lead to (...)
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  • Bottoms Up: The Standard Model Effective Field Theory From a Model Perspective.Philip Bechtle, Cristin Chall, Martin King, Michael Krämer, Peter Mättig & Michael Stöltzner - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 92:129-143.
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  • Effective theories and infinite idealizations: a challenge for scientific realism.Sébastien Rivat - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):12107-12136.
    Williams and J. Fraser have recently argued that effective field theory methods enable scientific realists to make more reliable ontological commitments in quantum field theory than those commonly made. In this paper, I show that the interpretative relevance of these methods extends beyond the specific context of QFT by identifying common structural features shared by effective theories across physics. In particular, I argue that effective theories are best characterized by the fact that they contain intrinsic empirical limitations, and I extract (...)
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  • A Philosopher's Guide to the Foundations of Quantum Field Theory.Noel Swanson - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (5):e12414.
    A major obstacle facing interpreters of quantum field theory is a proliferation of different theoretical frameworks. This article surveys three of the main available options—Lagrangian, Wightman, and algebraic QFT—and examines how they are related. Although each framework emphasizes different aspects of QFT, leading to distinct strengths and weaknesses, there is less tension between them than commonly assumed. Given the limitations of our current knowledge and the need for creative new ideas, I urge philosophers to explore puzzles, tools, and techniques from (...)
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  • Scientific Realism and Underdetermination in Quantum Theory.Matthias Egg & Juha Saatsi - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (11):e12773.
  • Robustness, Diversity of Evidence, and Probabilistic Independence.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2015 - In Mäki, Ruphy, Schurz & Votsis (eds.), Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Science: EPSA13 Helsinki. Springer. pp. 305-316.
    In robustness analysis, hypotheses are supported to the extent that a result proves robust, and a result is robust to the extent that we detect it in diverse ways. But what precise sense of diversity is at work here? In this paper, I show that the formal explications of evidential diversity most often appealed to in work on robustness – which all draw in one way or another on probabilistic independence – fail to shed light on the notion of diversity (...)
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  • Theoretical Equivalence as Interpretative Equivalence.Kevin Coffey - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):821-844.
    The problem of theoretical equivalence is traditionally understood as the problem of specifying when superficially dissimilar accounts of the world are reformulations of a single underlying theory. One important strategy for answering this question has been to appeal to formal relations between theoretical structures. This article presents two reasons to think that such an approach will be unsuccessful and suggests an alternative account of theoretical equivalence, based on the notion of interpretive equivalence, in which the problem is merely an instance (...)
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  • Reflexive, Symmetric and Transitive Scientific Representations.Aboutorab Yaghmaie - manuscript
    Theories of scientific representation, following Chakrawartty's categorization, are divided into two groups. Whereas cognitive-functional views emphasize agents' intentions, informational theories stress the objective relation between represented and representing. In the first part, a modified structuralist theory is introduced that takes into account agents' intentions. The second part is devoted to dismissing a criticism against the structural account of representation on which similarity as the backbone of representation raises serious problems, since it has definite logical features, i.e. reflexivity, symmetry and transitivity, (...)
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  • The Silence of Physics.Barry Dainton - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    Although many find it hard to believe that every physical thing—no matter how simple or small—involves some form of consciousness, panpsychists offer the reassurance that their claims are perfectly compatible with everything physics has to say about the physical world. This is because although physics has a lot to say about causal and structural properties it has nothing to say about the intrinsic natures of physical things, and if physics is silent in this regard it is perfectly possible that everything (...)
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  • Appearing Out of Nowhere: The Emergence of Spacetime in Quantum Gravity.Karen Crowther - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Sydney
    Quantum gravity is understood as a theory that, in some sense, unifies general relativity (GR) and quantum theory, and is supposed to replace GR at extremely small distances (high-energies). It may be that quantum gravity represents the breakdown of spacetime geometry described by GR. The relationship between quantum gravity and spacetime has been deemed ``emergence'', and the aim of this thesis is to investigate and explicate this relation. After finding traditional philosophical accounts of emergence to be inappropriate, I develop a (...)
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  • The Status of Scaling Limits as Approximations in Quantum Theories.Benjamin Feintzeig - unknown
    This paper attempts to make sense of a notion of ``approximation on certain scales'' in physical theories. I use this notion to understand the classical limit of ordinary quantum mechanics as a kind of scaling limit, showing that the mathematical tools of strict quantization allow one to make the notion of approximation precise. I then compare this example with the scaling limits involved in renormalization procedures for effective field theories. I argue that one does not yet have the mathematical tools (...)
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  • Conceptual Problems in Quantum Electrodynamics: A Contemporary Historical-Philosophical Approach.Mario Bacelar Valente - unknown
    PhD dissertation addressing what can be called conceptual-mathematical anomalies in quantum electrodynamics. This work can be seen as following the line of philosophy of physics studies of quantum field theory that started to emerge in a systematic way in the early eighties of last century. One example is Teller’s work on standard quantum electrodynamics.In this work, by following a historical approach, I will return to the standard version of quantum electrodynamics, which is the only one available when we want to (...)
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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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  • Why Conceptual Rigour Matters to Philosophy: On the Ontological Significance of Algebraic Quantum Field Theory. [REVIEW]Meinard Kuhlmann - 2010 - Foundations of Physics 40 (9-10):1625-1637.
    I argue that algebraic quantum field theory (AQFT) permits an undisturbed view of the right ontology for fundamental physics, whereas standard (or Lagrangian) QFT offers different mutually incompatible ontologies.My claim does not depend on the mathematical inconsistency of standard QFT but on the fact that AQFT has the same concerns as ontology, namely categorical parsimony and a clearly structured hierarchy of entities.
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  • Trope Ontology and Algebraic Quantum Field Theory: An Evaluation of Kuhlmann's Proposal.Emanuele Rossanese - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):417-423.
    Meinard Kuhlmann has recently provided an interpretation of quantum field theory that seems to offer an alternative to the particle and field interpretations. The main idea is to adopt a trope ontology and, then, consider particles and fields as derivative entities. The aim of this paper is to discuss Kuhlmann's proposal. In the first part of the paper I will offer a reconstruction of his position. I will then show that this interpretation faces some problems about the distinction between essential (...)
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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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  • The Real Problem with Perturbative Quantum Field Theory.James D. Fraser - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):391-413.
    The perturbative approach to quantum field theory has long been viewed with suspicion by philosophers of science. This article offers a diagnosis of its conceptual problems. Drawing on Norton’s discussion of the notion of approximation I argue that perturbative QFT ought to be understood as producing approximations without specifying an underlying QFT model. This analysis leads to a reassessment of common worries about perturbative QFT. What ends up being the key issue with the approach on this picture is not mathematical (...)
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  • Mathematical Structure and Empirical Content.Michael E. Miller - unknown - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Approaches to the interpretation of physical theories provide accounts of how physical meaning accrues to the mathematical structure of a theory. According to many standard approaches to interpretation, meaning relations are captured by maps from the mathematical structure of the theory to statements expressing its empirical content. In this paper I argue that while such accounts adequately address meaning relations when exact models are available or perturbation theory converges, they do not fare as well for models that give rise to (...)
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  • Inequivalent Representations Do Not Undermine Realism About Particles.Matthias Egg - unknown
  • 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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  • The Quantum Hall Effects: Philosophical Approach.P. Lederer - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 50:25-42.
  • Interpretive Strategies for Deductively Insecure Theories: The Case of Early Quantum Electrodynamics.Bihui Li - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):395-403.
    I describe some interpretive strategies used by physicists in the development of quantum electrodynamics in the 1930s and 1940s, using Wimsatt's account of how to reason with false models as a guide. I call these “interpretive” strategies because they were used not just to derive empirical predictions, but also to derive information about the world besides the aforementioned predictions. These strategies were regarded as mathematically unrigorous, yet they were crucial to the development of a better theory of quantum electrodynamics. I (...)
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  • Emergent Spacetime According to Effective Field Theory: From Top-Down and Bottom-Up.Karen Crowther - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):321-328.
    The framework of effective field theory is a natural one in which to understand the claim that the spacetime of general relativity is an emergent low-energy phenomenon. I argue for a pragmatic understanding of EFT, given that the appropriate conception of emergence it suggests is necessarily epistemological in a sense. Analogue models of spacetime are examples of the top-down approach to EFT. They offer concrete illustrations of spacetime emergent within an EFT, and lure us toward a strong analogy between condensed (...)
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  • On the CPT Theorem.Hilary Greaves & Teruji Thomas - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 45:46-65.
    We provide a careful development and rigorous proof of the CPT theorem within the framework of mainstream quantum field theory. This is in contrast to the usual rigorous proofs in purely axiomatic frameworks, and non-rigorous proof-sketches in the mainstream approach. We construct the CPT transformation for a general field directly, without appealing to the enumerative classification of representations, and in a manner that is clearly related to the requirements of our proof. Our approach applies equally in Minkowski spacetimes of any (...)
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  • First Elements for the Foundation of a New Paradigm in Physics.Paolo Renati - 2016 - World Futures 72 (1-2):19-40.
    In this article I present the extracts and summary of heuristic and speculative observations on various aspects I feel are problematic in the practice of modern physics, the definitions and methods of which are the premise for the whole of Science. The illustrations will be fully developed in a later, more extensive and in-depth work in which some theoretical solutions will also be put forward; therefore in the interests of brevity all assertions will not be demonstrated fully in this article. (...)
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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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