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  1. Spacetime Emergence: Collapsing the Distinction Between Content and Context?Karen Crowther - 2022 - In Shyam Wuppuluri & Ian Stewart (eds.), From Electrons to Elephants and Elections: Saga of Content and Context. Springer. pp. 379–402.
    Several approaches to developing a theory of quantum gravity suggest that spacetime—as described by general relativity—is not fundamental. Instead, spacetime is supposed to be explained by reference to the relations between more fundamental entities, analogous to `atoms' of spacetime, which themselves are not (fully) spatiotemporal. Such a case may be understood as emergence of \textit{content}: a `hierarchical' case of emergence, where spacetime emerges at a `higher', or less-fundamental, level than its `lower-level' non-spatiotempral basis. But quantum gravity cosmology also presents us (...)
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  • Effective Field Theories: A Philosophical Appraisal.Dimitrios Athanasiou - unknown
    The word “effective” has become the standard label attached to scientific theories these days. An effective theory allows us to make accurate predictions about a physical system at a certain scale while being largely ignorant of the details at more fundamental levels. One does not need to know anything about the deeper, quantum structure of water molecules to describe the macroscopic behaviour of waves or water in a glass. Although effective descriptions so broadly construed have been part of research in (...)
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  • Dogmas of Effective Field Theory: Scheme Dependence, Fundamental Parameters, and the Many Faces of the Higgs Naturalness Principle.Joshua Rosaler - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 52 (1):1-32.
    The earliest formulation of the Higgs naturalness argument has been criticized on the grounds that it relies on a particular cutoff-based regularization scheme. One response to this criticism has been to circumvent the worry by reformulating the naturalness argument in terms of a renormalized, regulator-independent parametrization. An alternative response is to deny that regulator dependence poses a problem for the naturalness argument, because nature itself furnishes a particular, physically correct regulator for any effective field theory in the form of that (...)
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  • Autonomy Generalised; or, Why Doesn’T Physics Matter More?Katie Robertson - forthcoming - Ergo.
    In what sense are the special sciences autonomous of fundamental physics? Autonomy is an enduring theme in discussions of the relationship between the special sciences and fundamental physics or, more generally, between higher and lower-level facts. Discussion of ‘autonomy’ often fails to recognise that autonomy admits of degrees; consequently, autonomy is either taken to require full independence, or risk relegation to mere apparent autonomy. In addition, the definition of autonomy used by Fodor, the most famous proponent of the autonomy of (...)
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  • The Landscape and the Multiverse: What’s the Problem?James Read & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7749-7771.
    As a candidate theory of quantum gravity, the popularity of string theory has waxed and waned over the past four decades. One current source of scepticism is that the theory can be used to derive, depending upon the input geometrical assumptions that one makes, a vast range of different quantum field theories, giving rise to the so-called landscape problem. One apparent way to address the landscape problem is to posit the existence of a multiverse; this, however, has in turn drawn (...)
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  • As Below, so Before: ‘Synchronic’ and ‘Diachronic’ Conceptions of Spacetime Emergence.Karen Crowther - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7279-7307.
    Typically, a less fundamental theory, or structure, emerging from a more fundamental one is an example of synchronic emergence. A model emerging from a prior model upon which it nevertheless depends is an example of diachronic emergence. The case of spacetime emergent from quantum gravity and quantum cosmology challenges these two conceptions of emergence. Here, I propose two more-general conceptions of emergence, analogous to the synchronic and diachronic ones, but which are potentially applicable to the case of emergent spacetime: an (...)
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  • Why Be Natural?Jonathan Bain - 2019 - Foundations of Physics 49 (9):898-914.
    Naturalness, as a guiding principle for effective field theories, requires that there be no sensitive correlations between phenomena at low- and high-energy scales. This essay considers four reasons to adopt this principle: natural EFTs exhibit modest empirical success; unnatural EFTs are improbable; naturalness underwrites what Williams calls a “central dogma” of EFTs; namely, that phenomena at widely separated scales should decouple; and naturalness underwrites a non-trivial notion of emergence. I argue that the first three are not compelling reasons, whereas the (...)
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