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  1. Précis.Berit Brogaard - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (37):311-314.
  • 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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  • Realism in Context: The Examples of Lifeworld and Quantum Physics.Gregor Schiemann - 2009 - Human Affairs 19 (2):211-222.
    Lifeworld realism and quantum-physical realism are taken as experience-dependent conceptions of the world that become objects of explicit reflection when confronted with context-external discourses. After a brief sketch of the two contexts of experience—lifeworld and quantum physics—and their realist interpretations, I will discuss the quantum world from the perspective of lifeworld realism. From this perspective, the quantum world—roughly speaking—has to be either unreal or else constitute a different reality. Then, I invert the perspective and examine the lifeworld from the standpoint (...)
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  • A Flea on Schrödinger's Cat.Np Klaas Landsman & Robin Reuvers - 2013 - Foundations of Physics 43 (3):373-407.
  • The Limits of Physical Equivalence in Algebraic Quantum Field Theory.Tracy Lupher - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw017.
    Some physicists and philosophers argue that unitarily inequivalent representations in quantum field theory are mathematical surplus structure. Support for that view, sometimes called ‘algebraic imperialism’, relies on Fell’s theorem and its deployment in the algebraic approach to QFT. The algebraic imperialist uses Fell’s theorem to argue that UIRs are ‘physically equivalent’ to each other. The mathematical, conceptual, and dynamical aspects of Fell’s theorem will be examined. Its use as a criterion for physical equivalence is examined in detail and it is (...)
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  • Are We Living in a Quantum World? Bohr and Quantum Fundamentalism.Henrik Zinkernagel - unknown
    The spectacular successes of quantum physics have made it a commonplace to assert that we live in a quantum world. This idea seems to imply a kind of “quantum fundamentalism” according to which everything in the universe is fundamentally of a quantum nature and ultimately describable in quantum-mechanical terms. Bohr’s conception of quantum mechanics has traditionally been seen as opposed to such a view, not least because of his insistence on the necessity of the concepts of classical physics in the (...)
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  • Unsharp Quantum Reality.Paul Busch & Gregg Jaeger - 2010 - Foundations of Physics 40 (9-10):1341-1367.
    The positive operator (valued) measures (POMs) allow one to generalize the notion of observable beyond the traditional one based on projection valued measures (PVMs). Here, we argue that this generalized conception of observable enables a consistent notion of unsharp reality and with it an adequate concept of joint properties. A sharp or unsharp property manifests itself as an element of sharp or unsharp reality by its tendency to become actual or to actualize a specific measurement outcome. This actualization tendency—or potentiality—of (...)
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  • Ψ-Epistemic Quantum Cosmology?Peter W. Evans, Sean Gryb & Karim P. Y. Thébault - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 56:1-12.
    This paper provides a prospectus for a new way of thinking about the wavefunction of the universe: a Ψ-epistemic quantum cosmology. We present a proposal that, if successfully implemented, would resolve the cosmological measurement problem and simultaneously allow us to think sensibly about probability and evolution in quantum cosmology. Our analysis draws upon recent work on the problem of time in quantum gravity and causally symmet- ric local hidden variable theories. Our conclusion weighs the strengths and weaknesses of the approach (...)
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  • Reduction, Emergence, and Renormalization.Jeremy Butterfield - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (1):5-49.
    In previous work, I described several examples combining reduction and emergence: where reduction is understood a la Ernest Nagel, and emergence is understood as behaviour that is novel. Here, my aim is again to reconcile reduction and emergence, for a case which is apparently more problematic than those I treated before: renormalization. My main point is that renormalizability being a generic feature at accessible energies gives us a conceptually unified family of Nagelian reductions. That is worth saying since philosophers tend (...)
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  • On the Ollivier–Poulin–Zurek Definition of Objectivity.Chris Fields - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (1):137-156.
    The Ollivier–Poulin–Zurek definition of objectivity provides a philosophical basis for the environment as witness formulation of decoherence theory and hence for quantum Darwinism. It is shown that no account of the reference of the key terms in this definition can be given that does not render the definition inapplicable within quantum theory. It is argued that this is not the fault of the language used, but of the assumption that the laws of physics are independent of Hilbert-space decomposition. All evidence (...)
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  • Less is Different: Emergence and Reduction Reconciled. [REVIEW]Jeremy Butterfield - 2011 - Foundations of Physics 41 (6):1065-1135.
    This is a companion to another paper. Together they rebut two widespread philosophical doctrines about emergence. The first, and main, doctrine is that emergence is incompatible with reduction. The second is that emergence is supervenience; or more exactly, supervenience without reduction.In the other paper, I develop these rebuttals in general terms, emphasising the second rebuttal. Here I discuss the situation in physics, emphasising the first rebuttal. I focus on limiting relations between theories and illustrate my claims with four examples, each (...)
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  • Bohrification of Operator Algebras and Quantum Logic.Chris Heunen, Nicolaas P. Landsman & Bas Spitters - 2012 - Synthese 186 (3):719 - 752.
    Following Birkhoff and von Neumann, quantum logic has traditionally been based on the lattice of closed linear subspaces of some Hubert space, or, more generally, on the lattice of projections in a von Neumann algebra A. Unfortunately, the logical interpretation of these lattices is impaired by their nondistributivity and by various other problems. We show that a possible resolution of these difficulties, suggested by the ideas of Bohr, emerges if instead of single projections one considers elementary propositions to be families (...)
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  • Intuitionistic Quantum Logic of an N-Level System.Martijn Caspers, Chris Heunen, Nicolaas P. Landsman & Bas Spitters - 2009 - Foundations of Physics 39 (7):731-759.
    A decade ago, Isham and Butterfield proposed a topos-theoretic approach to quantum mechanics, which meanwhile has been extended by Döring and Isham so as to provide a new mathematical foundation for all of physics. Last year, three of the present authors redeveloped and refined these ideas by combining the C*-algebraic approach to quantum theory with the so-called internal language of topos theory (Heunen et al. in arXiv:0709.4364). The goal of the present paper is to illustrate our abstract setup through the (...)
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  • When Champions Meet: Rethinking the Bohr–Einstein Debate.Nicolaas P. Landsman - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (1):212-242.
    Einstein's philosophy of physics (as clarified by Fine, Howard, and Held) was predicated on his Trennungsprinzip, a combination of separability and locality, without which he believed objectification, and thereby "physical thought" and "physical laws", to be impossible. Bohr's philosophy (as elucidated by Hooker, Scheibe, Folse, Howard, Held, and others), on the other hand, was grounded in a seemingly different doctrine about the possibility of objective knowledge, namely the necessity of classical concepts. In fact, it follows from Raggio's Theorem in algebraic (...)
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  • On the Choice of Algebra for Quantization.Benjamin H. Feintzeig - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (1):102-125.
    In this article, I examine the relationship between physical quantities and physical states in quantum theories. I argue against the claim made by Arageorgis that the approach to interpreting quantum theories known as Algebraic Imperialism allows for “too many states.” I prove a result establishing that the Algebraic Imperialist has very general resources that she can employ to change her abstract algebra of quantities in order to rule out unphysical states.
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  • Decompositional Equivalence: A Fundamental Symmetry Underlying Quantum Theory.Chris Fields - 2016 - Axiomathes 26 (3):279-311.
    Decompositional equivalence is the principle that there is no preferred decomposition of the universe into subsystems. It is shown here, by using a simple thought experiment, that quantum theory follows from decompositional equivalence together with Landauer’s principle. This demonstration raises within physics a question previously left to psychology: how do human—or any—observers identify or agree about what constitutes a “system of interest”?
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  • Superselection Rules for Philosophers.John Earman - 2008 - Erkenntnis 69 (3):377-414.
    The overaraching goal of this paper is to elucidate the nature of superselection rules in a manner that is accessible to philosophers of science and that brings out the connections between superselection and some of the most fundamental interpretational issues in quantum physics. The formalism of von Neumann algebras is used to characterize three different senses of superselection rules and to provide useful necessary and sufficient conditions for each sense. It is then shown how the Haag–Kastler algebraic approach to quantum (...)
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  • Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking in Quantum Systems: Emergence or Reduction?Nicolaas P. Landsman - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):379-394.
    Beginning with Anderson, spontaneous symmetry breaking in infinite quantum systems is often put forward as an example of emergence in physics, since in theory no finite system should display it. Even the correspondence between theory and reality is at stake here, since numerous real materials show ssb in their ground states, although they are finite. Thus against what is sometimes called ‘Earman's Principle’, a genuine physical effect seems theoretically recovered only in some idealisation, disappearing as soon as the idealisation is (...)
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  • Some Trends in the Philosophy of Physics.Henrik Zinkernagel - 2011 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 26 (2):215-241.
    A short review of some recent developments in the philosophy of physics is presented. I focus on themes which illustrate relations and points of common interest between philosophy of physics and three of its `neighboring' elds: Physics, metaphysics and general philosophy of science. The main examples discussed in these three `border areas' are decoherence and the interpretation of quantum mechanics; time in physics and metaphysics; and methodological issues surrounding the multiverse idea in modern cosmology.
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  • “The Postilion’s Horn Sounds”: A Complementarity Approach to the Phenomenology of Sound-Consciousness?Paolo Palmieri - 2014 - Husserl Studies 30 (2):129-151.
    In the phenomenology of the consciousness of internal time, Edmund Husserl has frequent recourse to sound and melody as illustrations of the processes that give rise to immanent temporal objects. In Husserl’s analysis, there is a philosophically pregnant tension between the geometrical diagrams representing multiple dimensions of immanent time and his intuition that time-points might be no more than fictions leading to absurdities. In this paper, I will address this tension in order to motivate a complementarity approach to temporal objects (...)
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  • Reduction.A. Hütterman & A. C. Love - 2016 - In P. Humphries (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 460-484.
    Reduction and reductionism have been central philosophical topics in analytic philosophy of science for more than six decades. Together they encompass a diversity of issues from metaphysics and epistemology. This article provides an introduction to the topic that illuminates how contemporary epistemological discussions took their shape historically and limns the contours of concrete cases of reduction in specific natural sciences. The unity of science and the impulse to accomplish compositional reduction in accord with a layer-cake vision of the sciences, the (...)
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  • A Flea on Schrödinger's Cat.P. N. & Robin Reuvers - 2013 - Foundations of Physics 43 (3):373-407.
    We propose a technical reformulation of the measurement problem of quantum mechanics, which is based on the postulate that the final state of a measurement is classical; this accords with experimental practice as well as with Bohr’s views. Unlike the usual formulation (in which the post-measurement state is a unit vector in Hilbert space), our version actually opens the possibility of admitting a purely technical solution within the confines of conventional quantum theory (as opposed to solutions that either modify this (...)
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  • A Physics-Based Metaphysics is a Metaphysics-Based Metaphysics.Chris Fields - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (2):131-148.
    The common practice of advancing arguments based on current physics in support of metaphysical conclusions has been criticized on the grounds that current physics may well be wrong. A further criticism is leveled here: current physics itself depends on metaphysical assumptions, so arguing from current physics is in fact arguing from yet more metaphysics. It is shown that the metaphysical assumptions underlying current physics are often deeply embedded in the formalism in which theories are presented, and hence impossible to dismiss (...)
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  • Weyl's Principle, Cosmic Time and Quantum Fundamentalism.Svend E. Rugh & Henrik Zinkernagel - 2010 - In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer. pp. 411--424.
    We examine the necessary physical underpinnings for setting up the cosmological standard model with a global cosmic time parameter. In particular, we discuss the role of Weyl's principle which asserts that cosmic matter moves according to certain regularity requirements. After a brief historical introduction to Weyl's principle we argue that although the principle is often not explicitly mentioned in modern standard texts on cosmology, it is implicitly assumed and is, in fact, necessary for a physically well-defined notion of cosmic time. (...)
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  • Consistent Quantum Mechanics Admits No Mereotopology.Chris Fields - 2012 - Axiomathes (1):1-10.
    It is standardly assumed in discussions of quantum theory that physical systems can be regarded as having well-defined Hilbert spaces. It is shown here that a Hilbert space can be consistently partitioned only if its components are assumed not to interact. The assumption that physical systems have well-defined Hilbert spaces is, therefore, physically unwarranted.
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  • The Relation Between Classical and Quantum Electrodynamics.Mario Bacelar Valente - 2011 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 26 (1):51-68.
    Quantum electrodynamics presents intrinsic limitations in the description of physical processes that make it impossible to recover from it the type of description we have in classical electrodynamics. Hence one cannot consider classical electrodynamics as reducing to quantum electrodynamics and being recovered from it by some sort of limiting procedure. Quantum electrodynamics has to be seen not as a more fundamental theory, but as an upgrade of classical electrodynamics, which permits an extension of classical theory to the description of phenomena (...)
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  • Interpretation Neutrality in the Classical Domain of Quantum Theory.Joshua Rosaler - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53:54-72.
    I show explicitly how concerns about wave function collapse and ontology can be decoupled from the bulk of technical analysis necessary to recover localized, approximately Newtonian trajectories from quantum theory. In doing so, I demonstrate that the account of classical behavior provided by decoherence theory can be straightforwardly tailored to give accounts of classical behavior on multiple interpretations of quantum theory, including the Everett, de Broglie-Bohm and GRW interpretations. I further show that this interpretation-neutral, decoherence-based account conforms to a general (...)
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  • The Principle of General Tovariance.Chris Heunen, Klaas Landsman & Bas Spitters - unknown
    We tentatively propose two guiding principles for the construction of theories of physics, which should be satisfied by a possible future theory of quantum gravity. These principles are inspired by those that led Einstein to his theory of general relativity, viz. his principle of general covariance and his equivalence principle, as well as by the two mysterious dogmas of Bohr's interpretation of quantum mechanics, i.e. his doctrine of classical concepts and his principle of complementarity. An appropriate mathematical language for combining (...)
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  • Reconstructing Reality: Environment-Induced Decoherence, the Measurement Problem, and the Emergence of Definiteness in Quantum Mechanics.Hanneke Janssen - unknown
    This work is a critique of the program of "environment-induced decoherence" as advocated by Zurek, Zeh and Joos, among others. In particular, the alleged relevance of decoherence for a solution of the "measurement problem" is subjected to a detailed philosophical analysis. In the first chapter, an attempt is made to unravel what exactly this "measurement problem" amounts to for the decoherence theorists. The second chapter reviews the standard decoherence literature. The third chapter starts with a brief discussion of the philosophical (...)
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  • Quantum Ontology in the Light of Gauge Theories.Gabriel Catren - unknown
    We propose the conjecture according to which the fact that quantum mechanics does not admit sharp value attributions to both members of a complementary pair of observables can be understood in the light of the symplectic reduction of phase space in constrained Hamiltonian systems. In order to unpack this claim, we propose a quantum ontology based on two independent postulates, namely the phase postulate and the quantum postulate. The phase postulate generalizes the gauge correspondence between first-class constraints and gauge transformations (...)
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  • Niels Bohr and the Formalism of Quantum Mechanics.Dennis Dieks - unknown
    It has often been remarked that Bohr's writings on the interpretation of quantum mechanics make scant reference to the mathematical formalism of quantum theory; and it has not infrequently been suggested that this is another symptom of the general vagueness, obscurity and perhaps even incoherence of Bohr's ideas. Recent years have seen a reappreciation of Bohr, however. In this article we broadly follow this "rehabilitation program". We offer what we think is a simple and coherent reading of Bohr's statements about (...)
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  • On the Relation Between Quantum Mechanical and Neo-Mechanistic Ontologies and Explanatory Strategies.Meinard Kuhlmann & Stuart Glennan - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (3):337-359.
    Advocates of the New Mechanicism in philosophy of science argue that scientific explanation often consists in describing mechanisms responsible for natural phenomena. Despite its successes, one might think that this approach does not square with the ontological strictures of quantum mechanics. New Mechanists suppose that mechanisms are composed of objects with definite properties, which are interconnected via local causal interactions. Quantum mechanics calls these suppositions into question. Since mechanisms are hierarchical it appears that even macroscopic mechanisms must supervene on 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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  • The Classical Limit of a State on the Weyl Algebra.Benjamin H. Feintzeig - unknown
    This paper considers states on the Weyl algebra of the canonical commutation relations over the phase space R^{2n}. We show that a state is regular iff its classical limit is a countably additive Borel probability measure on R^{2n}. It follows that one can "reduce" the state space of the Weyl algebra by altering the collection of quantum mechanical observables so that all states are ones whose classical limit is physical.
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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 Meets Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.Juha Saatsi - 2017 - In Philosophers Think About Quantum Theory.
    I examine the epistemological debate on scientific realism in the context of quantum physics, focusing on the empirical underdetermin- ation of different formulations and interpretations of QM. I will argue that much of the interpretational, metaphysical work on QM tran- scends the kinds of realist commitments that are well-motivated in the light of the history of science. I sketch a way of demarcating empirically well-confirmed aspects of QM from speculative quantum metaphysics in a way that coheres with anti-realist evidence from (...)
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  • The Representation of Time and Change in Mechanics.Gordon Belot - 2005 - In John Earman & Jeremy Butterfield (eds.), Philosophy of Physics. Elsevier. pp. 133--227.
    This chapter is concerned with the representation of time and change in classical (i.e., non-quantum) physical theories. One of the main goals of the chapter is to attempt to clarify the nature and scope of the so-called problem of time: a knot of technical and interpretative problems that appear to stand in the way of attempts to quantize general relativity, and which have their roots in the general covariance of that theory. The most natural approach to these questions is via (...)
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  • On the Received Realist View of Quantum Mechanics.Nahuel Sznajderhaus - 2016 - Cadernos de História E Filosofia da Ciência.
    In this article I defend that an underlying framework exists among those interpretations of quantum mechanics which crucially consider the measurement problem as a central obstacle. I characterise that framework as the Received View on the realist interpretation of quantum mechanics. In particular, I analyse the extent to which two of the most relevant attempts at quantum mechanics, namely, many worlds interpretations and Bohmian mechanics, belong within the Received View. However, I claim that scientific realism in itself does not entail (...)
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  • What You Always Wanted to Know About Bohmian Mechanics but Were Afraid to Ask.Oliver Passon - unknown
    Bohmian mechanics is an alternative interpretation of quantum mechanics. We outline the main characteristics of its non-relativistic formulation. Most notably it does provide a simple solution to the infamous measurement problem of quantum mechanics. Presumably the most common objection against Bohmian mechanics is based on its non-locality and its apparent conflict with relativity and quantum field theory. However, several models for a quantum field theoretical generalization do exist. We give a non-technical account of some of these models.
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  • Extending Cosmological Natural Selection.Gordon McCabe - unknown
    The purpose of this paper is to propose an extension to Lee Smolin's hypothesis that our own universe belongs to a population of universes which have evolved by natural selection. Smolin's hypothesis explains why the parameters of physics possess the values we observe them to possess, but depends upon the contingent fact that the universe is a quantum relativistic universe. It is proposed that the prior existence of a quantum relativistic universe can itself be explained by the notion of evolution (...)
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  • When Champions Meet: Rethinking the Bohr–Einstein Debate.Nicolaas P. Landsman - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (1):212-242.
    Einstein's philosophy of physics was predicated on his Trennungsprinzip, a combination of separability and locality, without which he believed objectification, and thereby "physical thought" and "physical laws", to be impossible. Bohr's philosophy, on the other hand, was grounded in a seemingly different doctrine about the possibility of objective knowledge, namely the necessity of classical concepts. In fact, it follows from Raggio's Theorem in algebraic quantum theory that - within an appropriate class of physical theories - suitable mathematical translations of the (...)
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  • Book Review. [REVIEW]N. P. Landsman - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (2):462-464.
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  • Book Review. [REVIEW]N. P. Landsman - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (1):94-95.
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  • “Formal” Versus “Empirical” Approaches to Quantum–Classical Reduction.Joshua Rosaler - 2015 - Topoi 34 (2):325-338.
    I distinguish two types of reduction within the context of quantum-classical relations, which I designate “formal” and “empirical”. Formal reduction holds or fails to hold solely by virtue of the mathematical relationship between two theories; it is therefore a two-place, a priori relation between theories. Empirical reduction requires one theory to encompass the range of physical behaviors that are well-modeled in another theory; in a certain sense, it is a three-place, a posteriori relation connecting the theories and the domain of (...)
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