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  1. Symmetry as an Epistemic Notion.Shamik Dasgupta - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):837-878.
    Symmetries in physics are a guide to reality. That much is well known. But what is less well known is why symmetry is a guide to reality. What justifies inferences that draw conclusions about reality from premises about symmetries? I argue that answering this question reveals that symmetry is an epistemic notion twice over. First, these inferences must proceed via epistemic lemmas: premises about symmetries in the first instance justify epistemic lemmas about our powers of detection, and only from those (...)
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  • Brown and Janssen on the Arrow of Explanation in Special Relativity.Matthew Gorski - unknown
    I examine the debate between Michel Janssen and Harvey Brown over the arrow of explanation in special relativity. Brown argues that the symmetries of the dynamical laws explain the symmetries of space-time, whereas Janssen argues for the converse. Janssen has recently argued against Brown's position on the grounds that it recommends trying to infer information from the relativistic effects, e.g., length contraction, in a way wasteful of time and resources. I show how Brown can respond to Janssen and trace the (...)
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  • Drawing the Line Between Kinematics and Dynamics in Special Relativity.Michel Janssen - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (1):26-52.
    In his book, Physical Relativity, Harvey Brown challenges the orthodox view that special relativity is preferable to those parts of Lorentz's classical ether theory it replaced because it revealed various phenomena that were given a dynamical explanation in Lorentz's theory to be purely kinematical. I want to defend this orthodoxy. The phenomena most commonly discussed in this context in the philosophical literature are length contraction and time dilation. I consider three other phenomena of this kind that played a role in (...)
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  • The Dynamical Approach to Spacetime Theories.Harvey R. Brown & James Read - unknown
    We review the dynamical approach to spacetime theories---in particular, its origins in the development of special relativity, its opposition to the contemporary `geometrical' approach, and the manner in which it plays out in general relativity. In addition, we demonstrate that the approach is compatible with the `angle bracket school'.
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  • What a Structuralist Theory of Properties Could Not Be.Nora Berenstain - 2016 - In Anna Marmodoro & David Yates (ed.), The Metaphysics of Relations. OUP. Oxford University Press.
    Causal structuralism is the view that, for each natural, non-mathematical, non-Cambridge property, there is a causal profile that exhausts its individual essence. On this view, having a property’s causal profile is both necessary and sufficient for being that property. It is generally contrasted with the Humean or quidditistic view of properties, which states that having a property’s causal profile is neither necessary nor sufficient for being that property, and with the double-aspect view, which states that causal profile is necessary but (...)
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  • Minimal Models and the Generalized Ontic Conception of Scientific Explanation.Mark Povich - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):117-137.
    Batterman and Rice ([2014]) argue that minimal models possess explanatory power that cannot be captured by what they call ‘common features’ approaches to explanation. Minimal models are explanatory, according to Batterman and Rice, not in virtue of accurately representing relevant features, but in virtue of answering three questions that provide a ‘story about why large classes of features are irrelevant to the explanandum phenomenon’ ([2014], p. 356). In this article, I argue, first, that a method (the renormalization group) they propose (...)
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  • Must the Fundamental Laws of Physics Be Complete?Marc Lange - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (2):312-345.
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  • Symmetries and the Explanation of Conservation Laws in the Light of the Inverse Problem in Lagrangian Mechanics.Sheldon R. Smith - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (2):325-345.
  • Principle or Constructive Relativity.Mathias Frisch - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (3):176-183.
    I examine Harvey Brown’s account of relativity as dynamic and constructive theory and Michel Janssen recent criticism of it. By contrasting Einstein’s principle-constructive distinction with a related distinction by Lorentz, I argue that Einstein's distinction presents a false dichotomy. Appealing to Lorentz’s distinction, I argue that there is less of a disagreement between Brown and Janssen than appears initially and, hence, that Brown’s view presents less of a departure from orthodoxy than it may seem. Neither the kinematics-dynamics distinction nor Einstein’s (...)
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  • The Applicability of Mathematics to Physical Modality.Nora Berenstain - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3361-3377.
    This paper argues that scientific realism commits us to a metaphysical determination relation between the mathematical entities that are indispensible to scientific explanation and the modal structure of the empirical phenomena those entities explain. The argument presupposes that scientific realism commits us to the indispensability argument. The viewpresented here is that the indispensability of mathematics commits us not only to the existence of mathematical structures and entities but to a metaphysical determination relation between those entities and the modal structure of (...)
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  • Metaphysics of the Principle of Least Action.Vladislav Terekhovich - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:189-201.
    Despite the importance of the variational principles of physics, there have been relatively few attempts to consider them for a realistic framework. In addition to the old teleological question, this paper continues the recent discussion regarding the modal involvement of the principle of least action and its relations with the Humean view of the laws of nature. The reality of possible paths in the principle of least action is examined from the perspectives of the contemporary metaphysics of modality and Leibniz's (...)
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  • Conservation Laws in Scientific Explanations: Constraints or Coincidences?Marc Lange - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (3):333-352.
    A conservation law in physics can be either a constraint on the kinds of interaction there could be or a coincidence of the kinds of interactions there actually are. This is an important, unjustly neglected distinction. Only if a conservation law constrains the possible kinds of interaction can a derivation from it constitute a scientific explanation despite failing to describe the causal/mechanical details behind the result derived. This conception of the relation between “bottom-up” scientific explanations and one kind of “top-down” (...)
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  • Symmetries as by-Products of Conserved Quantities.Diego Romero-Maltrana - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):358-368.
  • Must the Fundamental Laws of Physics Be Complete?Marc Lange - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (2):312-345.
    The beauty of electricity, or of any other force, is not that the power is mysterious and unexpected, touching every sense at unawares in turn, but that it is under law... Michael Faraday, Wheatstone's Electric Telegraph's Relation to Science (being an argument in favour of the full recognition of Science as a branch of Education), 1854.
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  • A Tale of Two Vectors.Marc Lange - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (4):397-431.
    Why do forces compose according to the parallelogram of forces? This question has been controversial; it is one episode in a longstanding, fundamental dispute regarding which facts are not to be explained dynamically. If the parallelogram law is explained statically, then the laws of statics are separate from and “transcend” the laws of dynamics. Alternatively, if the parallelogram law is explained dynamically, then statical laws become mere corollaries to the dynamical laws. I shall attempt to trace the history of this (...)
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  • Drawing the Line Between Kinematics and Dynamics in Special Relativity.Michel Janssen - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (1):26-52.
    In his book, Physical Relativity, Harvey Brown challenges the orthodox view that special relativity is preferable to those parts of Lorentz's classical ether theory it replaced because it revealed various phenomena that were given a dynamical explanation in Lorentz's theory to be purely kinematical. I want to defend this orthodoxy. The phenomena most commonly discussed in this context in the philosophical literature are length contraction and time dilation. I consider three other phenomena of this kind that played a role in (...)
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  • Dimensional Explanations.Marc Lange - 2009 - Noûs 43 (4):742-775.
  • Lange's Challenge: Accounting for Meta-Laws.Z. Yudell - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (2):347-369.
    Lange issues a novel challenge to philosophical accounts of laws of nature. He notes that the laws of nature seem to be themselves governed by laws analogous to the way that the laws govern particular facts. These higher order laws are the meta-laws of nature. He claims that if a philosophical account of laws aims to accurately characterize the laws, it should be able to account for these meta-laws. To generalize this challenge, I introduce the notion of roles played by (...)
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  • Abstraction and Depth in Scientific Explanation. [REVIEW]Marc Lange - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (2):483-491.
  • Stability and Lawlikeness.Jani Raerinne - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):833-851.
    There appear to be no biological regularities that have the properties traditionally associated with laws, such as an unlimited scope or holding in all or many possible background conditions. Mitchell, Lange, and others have therefore suggested redefining laws to redeem the lawlike status of biological regularities. These authors suggest that biological regularities are lawlike because they are pragmatically or paradigmatically similar to laws or stable regularities. I will review these re-definitions by arguing both that there are difficulties in applying their (...)
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