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  1. Motivating dualities.James Read & Thomas Møller-Nielsen - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):263-291.
    There exists a common view that for theories related by a ‘duality’, dual models typically may be taken ab initio to represent the same physical state of affairs, i.e. to correspond to the same possible world. We question this view, by drawing a parallel with the distinction between ‘interpretational’ and ‘motivational’ approaches to symmetries.
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  • The (un)detectability of absolute Newtonian masses.Niels C. M. Martens - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2511-2550.
    Absolutism about mass claims that mass ratios obtain in virtue of absolute masses. Comparativism denies this. Dasgupta, Oxford studies in metaphysics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013) argues for comparativism about mass, in the context of Newtonian Gravity. Such an argument requires proving that comparativism is empirically adequate. Dasgupta equates this to showing that absolute masses are undetectable, and attempts to do so. This paper develops an argument by Baker to the contrary: absolute masses are in fact empirically meaningful, that is (...)
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  • Sophistry about symmetries?Niels C. M. Martens & James Read - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):315-344.
    A common adage runs that, given a theory manifesting symmetries, the syntax of that theory should be modified in order to construct a new theory, from which symmetry-variant structure of the original theory has been excised. Call this strategy for explicating the underlying ontology of symmetry-related models reduction. Recently, Dewar has proposed an alternative to reduction as a means of articulating the ontology of symmetry-related models—what he calls sophistication, in which the semantics of the original theory is modified, and symmetry-related (...)
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  • Machian Comparativism about Mass.Niels C. M. Martens - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (2):325-349.
    Absolutism about mass within Newtonian gravity claims that mass ratios obtain in virtue of absolute masses. Comparativism denies this. Defenders of comparativism promise to recover all the empirical and theoretical virtues of absolutism, but at a lower ‘metaphysical cost’. This article develops a Machian form of comparativism about mass in Newtonian gravity, obtained by replacing Newton’s constant in the law of universal gravitation by another constant divided by the sum over all masses. Although this form of comparativism is indeed empirically (...)
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  • The Unmeasurability of Absolute Velocities from the Point of View of Epistemological Internalism.Joanna Luc - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    Absolute velocities in Newtonian mechanics are commonly regarded as unmeasurable. Roberts (Br J Philos Sci 59(2):143–168, 2008) provides a justification for this thesis which appeals to the observational indistinguishability of boost-related models of Newtonian mechanics. Middleton and Murgueitio Ramírez (Australas J Philos, 2020) criticise his argumentation by pointing out that his analysis of the notion of measurement is too restrictive, and that, under a weaker analysis (based on counterfactuals), absolute velocities are measurable. Jacobs (Australas J Philos, 2020) opposes their view, (...)
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  • Motivationalism vs. interpretationalism about symmetries: some options overlooked in the debate about the relationship between symmetries and physical equivalence.Joanna Luc - 2023 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 13 (3):1-33.
    In the recent philosophical debate about the relationship between symmetries and physical equivalence, two approaches have been distinguished: motivationalism and interpretationalism. In this paper, I point out that there are variants of interpretationalism that have not been taken into account by the proponents of motivationalism. I also argue that some of these overlooked variants of interpretationalism are not prone to the motivationalists’ criticism and overall are the most attractive positions available.
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  • On the Status of Newtonian Gravitational Radiation.Niels Linnemann & James Read - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (2):1-16.
    We discuss the status of gravitational radiation in Newtonian theories. In order to do so, we consider various options for interpreting the Poisson equation as encoding propagating solutions, reflect on the extent to which limit considerations from general relativity can shed light on the Poisson equation’s conceptual status, and discuss various senses in which the Poisson equation counts as a dynamical equation.
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  • Invariance or equivalence: a tale of two principles.Caspar Jacobs - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9337-9357.
    The presence of symmetries in physical theories implies a pernicious form of underdetermination. In order to avoid this theoretical vice, philosophers often espouse a principle called Leibniz Equivalence, which states that symmetry-related models represent the same state of affairs. Moreover, philosophers have claimed that the existence of non-trivial symmetries motivates us to accept the Invariance Principle, which states that quantities that vary under a theory’s symmetries aren’t physically real. Leibniz Equivalence and the Invariance Principle are often seen as part of (...)
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  • What Are Symmetries?David John Baker - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9.
    I advance a stipulational account of symmetry-to-reality inference, according to which symmetries are part of the content of theories. For a theory to have a certain symmetry is for the theory to stipulate that models related by the symmetry represent the same possibility. I show that the stipulational account compares positively with alternatives, including Dasgupta’s epistemic account of symmetry, Møller-Nielsen’s motivational account, and so-called formal and ontic accounts. In particular, the stipulational account avoids the problems Belot and Dasgupta have raised (...)
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  • On Symmetries and Springs.Sebastián Murgueitio Ramírez - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    Imagine that we are on a train playing with some mechanical systems. Why can’t we detect any differences in their behavior when the train is parked versus when it is moving uniformly? The standard answer is that boosts are symmetries of Newtonian systems. In this paper, I use the case of a spring to argue that this answer is problematic because symmetries are neither sufficient nor necessary for preserving its behavior. I also develop a new answer according to which boosts (...)
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  • On the Mathematics and Metaphysics of the Hole Argument.Oliver Pooley & James Read - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    We make some remarks on the mathematics and metaphysics of the hole argument, in response to a recent article in this journal by Weatherall ([2018]). Broadly speaking, we defend the mainstream philosophical literature from the claim that correct usage of the mathematics of general relativity `blocks' the argument.
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  • Geometric Objects and Perspectivalism.James Read - 2022 - In James Read & Nicholas J. Teh (eds.), The Philosophy and Physics of Noether's Theorems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 257-273.