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  1. Sophistry about symmetries?Niels C. M. Martens & James Read - forthcoming - Synthese:1-30.
    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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  • 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 - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    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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  • 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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  • Machian Comparativism About Mass.Niels C. M. Martens - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz013.
    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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