Objects or events?: Towards an ontology for quantum field theory

Philosophy of Science 66 (3):184 (1999)
Abstract
The recent work of Paul Teller and Sunny Auyang in the philosophy of Quantum Field Theory (QFT) has stimulated the search for the fundamental entities in this theory. In QFT, the classical notion of a particle collapses. The theory does not only exclude classical, i.e., spatiotemporally identifiable particles, but it makes particles of the same type conceptually indistinguishable. Teller and Auyang have proposed competing ersatz-ontologies to account for the 'loss of particles': field quanta vs. field events. Both ontologies, however, suffer from serious defects. While quanta lack numerical identity, spatiotemporal localizability, and independence of basis-representations, events--if understood as concrete measurement events--are related to the theory only statistically. I propose an alternative solution: The entities of QFT are events of the type 'Quantum system, S, is in quantum state, Ψ '. These are not point events, but Davidsonian events, i.e., they can be identified by their location within the causal net of the world
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/392723
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 31,838
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
60 ( #99,260 of 2,231,689 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #190,970 of 2,231,689 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature