Particles, fields, and the ontology of the standard model

Synthese 201 (1):1-26 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this work we discuss issues of ontological commitment towards one of the most important examples of contemporary fundamental science: the standard model of particle physics. We present a new form of selective structural realism, which uses as its basis the distinction between what have been called framework and interaction theories. This allows us to advance the ongoing debate about the ontological status of (quasi-)particles and quantum fields, by emphasising the distinction between quantum field theory serving as a framework, and the standard model itself, which we argue is an interaction theory embedded within this framework. Following a discussion of what ontological commitments corresponds to each of these two classes, we argue that some of the previous proposals in the literature might have been misguided by the blending of quantum field theory and the standard model into an undifferentiated unity, and defend a moderate form of object realism with respect to particle-like entities.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,698

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Realism in quantum mechanics.Stanley Gudder - 1989 - Foundations of Physics 19 (8):949-970.
Ontic structural realism and quantum field theory: Are there intrinsic properties at the most fundamental level of reality?Philipp Berghofer - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:176-188.
Ontological Commitment in Quantum Field Theory.Andrew Zachary Wayne - 1994 - Dissertation, University of California, San Diego


Added to PP

30 (#532,777)

6 months
10 (#396,159)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Federico Benitez
University of Lausanne

Citations of this work

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references