Leibniz's Principle, Physics, and the Language of Physics

Foundations of Physics 30 (10):1587-1604 (2000)
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This paper is concerned with the problem of the validity of Leibniz's principle of the identity of indiscernibles in physics. After briefly surveying how the question is currently discussed in recent literature and which is the actual meaning of the principle for what concerns physics, we address the question of the physical validity of Leibniz's principle in terms of the existence of a sufficient number of naming predicates in the formal language of physics. This approach allows us to obtain in a formal way the result that a principle of the identity of indiscernibles can be justified in the domain of classical physics, while this is not the case in the domain of quantum physics



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Elena Castellani
Università degli Studi di Firenze

Citations of this work

Discerning Fermions.Simon Saunders & F. A. Muller - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):499 - 548.
Discerning elementary particles.F. A. Muller & M. P. Seevinck - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (2):179-200.
Withering away, weakly.F. A. Muller - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):223 - 233.

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References found in this work

Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Science.Hermann Weyl - 1949 - Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. Edited by Olaf Helmer-Hirschberg & Frank Wilczek.
Quantum Mechanics: An Empiricist View.Paul Teller & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (3):457.
Quantum physics and the identity of indiscernibles.Steven French & Michael Redhead - 1988 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (2):233-246.
Leibniz's philosophy of logic and language.Hidé Ishiguro - 1990 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Identity and individuality in classical and quantum physics.Steven French - 1989 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 67 (4):432 – 446.

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