How to take particle physics seriously: A further defence of axiomatic quantum field theory


Authors
Doreen Fraser
University of Waterloo
Abstract
Further arguments are offered in defence of the position that the variant of quantum field theory (QFT) that should be subject to interpretation and foundational analysis is axiomatic quantum field theory. I argue that the successful application of renormalization group (RG) methods within alternative formulations of QFT illuminates the empirical content of QFT, but not the theoretical content. RG methods corroborate the point of view that QFT is a case of the underdetermination of theory by empirical evidence. I also urge caution in extrapolating interpretive conclusions about QFT from the application of RG methods in other contexts (e.g., condensed matter physics). This paper replies to criticisms advanced by David Wallace, but aims to be self-contained.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2011.02.002
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References found in this work BETA

The Fate of 'Particles' in Quantum Field Theories with Interactions.Doreen Fraser - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (4):841-859.
What is Mathematical Truth?Hilary Putnam - 1975 - In Mathematics, Matter and Method. Cambridge University Press. pp. 60--78.
A Matter of Degree: Putting Unitary Inequivalence to Work.Laura Ruetsche - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1329-1342.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Scientific Realism Made Effective.Porter Williams - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):209-237.

View all 28 citations / Add more citations

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