Universality Reduced

Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1295-1306 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The universality of critical phenomena is best explained by appeal to the Renormalisation Group (RG). Batterman and Morrison, among others, have claimed that this explanation is irreducible. I argue that the RG account is reducible, but that the higher-level explanation ought not to be eliminated. I demonstrate that the key assumption on which the explanation relies – the scale invariance of critical systems – can be explained in lower-level terms; however, we should not replace the RG explanation with a bottom-up account, rather we should acknowledge that the explanation appeals to dependencies which may be traced down to lower levels.


Added to PP

403 (#52,113)

6 months
107 (#45,461)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Alexander Franklin
King's College London

Citations of this work

Renormalization group methods: Which kind of explanation?Elena Castellani & Emilia Margoni - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 95 (C):158-166.
Book Forum.Alexander Franklin & Katie Robertson - 2023 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 97 (C):123-125.
Finite-size scaling theory: Quantitative and qualitative approaches to critical phenomena.Vincent Ardourel & Sorin Bangu - 2023 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 100 (C):99-106.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The multiple realizability argument against reductionism.Elliott Sober - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (4):542-564.
Multiple realizability and universality.Robert W. Batterman - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (1):115-145.
Emergent Physics and Micro-Ontology.Margaret Morrison - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (1):141-166.

View all 17 references / Add more references