Screams for explanation: finetuning and naturalness in the foundations of physics

Synthese:1-19 (forthcoming)

Abstract
We critically analyze the rationale of arguments from finetuning and naturalness in particle physics and cosmology, notably the small values of the mass of the Higgs-boson and the cosmological constant. We identify several new reasons why these arguments are not scientifically relevant. Besides laying out why the necessity to define a probability distribution renders arguments from naturalness internally contradictory, it is also explained why it is conceptually questionable to single out assumptions about dimensionless parameters from among a host of other assumptions. Some other numerological coincidences and their problems are also discussed.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-019-02377-5
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References found in this work BETA

Naturalness, the Autonomy of Scales, and the 125GeV Higgs.Porter Williams - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 51:82-96.
Two Notions of Naturalness.Porter Williams - 2019 - Foundations of Physics 49 (9):1022-1050.
Which Fine-Tuning Arguments Are Fine?Alexei Grinbaum - 2012 - Foundations of Physics 42 (5):615-631.
Cosmology and Convention.David Merritt - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 57:41-52.
Introduction.Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann - 2011 - In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Two Notions of Naturalness.Porter Williams - 2019 - Foundations of Physics 49 (9):1022-1050.
Naturalness and Emergence.David Wallace - 2019 - The Monist 102 (4):499-524.
Why Be Natural?Jonathan Bain - 2019 - Foundations of Physics 49 (9):898-914.

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