Synthese:1-21 (forthcoming)

The presence of symmetries in physical theories implies a pernicious form of underdetermination. In order to avoid this theoretical vice, philosophers often espouse a principle called Leibniz Equivalence, which states that symmetry-related models represent the same state of affairs. Moreover, philosophers have claimed that the existence of non-trivial symmetries motivates us to accept the Invariance Principle, which states that quantities that vary under a theory’s symmetries aren’t physically real. Leibniz Equivalence and the Invariance Principle are often seen as part of the same package. I argue that this is a mistake: Leibniz Equivalence and the Invariance Principle are orthogonal to each other. This means that it is possible to hold that symmetry-related models represent the same state of affairs whilst having a realist attitude towards variant quantities. Various arguments have been presented in favour of the Invariance Principle: a rejection of the Invariance Principle is inter alia supposed to cause indeterminism, undetectability or failure of reference. I respond that these arguments at best support Leibniz Equivalence.
Keywords symmetries  invariance principle  leibniz equivalence  reduction  sophistication
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-021-03205-5
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References found in this work BETA

How to Define Theoretical Terms.David Lewis - 1970 - Journal of Philosophy 67 (13):427-446.
What Price Spacetime Substantivalism? The Hole Story.John Earman & John Norton - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (4):515-525.
Sophistication About Symmetries.Neil Dewar - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (2):485-521.

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