Symmetry arguments in physics

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (3):479-492 (1999)
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Abstract

Physicists often appeal to the beauty of a theory as a way to judge its credibility, and the most prevalent component of this beauty is symmetry. This paper describes the role and structure of symmetry arguments in physics. It demonstrates that the epistemic authority of an appeal to symmetry is based on empirical evidence and is independent of any aesthetic judgment. Furthermore, symmetry in nature is not evidence of design. Just the opposite, symmetry indicates a lack of planning. It is about nature's disregard for details.

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Citations of this work

Gauge principles, gauge arguments and the logic of nature.Christopher A. Martin - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S221-S234.
Gauge gravity and the unification of natural forces.Chuang Liu - 2001 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):143 – 159.

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References found in this work

Laws and symmetry.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1989 - New York: Oxford University Press.
How is Quantum Field Theory Possible?Sunny Y. Auyang - 1995 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Fearful symmetry: the search for beauty in modern physics.A. Zee - 1986 - Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Fundamental manifestations of symmetry in physics.Joe Rosen - 1990 - Foundations of Physics 20 (3):283-307.

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