Against fields

Dustin Lazarovici
University of Lausanne
Using the example of classical electrodynamics, I argue that the concept of fields as mediators of particle interactions is fundamentally flawed and reflects a misguided attempt to retrieve Newtonian concepts in relativistic theories. This leads to various physical and metaphysical problems that are discussed in detail. In particular, I emphasize that physics has not found a satisfying solution to the self-interaction problem in the context of the classical field theory. To demonstrate the superiority of a pure particle ontology, I defend the direct interaction theory of Wheeler and Feynman against recent criticism and argue that it provides the most cogent formulation of classical electrodynamics.
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DOI 10.1007/s13194-017-0179-z
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References found in this work BETA

Quantum Entanglement, Bohmian Mechanics, and Humean Supervenience.Elizabeth Miller - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):567-583.
Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind.Wilfrid S. Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.
The Ontology of Bohmian Mechanics.M. Esfeld, D. Lazarovici, Mario Hubert & D. Durr - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):773-796.
Quantum Humeanism, Or: Physicalism Without Properties.Michael Esfeld - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):453-470.

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Citations of this work BETA

Forces on Fields.Charles T. Sebens - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 63:1-11.
When Fields Are Not Degrees of Freedom.Vera Hartenstein & Mario Hubert - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
Action at a Temporal Distance in the Best Systems Account.Phil Dowe - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):35.
The Mass of the Gravitational Field.Charles T. Sebens - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz002.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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