Particles, objects, and physics


Abstract
This thesis analyses the ontological nature of quantum particles. In it I argue that quantum particles, despite their indistinguishability, are objects in much the same way as classical particles. This similarity provides an important point of continuity between classical and quantum physics. I consider two notions of indistinguishability, that of indiscernibility and permutation symmetry. I argue that neither sort of indistinguishability undermines the identity of quantum particles. I further argue that, when we understand in distinguishability in terms of permutation symmetry, classical particles are just as indistinguishable as quantum particles; for classical physics also possesses permutation symmetry.
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References found in this work BETA

New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
What is Structural Realism?James Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 49 (2):333-352.

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Citations of this work BETA

Are Quantum Particles Objects?Simon Saunders - 2006 - Analysis 66 (1):52-63.
On the Explanation for Quantum Statistics.Simon Saunders - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (1):192-211.

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