The Interpretation of String-Theoretic Dualities

Foundations of Physics 46 (2):209-235 (2016)


We analyse the possibility that string-theoretic dualities present a genuine case of strong underdetermination of theory by evidence. Drawing on the parallel discussion of the hole argument, we assess the possible interpretations of dualities. We conclude that there exist at least two defensible interpretations on which dualities do not present a worrying case of underdetermination per se.

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James Read
Oxford University

References found in this work

String Theory and the Scientific Method.Richard Dawid - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
Emergent Spacetime and Empirical (in) Coherence.Nick Huggett & Christian Wüthrich - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):276-285.
What Price Spacetime Substantivalism? The Hole Story.John Earman & John Norton - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (4):515-525.

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Citations of this work

Duality and Ontology.Baptiste Le Bihan & James Read - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (12):e12555.
Motivating Dualities.James Read & Thomas Møller-Nielsen - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):263-291.
Target Space ≠ Space.Nick Huggett - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 59:81-88.
Sophistry About Symmetries?Niels C. M. Martens & James Read - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):315-344.
On Dualities and Equivalences Between Physical Theories.Jeremy Butterfield - forthcoming - In Christian Wüthrich, Baptiste Le Bihan & Nick Huggett (eds.), Philosophy Beyond Spacetime. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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