Authors
John Roberts
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Abstract
I describe a problem about the relations among symmetries, laws and measurable quantities. I explain why several ways of trying to solve it will not work, and I sketch a solution that might work. I discuss this problem in the context of Newtonian theories, but it also arises for many other physical theories. The problem is that there are two ways of defining the space-time symmetries of a physical theory: as its dynamical symmetries or as its empirical symmetries. The two definitions are not equivalent, yet they pick out the same extension. This coincidence cries out for explanation, and it is not clear what the explanation could be. The Puzzle: Symmetries, Measurability and Invariance 1.1 The symmetries and the measurable quantities of Newtonian mechanics 1.2 The puzzle Two Easy Answers Another Unsuccessful Solution: Appeal to Geometrical Symmetries Locating the Puzzle The Relation between Laws and Measurability A Possible Solution CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axn009
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References found in this work BETA

Time and Chance.David Z. Albert - 2000 - Harvard University Press.
Time and Chance.S. French - 2005 - Mind 114 (453):113-116.

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Citations of this work BETA

Individuals: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics.Shamik Dasgupta - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (1):35-67.
Symmetry as an Epistemic Notion.Shamik Dasgupta - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):837-878.
Symmetry and Equivalence.Gordon Belot - 2013 - In Robert Batterman (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics. Oxford University Press. pp. 318-339.
A New Approach to the Relational‐Substantival Debate.Jill North - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 11:3-43.

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