Oxford University Press (2011)
Traditionally, philosophers of quantum mechanics have addressed exceedingly simple systems: a pair of electrons in an entangled state, or an atom and a cat in Dr. Schrodinger's diabolical device. But recently, much more complicated systems, such as quantum fields and the infinite systems at the thermodynamic limit of quantum statistical mechanics, have attracted, and repaid, philosophical attention. Interpreting Quantum Theories has three entangled aims. The first is to guide those familiar with the philosophy of ordinary QM into the philosophy of 'QM infinity', by presenting accessible introductions to relevant technical notions and the foundational questions they frame. The second aim is to develop and defend answers to some of those questions. Does quantum field theory demand or deserve a particle ontology? How (if at all) are different states of broken symmetry different? And what is the proper role of idealizations in working physics? The third aim is to highlight ties between the foundational investigation of QM infinity and philosophy more broadly construed, in particular by using the interpretive problems discussed to motivate new ways to think about the nature of physical possibility and the problem of scientific realism.
|Keywords||Quantum Field Theory|
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|Call number||QC174.12.R848 2011|
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Citations of this work BETA
Quantum States for Primitive Ontologists: A Case Study.Gordon Belot - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):67-83.
Gauge Symmetry Breaking in Gauge Theories—in Search of Clarification.Simon Friederich - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (2):157-182.
Scientific Misrepresentation and Guides to Ontology: The Need for Representational Code and Contents.Elay Shech - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3463-3485.
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