Symmetry Fundamentalism: A Case Study from Classical Physics

Philosophical Quarterly 71 (2):308-333 (2020)

Abstract

Physicists have suggested what I call symmetry fundamentalism: the view that symmetries are fundamental aspects of physical reality and that these aspects are more fundamental than what one might ordinarily think of as the fundamental building blocks of the world, such as elementary particles. The goal of this paper is to develop an ontology for classical particle mechanics that provides a precise instance of symmetry fundamentalism.

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David Schroeren
University of Geneva

References found in this work

What is Structural Realism?James Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - In James Ladyman, Don Ross, David Spurrett & John Collier (eds.), Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Oxford University Press.
Modal Science.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):453-492.
Individuals: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics.Shamik Dasgupta - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (1):35-67.

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Citations of this work

How to Be Humean About Symmetries.Toby Friend - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
Symmetry fundamentalism in quantum mechanics.David Schroeren - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):3995-4024.

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