In Defence of Naiveté: The Conceptual Status of Lagrangian Quantum Field Theory

Synthese 151 (1):33-80 (2006)
Abstract
I analyse the conceptual and mathematical foundations of Lagrangian quantum field theory (QFT) (that is, the ‘naive’ (QFT) used in mainstream physics, as opposed to algebraic quantum field theory). The objective is to see whether Lagrangian (QFT) has a sufficiently firm conceptual and mathematical basis to be a legitimate object of foundational study, or whether it is too ill-defined. The analysis covers renormalisation and infinities, inequivalent representations, and the concept of localised states; the conclusion is that Lagrangian QFT (at least as described here) is a perfectly respectable physical theory, albeit somewhat different in certain respects from most of those studied in foundational work.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-004-6248-9
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References found in this work BETA
Real Patterns.Daniel C. Dennett - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):27-51.

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QFT, Antimatter, and Symmetry.David Wallace - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (3):209-222.
Against Field Interpretations of Quantum Field Theory.David Baker - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):585-609.
Everett and Structure.David Wallace - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 34 (1):87-105.

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