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  1. Inconsistency in Science.Joke Meheus (ed.) - 2002 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer Science & Business Media.
    For centuries, inconsistencies were seen as a hindrance to good reasoning, and their role in the sciences was ignored. In recent years, however, logicians as well as philosophers and historians have showed a growing interest in the matter. Central to this change were the advent of paraconsistent logics, the shift in attention from finished theories to construction processes, and the recognition that most scientific theories were at some point either internally inconsistent or incompatible with other accepted findings. The new interest (...)
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  • An Interpretive Introduction to Quantum Field Theory.Paul Teller - 1995 - Princeton University Press.
    Quantum mechanics is a subject that has captured the imagination of a surprisingly broad range of thinkers, including many philosophers of science. Quantum field theory, however, is a subject that has been discussed mostly by physicists. This is the first book to present quantum field theory in a manner that makes it accessible to philosophers. Because it presents a lucid view of the theory and debates that surround the theory, An Interpretive Introduction to Quantum Field Theory will interest students of (...)
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  • Conceptual Development of 20th Century Field Theories.Tian Yu Cao - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.
    From reviews of the hardback edition: a deep study of 20th century field ... of the conceptual origins and development of twentieth century field theories, ...
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  • Against Field Interpretations of Quantum Field Theory.David John Baker - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):585-609.
    I examine some problems standing in the way of a successful `field interpretation' of quantum field theory. The most popular extant proposal depends on the Hilbert space of `wavefunctionals.' But since wavefunctional space is unitarily equivalent to many-particle Fock space, two of the most powerful arguments against particle interpretations also undermine this form of field interpretation. IntroductionField Interpretations and Field OperatorsThe Wavefunctional InterpretationFields and Inequivalent Representations 4.1. The Rindler representation 4.2. Spontaneous symmetry breaking 4.3. Coherent representations The Fate of Fields (...)
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  • In Defence of Naiveté: The Conceptual Status of Lagrangian Quantum Field Theory.David Wallace - 2006 - Synthese 151 (1):33-80.
    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 (...)
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  • Emergence of Particles From Bosonic Quantum Field Theory.David Wallace - manuscript
    An examination is made of the way in which particles emerge from linear, bosonic, massive quantum field theories. Two different constructions of the one-particle subspace of such theories are given, both illustrating the importance of the interplay between the quantum-mechanical linear structure and the classical one. Some comments are made on the Newton-Wigner representation of one-particle states, and on the relationship between the approach of this paper and those of Segal, and of Haag and Ruelle.
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  • The Standard Model as a Philosophical Challenge.Edward MacKinnon - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (4):447-457.
    There are two opposing traditions in contemporary quantum field theory (QFT). Mainstream Lagrangian QFT led to and supports the standard model of particle interactions. Algebraic QFT seeks to provide a rigorous consistent mathematical foundation for field theory, but cannot accommodate the local gauge interactions of the standard model. Interested philosophers face a choice. They can accept algebraic QFT on the grounds of mathematical consistency and general accord with the semantic conception of theory interpretation. This suggests a rejection of particle ontology. (...)
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  • A Matter of Degree: Putting Unitary Inequivalence to Work.Laura Ruetsche - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1329-1342.
    If a classical system has infinitely many degrees of freedom, its Hamiltonian quantization need not be unique up to unitary equivalence. I sketch different approaches (Hilbert space and algebraic) to understanding the content of quantum theories in light of this non‐uniqueness, and suggest that neither approach suffices to support explanatory aspirations encountered in the thermodynamic limit of quantum statistical mechanics.
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  • Haag’s Theorem and its Implications for the Foundations of Quantum Field Theory.John Earman & Doreen Fraser - 2006 - Erkenntnis 64 (3):305 - 344.
    Although the philosophical literature on the foundations of quantum field theory recognizes the importance of Haag’s theorem, it does not provide a clear discussion of the meaning of this theorem. The goal of this paper is to make up for this deficit. In particular, it aims to set out the implications of Haag’s theorem for scattering theory, the interaction picture, the use of non-Fock representations in describing interacting fields, and the choice among the plethora of the unitarily inequivalent representations of (...)
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  • Curie’s Principle and Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking.John Earman - 2004 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (2 & 3):173 – 198.
    In 1894 Pierre Curie announced what has come to be known as Curie's Principle: the asymmetry of effects must be found in their causes. In the same publication Curie discussed a key feature of what later came to be known as spontaneous symmetry breaking: the phenomena generally do not exhibit the symmetries of the laws that govern them. Philosophers have long been interested in the meaning and status of Curie's Principle. Only comparatively recently have they begun to delve into the (...)
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  • Idealization and Modeling.Robert W. Batterman - 2009 - Synthese 169 (3):427-446.
    This paper examines the role of mathematical idealization in describing and explaining various features of the world. It examines two cases: first, briefly, the modeling of shock formation using the idealization of the continuum. Second, and in more detail, the breaking of droplets from the points of view of both analytic fluid mechanics and molecular dynamical simulations at the nano-level. It argues that the continuum idealizations are explanatorily ineliminable and that a full understanding of certain physical phenomena cannot be obtained (...)
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  • The Fate of 'Particles' in Quantum Field Theories with Interactions.Doreen Fraser - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (4):841-859.
    Most philosophical discussion of the particle concept that is afforded by quantum field theory has focused on free systems. This paper is devoted to a systematic investigation of whether the particle concept for free systems can be extended to interacting systems. The possible methods of accomplishing this are considered and all are found unsatisfactory. Therefore, an interacting system cannot be interpreted in terms of particles. As a consequence, quantum field theory does not support the inclusion of particles in our ontology. (...)
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  • Critical Phenomena and Breaking Drops: Infinite Idealizations in Physics.Robert Batterman - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (2):225-244.
    Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics are related to one another through the so-called "thermodynamic limit'' in which, roughly speaking the number of particles becomes infinite. At critical points (places of physical discontinuity) this limit fails to be regular. As a result, the "reduction'' of Thermodynamics to Statistical Mechanics fails to hold at such critical phases. This fact is key to understanding an argument due to Craig Callender to the effect that the thermodynamic limit leads to mistakes in Statistical Mechanics. I discuss (...)
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  • Taking Thermodynamics Too Seriously.Craig Callender - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):539-553.
    This paper discusses the mistake of understanding the laws and concepts of thermodynamics too literally in the foundations of statistical mechanics. Arguing that this error is still made in subtle ways, the article explores its occurrence in three examples: the Second Law, the concept of equilibrium and the definition of phase transitions.
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  • Renormalization and the Disunity of Science.Nick Huggett - 2002 - In Meinard Kuhlmann, Holger Lyre & Andrew Wayne (eds.), Ontological Aspects of Quantum Field Theory. World Scientific. pp. 255-277.
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  • An Interpretative Introduction to Quantum Field Theory.Paul Teller - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):152-153.
     
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  • QED and the Men Who Made It: Dyson, Feynman, Schwinger, and Tomonaga.Silvan S. Schweber - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (4):624-627.