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Joshua Norton
American University of Beirut
Joshua Norton
Trinity College, Dublin
  1. Weak Discernibility for Quanta, the Right Way.Nick Huggett & Joshua Norton - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (1):39-58.
    Muller and Saunders ([2008]) purport to demonstrate that, surprisingly, bosons and fermions are discernible; this article disputes their arguments, then derives a similar conclusion in a more satisfactory fashion. After briefly explicating their proof and indicating how it escapes earlier indiscernibility results, we note that the observables which Muller and Saunders argue discern particles are (i) non-symmetric in the case of bosons and (ii) trivial multiples of the identity in the case of fermions. Both problems undermine the claim that they (...)
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  2.  8
    The Hole Argument Against Everything.Joshua Norton - forthcoming - Foundations of Physics:1-19.
    The Hole Argument was originally formulated by Einstein and it haunted him as he struggled to understand the meaning of spacetime coordinates in the context of the diffeomorphism invariance of general relativity. This argument has since been put to philosophical use by Earman and Norton to argue against a substantival conception of spacetime. In the present work I demonstrate how Earman and Norton’s Hole Argument can be extended to exclude everything and not merely substantival manifolds. These casualties of the hole (...)
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  3.  22
    Weak Discernibility and Relations Between Quanta.Joshua Norton - unknown
    Some authors have attempted to defend Leibniz's identity of indicernibes through weak discernibility. The idea is that if there is a symmetric, non-reflexive physical relation which holds between two particles, then those particles cannot be identical. In this paper I focus only on Muller and Saunders' account and argue that the means by which they achieve weak discernibility is not through a physical observable but an alternate mathematical construction which is both unorthodox and incomplete. Muller and Saunders build a map (...)
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  4.  63
    Loop Quantum Ontology: Spin-Networks and Spacetime.Joshua Norton - unknown
    The ontological issues at stake given the theory of loop quantum gravity include the status of spacetime, the nature and reality of spin-networks, the relationship of classical spacetime to issues of causation and the status of the abstract-concrete distinction. I this paper I argue that, while spacetime seems to disappear, the spirit of substantival spacetime lives on under certain interpretations of the theory. Moreover, in order for there to be physical spin-networks, and not merely mathematical artifacts, I argue that we (...)
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  5.  21
    Incubating a Future Metaphysics: Quantum Gravity.Joshua Norton - unknown
    In this paper, I will argue that metaphysicians ought to utilize quantum theories of gravity as incubators for a future metaphysics. In §1, I will argue why this ought to be done. In §2, I will present case studies from the history of science where physical theories have challenged both the dogmatic and speculative metaphysician. In §3, I will present two theories of QG and demonstrate the challenge they pose to certain aspects of our current metaphysics; in particular, how they (...)
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  6.  18
    The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics. Edited by Dean Rickles.Joshua Norton - 2011 - Heythrop Journal 52 (2):304-305.
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