64 found
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  1.  85
    Emergent Spacetime and Empirical Coherence.Nick Huggett & Christian Wüthrich - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):276-285.
    Numerous approaches to a quantum theory of gravity posit fundamental ontologies that exclude spacetime, either partially or wholly. This situation raises deep questions about how such theories could relate to the empirical realm, since arguably only entities localized in spacetime can ever be observed. Are such entities even possible in a theory without fundamental spacetime? How might they be derived, formally speaking? Moreover, since by assumption the fundamental entities can't be smaller than the derived and so can't 'compose' them in (...)
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  2.  67
    The Regularity Account of Relational Spacetime.Nick Huggett - 2006 - Mind 115 (457):41--73.
    A version of relationism that takes spatiotemporal structures—spatial geometry and a standard of inertia—to supervene on the history of relations between bodies is described and defended. The account is used to explain how the relationist should construe models of Newtonian mechanics in which absolute acceleration manifestly does not supervene on the relations; Ptolemaic and Copernican models for example. The account introduces a new way in which a Lewis-style ‘best system’ might capture regularities in a broadly Humean world; a defence is (...)
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  3.  47
    Target Space ≠ Space.Nick Huggett - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
    This paper investigates the significance of T-duality in string theory: the indistinguisha- bility with respect to all observables, of models attributing radically different radii to space – larger than the observable universe, or far smaller than the Planck length, say. Two interpretational branch points are identified and discussed. First, whether duals are physically equivalent or not: by considering a duality of the familiar simple harmonic oscillator, I argue that they are. Unlike the oscillator, there are no measurements ‘outside’ string theory (...)
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  4. Atomic Metaphysics.Nick Huggett - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):5-24.
  5. Identity, Quantum Mechanics and Common Sense.Nick Huggett - 1997 - The Monist 80 (1):118-130.
  6. Absolute and Relational Theories of Space and Motion.Nick Huggett - 2008
    Since antiquity, natural philosophers have struggled to comprehend the nature of three tightly interconnected concepts: space, time, and motion. A proper understanding of motion, in particular, has been seen to be crucial for deciding questions about the natures of space and time, and their interconnections. Since the time of Newton and Leibniz, philosophers’ struggles to comprehend these concepts have often appeared to take the form of a dispute between absolute conceptions of space, time and motion, and relational conceptions. This article (...)
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  7.  51
    The Renormalisation Group and Effective Field Theories.Nick Huggett & Robert Weingard - 1995 - Synthese 102 (1):171 - 194.
    Much apprehension has been expressed by philosophers about the method of renormalisation in quantum field theory, as it apparently requires illegitimate procedure of infinite cancellation. This has lead to various speculations, in particular in Teller (1989). We examine Teller's discussion of perturbative renormalisation of quantum fields, and show why it is inadequate. To really approach the matter one needs to understand the ideas and results of the renormalisation group, so we give a simple but comprehensive account of this topic. With (...)
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  8.  18
    Time in Quantum Gravity.Nick Huggett, Tiziana Vistarini & Christian Wüthrich - 2013 - .
    Quantum gravity--the marriage of quantum physics with general relativity--is bound to contain deep and important lessons for the nature of physical time. Some of these lessons shall be canvassed here, particularly as they arise from quantum general relativity and string theory and related approaches. Of particular interest is the question of which of the intuitive aspects of time will turn out to be fundamental, and which 'emergent' in some sense.
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  9. Why Quantize Gravity (or Any Other Field for That Matter)?Nick Huggett & Craig Callender - 2001 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S382-.
    The quantum gravity program seeks a theory that handles quantum matter fields and gravity consistently. But is such a theory really required and must it involve quantizing the gravitational field? We give reasons for a positive answer to the first question, but dispute a widespread contention that it is inconsistent for the gravitational field to be classical while matter is quantum. In particular, we show how a popular argument (Eppley and Hannah 1997) falls short of a no-go theorem, and discuss (...)
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  10. Why Manifold Substantivalism is Probably Not a Consequence of Classical Mechanics.Nick Huggett - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (1):17 – 34.
    This paper develops and defends three related forms of relationism about spacetime against attacks by contemporary substantivalists. It clarifies Newton's globes argument to show that it does not bear on relations that fail to determine geodesic motions, since the inertial effects on which Newton relies are not simply correlated with affine structure, but must be understood in dynamical terms. It develops remarks by Sklar and van Fraassen into relational versions of Newtonian mechanics, and argues that Earman does not show them (...)
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  11. Everywhere and Everywhen: Adventures in Physics and Philosophy.Nick Huggett - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    Why does time pass and space does not? Are there just three dimensions? What is a quantum particle? Nick Huggett shows that philosophy -- armed with a power to analyze fundamental concepts and their relationship to the human experience -- has much to say about these profound questions about the universe. In Everywhere and Everywhen, Huggett charts a journey that peers into some of the oldest questions about the world, through some of the newest, such as: What shape is space? (...)
     
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  12.  40
    Reflections on Parity Nonconservation.Nick Huggett - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):219-241.
    This paper considers the implications for the relational-substantival debate of observations of parity nonconservation in weak interactions, a much neglected topic. It is argued that 'geometric proofs' of absolute space, first proposed by Kant (1768), fail, but that parity violating laws allow 'mechanical proofs', like Newton's laws. Parity violating laws are explained and arguments analogous to those of Newton's Scholium are constructed to show that they require absolute spacetime structure--namely, an orientation--as Newtonian mechanics requires affine structure. Finally, it is considered (...)
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  13. Essay Review-HARVEY R. BROWN: Physical Relativity: Space-Time Structure From a Dynamical Perspective.Nick Huggett - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (3):404.
  14.  40
    Interpretations of Quantum Field Theory.Nick Huggett & Robert Weingard - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (3):370-388.
    In this paper we critically review the various attempts that have been made to understand quantum field theory. We focus on Teller's (1990) harmonic oscillator interpretation, and Bohm et al.'s (1987) causal interpretation. The former unabashedly aims to be a purely heuristic account, but we show that it is only interestingly applicable to the free bosonic field. Along the way we suggest alternative models. Bohm's interpretation provides an ontology for the theory--a classical field, with a quantum equation of motion. This (...)
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  15. Renormalization and the Disunity of Science.Nick Huggett - 2002 - .
     
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  16. Why the Parts of Absolute Space Are Immobile.Nick Huggett - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):391-407.
    Newton's arguments for the immobility of the parts of absolute space have been claimed to licence several proposals concerning his metaphysics. This paper clarifies Newton, first distinguishing two distinct arguments. Then, it demonstrates, contrary to Nerlich ([2005]), that Newton does not appeal to the identity of indiscernibles, but rather to a view about de re representation. Additionally, DiSalle ([1994]) claims that one argument shows Newton to be an anti-substantivalist. I agree that its premises imply a denial of a kind of (...)
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  17. Metaphilosophy and the History of the Philosophy of Science-The Structure of Scientific Theories Thirty Years On-Understanding Scientific Theories: An Assessment of Developments, 1969-1998. [REVIEW]Nick Huggett, Steven French & Frederick Suppe - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3).
     
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  18. Local Philosophies of Science.Nick Huggett - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):137.
    Since the collapse of the 'received view' consensus in the late 1960s, the question of scientific realism has been a major preoccupation of philosophers of science. This paper sketches the history of this debate, which grew from developments in the philosophy of language, but eventually took on an autonomous existence. More recently, the debate has tended towards more 'local' considerations of particular scientific episodes as a way of getting purchase on the issues. The paper reviews two such approaches, Fine's and (...)
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  19. Groups in Mind.David Hilbert & Nick Huggett - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):765-777.
    We consider the question of the manner of the internalization of the geometry and topology of physical space in the mind, both the mechanism of internalization and precisely what structures are internalized. Though we will not argue for the point here, we agree with the long tradition which holds that an understanding of this issue is crucial for addressing many metaphysical and epistemological questions concerning space.
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  20.  33
    Skeptical Notes on a Physics of Passage.Nick Huggett - 2014 - Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1326 (1):9-17.
    This paper investigates the mathematical representation of time in physics. In existing theories time is represented by the real numbers, hence their formal proper- ties represent properties of time: these are surveyed. The central question of the paper is whether the existing representation of time is adequate, or whether it can or should be supplemented: especially, do we need a physics incorporating some kind of ‘dynamical passage’ of time? The paper argues that the existing mathematical framework is resistant to such (...)
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  21. Quentin Smith and L. Nathan Oaklander, Time, Change and Freedom: Introduction to Metaphysics Reviewed By.Nick Huggett - 1996 - Philosophy in Review 16 (4):297-298.
     
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  22.  88
    Is Science Without Spacetime Possible?Christian Wuthrich & Nick Huggett - unknown
    A central concern of philosophy of science is understanding how the theoretical connects to the empirical. This is not the place to propose another theory describing, or prescribing, this connection; let alone to consider how such a theory might, in turn, relate to how science actually works. At a high level of generality, however, presumably the link is established by observing (in some sense) a material ‘something’, in some determinate state or other, at some spatial location at some moment in (...)
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  23.  18
    Deriving General Relativity From String Theory.Nick Huggett & Tiziana Vistarini - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1163-1174.
    Weyl symmetry of the classical bosonic string Lagrangian is broken by quantization, with profound consequences described here. Reimposing symmetry requires that the background space-time satisfy the equations of general relativity: general relativity, hence classical space-time as we know it, arises from string theory. We investigate the logical role of Weyl symmetry in this explanation of general relativity: it is not an independent physical postulate but required in quantum string theory, so from a certain point of view it plays only a (...)
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  24.  33
    Mirror Symmetry: What is It for Relational Space to Be Orientable?Nick Huggett - 2003 - In Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections. Cambridge University Press. pp. 281.
    As Pooley (2001) explains, the challenge of giving a relational account of orientability (and topology more generally) is not an easy one. This paper criticizes Pooley's and other proposals, raises a range of problems for the project, and then proposes a novel way for the relationist to understand not only topology, but also the geometry of space. This proposal is the `regularity account' since it claims that geometry and topology supervene on the regular ways in which relations evolve.
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  25.  34
    Essay Review:Physical RelativityandUnderstanding Space‐Time* Harvey R. Brown , Physical Relativity: Space‐Time Structure From a Dynamical Perspective . Oxford: Oxford University Press (2005), 240 Pp., $75.00 (Cloth). Robert DiSalle , Understanding Space‐Time: The Philosophical Developments of Physics From Newton to Einstein . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2006), 188 Pp., $90.00 (Cloth). [REVIEW]Nick Huggett - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (3):404-422.
  26.  36
    Book Review:Interpretive Introduction to Quantum Field Theory Paul Teller. [REVIEW]Nick Huggett & Robert Weingard - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (2):302-.
  27. Entanglement Exchange And Bohmian Mechanics.Nick Huggett & Tiziana Vistarini - 2010 - Manuscrito 33 (1):223-242.
    This paper explains the phenomenon of `entanglement exchange' within the Bohmian approach to quantum mechanics. After explaining Bohmian mechanics and entanglement exchange, in which pairs of particles become entangled without ever interacting causally in the usual, unitary sense, our aim is to use this example, to illustrate how the `pilot wave' mediates non-local correlations. The discussion thus gives a useful new way to think about entanglement exchange, and clarifies the structure of Bohmian mechanics.
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  28.  40
    The Emergence of Spacetime in Quantum Theories of Gravity.Nick Huggett & Christian Wüthrich - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):273-275.
    This is the introduction to the special issue of Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics on the emergence of spacetime in quantum theories of spacetime.
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  29. Critical Review: Paul Teller's Interpretive Introduction to Quantum Field Theory.Nick Huggett & Robert Weingard - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (2):302.
  30.  20
    Deriving General Relativity From String Theory.Nick Huggett & Tiziana Vistarini - forthcoming - .
    This paper gives an introduction to the conformal symmetry of classical string theory, and explains its role in the derivation of the Einstein field equations - the 'prediction' of gravity in quantum string theory. Quantization breaks the symmetry - the 'conformal anomaly' of the theory - and reimposing it leads to the EFEs, and to additional spacetime dimensions: thus conformal symmetry is crucial to understanding the 'emergence' of classical spacetime. Because of the importance of conformal symmetry in these derivations, it (...)
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  31.  18
    What Are Quanta, and Why Does It Matter?Nick Huggett - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:69 - 76.
    I criticize a certain view of the 'quanta' of quantum mechanics that sees them as fundamentally non-atomistic and fundamentally significant for our understanding of quantum fields. In particular, I have in mind work by Redhead and Teller (1991, 1992 and Teller 1990). I prove that classical particles do not have the rather strong flavour of identity often associated with them; permuting positions and momenta does not produce distinct states. I show that even the label free excitation formalism is compatible with (...)
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  32. Of Modern Physics.Nick Huggett & Christian Wuthrich - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44:276-285.
     
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  33.  19
    The Philosophy of Science.Nick Huggett - 1998 - Teaching Philosophy 21 (4):416-419.
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  34.  46
    Is Science Without Spacetime Possible?Nick Huggett & Christian Wuthrich - unknown
    Numerous approaches to a quantum theory of gravity posit fundamental ontologies that exclude spacetime, either partially or wholly. This situation raises deep questions about how such theories could relate to the empirical realm, since arguably only entities localized in spacetime can ever be observed. Are such entities even possible in a theory without fundamental spacetime? How might they be derived, formally speaking? Moreover, since the fundamental entities can't be smaller than the derived by assumption and so can't 'compose' them in (...)
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  35.  20
    Quarticles and the Identity of Indiscernibles.Nick Huggett - 2003 - .
    A number of commentators (especially French and Redhead, 1988, and Butterfield, 1993) have investigated the status of the principle of the identity of indiscernibles (PII) for bosons and fermions. In this paper I extend that investigation to the full range of quantum particles of any allowed kind of statistics -- `quarticles', that is. I show that for any kind (except bosons and fermions) there are states in which PII is violated by every pair of particles, some pairs and not others, (...)
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  36.  73
    Cartesian Spacetime: Descartes' Physics and the Relational Theory of Space and Motion.Nick Huggett - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):189-193.
  37.  29
    On Newton's Method.Nick Huggett, George E. Smith, David Marshall Miller & William Harper - 2013 - Metascience 22 (2):215-246.
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  38.  57
    On the Field Aspect of Quantum Fields.Nick Huggett & Robert Weingard - 1994 - Erkenntnis 40 (3):293 - 301.
    In this paper we contrast the idea of a field as a system with an infinite number of degrees of freedom with a recent alternative proposed by Paul Teller in Teller (1990). We show that, although our characterisation lacks the immediate appeal of Teller's, it has more success producing agreement with intuitive categorisations than his does. We go on to extend the distinction to Quantum Mechanics, explaining the important role that it plays there. Finally, we take some time to investigate (...)
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  39.  53
    Draft the Past Hypothesis and the Knowledge Asymmetry.Nick Huggett - unknown
    Why is our knowledge of the past so much more ‘expansive’ (to pick a suitably vague term) than our knowledge of the future, and what is the best way to capture the difference(s) (i.e., in what sense is knowledge of the past more ‘expansive’)? One could reasonably approach these questions by giving necessary conditions for different kinds of knowledge, and showing how some were satisfied by certain propositions about the past, and not by corresponding propositions about the future. I take (...)
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  40.  5
    Target Space ≠ Space.Nick Huggett - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
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  41. Why Quantize Gravity ?Nick Huggett & Craig Callender - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (S3):S382-S394.
    The quantum gravity program seeks a theory that handles quantum matter fields and gravity consistently. But is such a theory really required and must it involve quantizing the gravitational field? We give reasons for a positive answer to the first question, but dispute a widespread contention that it is inconsistent for the gravitational field to be classical while matter is quantum. In particular, we show how a popular argument falls short of a no-go theorem, and discuss possible counterexamples. Important issues (...)
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  42.  47
    Review of David Z. Albert, Time and Chance[REVIEW]Nick Huggett - 2002 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2002 (2).
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  43.  30
    Indistinguishability.Nick Huggett & Tom Imbo - manuscript
    an article written with Tom Imbo for the forthcoming Compendium of Quantum Mechanics.
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  44.  39
    Can Spacetime Help Settle Any Issues in Modern Philosophy?Nick Huggett - 2006 - .
    This paper has two goals. (i) I explore the limits of the mathematical theory of spacetime (more generally, differential geometry) as an analytical tool for interpreting early modern thought. While it dramatically clarifies some issues, it can also lead to misunderstandings of some figures, and is a very poor tool indeed for others - Leibniz in particular. (ii) I will show how to blunt a very influential argument against a relational conception of spacetime - the view that the properties and (...)
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  45.  39
    Exposing the Machinery of Infinite Renormalization.Nick Huggett & Robert Weingard - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (3):167.
    We explicate recent results that shed light on the obscure and troubling problem of renormalization in Quantum Field Theory (QFT). We review how divergent predictions arise in perturbative QFT, and how they are renormalized into finite quantities. Commentators have worried that there is no foundation for renormalization, and hence that QFTs are not logically coherent. We dispute this by describing the physics behind liquid diffusion, in which exactly analogous divergences are found and renormalized. But now we are looking at a (...)
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  46.  12
    Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point.Nick Huggett - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (4):1093-1096.
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  47.  12
    Philosophy of Physics.Nick Huggett - 1995 - International Studies in Philosophy 27 (4):139-140.
  48. Introduction.Craig Callender & Nick Huggett - 2001 - In Craig Callender & Nick Huggett (eds.), Physics Meets Philosophy at the Panck Scale. Cambridge University Press.
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  49. Physics Meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale Contemporary Theories in Quantum Gravity.Craig Callender & Nick Huggett - 2001
     
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  50. Atomic Metaphysics.Nick Huggett - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):5.
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