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Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Field Theory

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Cambridge University Press (1999)

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  1. Scientific Theories, Models and the Semantic Approach.Krause Décio & Bueno Otávio - 2007 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 11 (2):187-201.
    According to the semantic view, a theory is characterized by a class of models. In this paper, we examine critically some of the assumptions that underlie this approach. First, we recall that models are models of something. Thus we cannot leave completely aside the axiomatization of the theories under consideration, nor can we ignore the metamathematics used to elaborate these models, for changes in the metamathematics often impose restrictions on the resulting models. Second, based on a parallel between van Fraassen’s (...)
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  • The Interactivist Model.Mark H. Bickhard - 2009 - Synthese 166 (3):547 - 591.
    A shift from a metaphysical framework of substance to one of process enables an integrated account of the emergence of normative phenomena. I show how substance assumptions block genuine ontological emergence, especially the emergence of normativity, and how a process framework permits a thermodynamic-based account of normative emergence. The focus is on two foundational forms of normativity, that of normative function and of representation as emergent in a particular kind of function. This process model of representation, called interactivism, compels changes (...)
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  • Abduction, Competing Models and the Virtues of Hypotheses.H. G. Callaway - 2014 - In Lorenzo Magnani (ed.), (2014) Model-Based Reasoning in Science and Technology. Springer. pp. 263-280.
    This paper focuses on abduction as explicit or readily formulatable inference to possible explanatory hypotheses--as contrasted with inference to conceptual innovations or abductive logic as a cycle of hypotheses, deduction of consequences and inductive testing. Inference to an explanation is often a matter of projection or extrapolation of elements of accepted theory for the solution of outstanding problems in particular domains of inquiry. I say "projections or extrapolation" of accepted theory, but I mean to point to something broader and suggest (...)
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  • Moving, Moved and Will Be Moving: Zeno and Nāgārjuna on Motion From Mahāmudrā, Koan and Mathematical Physics Perspectives.Robert Alan Paul - 2017 - Comparative Philosophy 8 (2):65-89.
    Zeno’s Arrow and Nāgārjuna’s Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way Chapter 2 contain paradoxical, dialectic arguments thought to indicate that there is no valid explanation of motion, hence there is no physical or generic motion. There are, however, diverse interpretations of the latter text, and I argue they apply to Zeno’s Arrow as well. I also find that many of the interpretations are dependent on a mathematical analysis of material motion through space and time. However, with modern philosophy and physics (...)
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  • Variations in Variation and Selection: The Ubiquity of the Variation-and-Selective-Retention Ratchet in Emergent Organizational Complexity, Part II: Quantum Field Theory. [REVIEW]Mark H. Bickhard - 2003 - Foundations of Science 8 (3):283-293.
    If the general arguments concerning theinvolvement of variation and selection inexplanations of ``fit'' are valid, then variationand selection explanations should beappropriate, or at least potentiallyappropriate, outside the paradigm historisticdomains of biology and knowledge. In thisdiscussion, I wish to indicate some potentialroles for variation and selection infoundational physics – specifically inquantum field theory. I will not be attemptingany full coherent ontology for quantum fieldtheory – none currently exists, and none islikely for at least the short term future. Instead, I wish to (...)
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  • Some Consequences (and Enablings) of Process Metaphysics.Mark H. Bickhard - 2011 - Axiomathes 21 (1):3-32.
    The interactivist model has explored a number of consequences of process metaphysics. These include reversals of some fundamental metaphysical assumptions dominant since the ancient Greeks, and multiple further consequences throughout the metaphysics of the world, minds, and persons. This article surveys some of these consequences, ranging from issues regarding entities and supervenience to the emergence of normative phenomena such as representation, rationality, persons, and ethics.
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  • An Integration of Motivation and Cognition.Mark H. Bickhard - 2003 - In L. Smith, C. Rogers & P. Tomlinson (eds.), Development and Motivation: Joint Perspectives. Leicester: British Psychological Society. pp. 41-56.
  • The Quantum Vacuum and the Cosmological Constant Problem.Svend E. Rugh & Henrik Zinkernagel - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (4):663-705.
    The cosmological constant problem arises at the intersection between general relativity and quantum field theory, and is regarded as a fundamental problem in modern physics. In this paper we describe the historical and conceptual origin of the cosmological constant problem which is intimately connected to the vacuum concept in quantum field theory. We critically discuss how the problem rests on the notion of physically real vacuum energy, and which relations between general relativity and quantum field theory are assumed in order (...)
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  • On Emergence in Gauge Theories at the ’T Hooft Limit‘.Nazim Bouatta & Jeremy Butterfield - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (1):55-87.
    Quantum field theories are notoriously difficult to understand, physically as well as philosophically. The aim of this paper is to contribute to a better conceptual understanding of gauge quantum field theories, such as quantum chromodynamics, by discussing a famous physical limit, the ’t Hooft limit, in which the theory concerned often simplifies. The idea of the limit is that the number N of colours goes to infinity. The simplifications that can happen in this limit, and that we will consider, are: (...)
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  • The Strong and Weak Senses of Theory-Ladenness of Experimentation: Theory-Driven Versus Exploratory Experiments in the History of High-Energy Particle Physics.Koray Karaca - 2013 - Science in Context 26 (1):93-136.
    ArgumentIn the theory-dominated view of scientific experimentation, all relations of theory and experiment are taken on a par; namely, that experiments are performed solely to ascertain the conclusions of scientific theories. As a result, different aspects of experimentation and of the relations of theory to experiment remain undifferentiated. This in turn fosters a notion of theory-ladenness of experimentation that is toocoarse-grainedto accurately describe the relations of theory and experiment in scientific practice. By contrast, in this article, I suggest that TLE (...)
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  • Reduction, Emergence, and Renormalization.Jeremy Butterfield - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (1):5-49.
    In previous work, I described several examples combining reduction and emergence: where reduction is understood a la Ernest Nagel, and emergence is understood as behaviour that is novel. Here, my aim is again to reconcile reduction and emergence, for a case which is apparently more problematic than those I treated before: renormalization. My main point is that renormalizability being a generic feature at accessible energies gives us a conceptually unified family of Nagelian reductions. That is worth saying since philosophers tend (...)
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  • Structural Realism and Quantum Gravity.Tian Yu Cao - 2006 - In Dean Rickles, Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity. Oxford University Press.
  • The Meaning of the Wave Function: In Search of the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics.Shan Gao - unknown
    The meaning of the wave function has been a hot topic of debate since the early days of quantum mechanics. Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in this long-standing question. Is the wave function ontic, directly representing a state of reality, or epistemic, merely representing a state of knowledge, or something else? If the wave function is not ontic, then what, if any, is the underlying state of reality? If the wave function is indeed ontic, then exactly what physical (...)
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  • Conceptual Problems in Quantum Electrodynamics: A Contemporary Historical-Philosophical Approach.Mario Bacelar Valente - unknown
    PhD dissertation addressing what can be called conceptual-mathematical anomalies in quantum electrodynamics. This work can be seen as following the line of philosophy of physics studies of quantum field theory that started to emerge in a systematic way in the early eighties of last century. One example is Teller’s work on standard quantum electrodynamics.In this work, by following a historical approach, I will return to the standard version of quantum electrodynamics, which is the only one available when we want to (...)
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  • Making Sense of Non-Individuals in Quantum Mechanics.Jonas R. B. Arenhart, Otávio Bueno & Décio Krause - forthcoming - In Olimpia Lombardi, Sebastian Fortin, Cristian López & Frederico Holik (eds.), Quantum Worlds. Different Perspectives about the ontology of quantum mechanics. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press.
    In this work, we focus on a very specific case study: assuming that quantum theories deal with “particles” of some kind, what kind of entity can such particles be? One possible answer, the one we shall examine here, is that they are not the usual kind of object found in daily life: individuals. Rather, we follow a suggestion by Erwin Schrödinger, according to which quantum mechanics poses a revolutionary kind of entity: non-individuals. While physics, as a scientific field, is not (...)
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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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  • Scientific Theories, Models and the Semantic Approach.Otávio Bueno & Décio Krause - 2007 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 11 (2):187-201.
    According to the semantic view, a theory is characterized by a class of models. In this paper, we examine critically some of the assumptions that underlie this approach. First, we recall that models are models of something. Thus we cannot leave completely aside the axiomatization of the theories under consideration, nor can we ignore the metamathematics used to elaborate these models, for changes in the metamathematics often impose restrictions on the resulting models. Second, based on a parallel between van Fraassen’s (...)
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  • Does the Higgs Mechanism Exist?Holger Lyre - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (2):119-133.
    This paper explores the argument structure of the concept of spontaneous symmetry breaking in the electroweak gauge theory of the Standard Model: the so-called Higgs mechanism. As commonly understood, the Higgs argument is designed to introduce the masses of the gauge bosons by a spontaneous breaking of the gauge symmetry of an additional field, the Higgs field. The technical derivation of the Higgs mechanism, however, consists in a mere reshuffling of degrees of freedom by transforming the Higgs Lagrangian in a (...)
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  • The EPR-Experiment and Free Process Theory.Wim Christiaens - 2004 - Axiomathes 14 (1-3):267-283.
    As part of the creation-discovery interpretation of quantum mechanics Diederik Aerts presented a setting with macroscopical coincidence experiments designed to exhibit significant conceptual analogies between portions of stuff and quantum compound entities in a singlet state in Einstein—Podolsky—Rosen/Bell-experiments (EPR-experiments). One important claim of the creation-discovery view is that the singlet state describes an entity that does not have a definite position in space and thus does not exist in space. Free Process Theory is a recent proposal by Johanna Seibt of (...)
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  • Kitcher's Explanatory Unification, Kaluza–Klein Theories, and the Normative Aspect of Higher Dimensional Unification in Physics.Koray Karaca - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (2):287-312.
    I examine the relation between explanation and unification in both the original Kaluza–Klein theory, which originated in the works of Theodor Kaluza and Oskar Klein in the 1920s, and in the modern Kaluza–Klein theories which date back to the late 1970s and which are still considered by the majority of the physics community to be the best hope for a complete unified theory of all fundamental interactions. I use the conclusions of this case study to assess the merits of Philip (...)
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  • The Meaning of Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking (I): From a Simple Classical Model.Chuang Liu - unknown
    This paper, part I of a two-part project, aims at answering the simple question 'what is spontaneous symmetry breaking?' by analyzing from a philosophical perspective a simple classical model. Related questions include: what does it mean to break a symmetry spontaneously? Is the breaking causal, or is the symmetry not broken but merely hidden? Is the meta-principle, 'no asymmetry in, no asymmetry out,' violated? And what is the role in this of random perturbations (or fluctuations)?
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  • Which Gauge Matters?James Mattingly - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (2):243-262.