Authors
Karen Crowther
University of Oslo
Abstract
Principles are central to physical reasoning, particularly in the search for a theory of quantum gravity (QG), where novel empirical data is lacking. One principle widely adopted in the search for QG is UV completion: the idea that a theory should (formally) hold up to all possible high energies. We argue---/contra/ standard scientific practice---that UV-completion is poorly-motivated as a guiding principle in theory-construction, and cannot be used as a criterion of theory-justification in the search for QG. For this, we explore the reasons for expecting, or desiring, a UV-complete theory, as well as analyse how UV completion is used, and how it should be used, in various specific approaches to QG.
Keywords Spacetime  Renormalization Group  Effective Field Theory  String Theory  Unification  Fundamentality  Final Theory  Quantum Gravity  General Relativity
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Reprint years 2019
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axx052
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References found in this work BETA

Quantum Gravity.Carlo Rovelli - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
String Theory and the Scientific Method.Richard Dawid - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell.A. Zee - 2010 - Princeton University Press.
Taking Particle Physics Seriously: A Critique of the Algebraic Approach to Quantum Field Theory.David Wallace - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (2):116-125.

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Citations of this work BETA

Inter-Theory Relations in Quantum Gravity: Correspondence, Reduction and Emergence.Karen Crowther - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 63:74-85.
When Do We Stop Digging? Conditions on a Fundamental Theory of Physics.Karen Crowther - 2019 - In Anthony Aguirre, Brendan Foster & Zeeya Merali (eds.), What is ‘Fundamental’? Springer. pp. 123-133.

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