Permanent Underdetermination from Approximate Empirical Equivalence in Field Theory: Massless and Massive Scalar Gravity, Neutrino, Electromagnetic, Yang–Mills and Gravitational Theories
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):259-299 (2010)
AbstractClassical and quantum field theory provide not only realistic examples of extant notions of empirical equivalence, but also new notions of empirical equivalence, both modal and occurrent. A simple but modern gravitational case goes back to the 1890s, but there has been apparently total neglect of the simplest relativistic analog, with the result that an erroneous claim has taken root that Special Relativity could not have accommodated gravity even if there were no bending of light. The fairly recent acceptance of nonzero neutrino masses shows that widely neglected possibilities for nonzero particle masses have sometimes been vindicated. In the electromagnetic case, there is permanent underdetermination at the classical and quantum levels between Maxwell's theory and the one-parameter family of Proca's electromagnetisms with massive photons, which approximate Maxwell's theory in the limit of zero photon mass. While Yang–Mills theories display similar approximate equivalence classically, quantization typically breaks this equivalence. A possible exception, including unified electroweak theory, might permit a mass term for the photons but not the Yang–Mills vector bosons. Underdetermination between massive and massless (Einstein) gravity even at the classical level is subject to contemporary controversy
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
References found in this work
Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Exceeding Our Grasp:Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.P. Kyle Stanford - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes.Imre Lakatos - 1970 - In Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press. pp. 91-196.
Citations of this work
Underdetermination in Science: What It Is and Why We Should Care.Margaret Greta Turnbull - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (2):e12475.
Space–Time Philosophy Reconstructed Via Massive Nordström Scalar Gravities? Laws Vs. Geometry, Conventionality, and Underdetermination.J. Brian Pitts - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53:73-92.
Scientific Revolutions and the Explosion of Scientific Evidence.Ludwig Fahrbach - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):5039-5072.
Kant, Schlick and Friedman on Space, Time and Gravity in Light of Three Lessons From Particle Physics.J. Brian Pitts - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (2):135-161.
Einstein׳s Physical Strategy, Energy Conservation, Symmetries, and Stability: “But Grossmann & I Believed That the Conservation Laws Were Not Satisfied”.J. Brian Pitts - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 54:52-72.
Similar books and articles
Are the Concepts of Mass in Quantum Theory and in General Relativity the Same?Armin Nikkhah Shirazi - manuscript
What is (Not) Wrong with Scalar Gravity?Domenico Giulini - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (1):154-180.
Curve It, Gauge It, or Leave It? Practical Underdetermination in Gravitational Theories.Holger Lyre & Tim Oliver Eynck - 2001 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 34 (2):277-303.