Physics and Leibniz's principles

In Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections. Cambridge University Press. pp. 289--307 (2003)
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Abstract

It is shown that the Hilbert-Bernays-Quine principle of identity of indiscernibles applies uniformly to all the contentious cases of symmetries in physics, including permutation symmetry in classical and quantum mechanics. It follows that there is no special problem with the notion of objecthood in physics. Leibniz's principle of sufficient reason is considered as well; this too applies uniformly. But given the new principle of identity, it no longer implies that space, or atoms, are unreal.

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Simon Saunders
Oxford University

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References found in this work

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.
Time and chance.David Z. Albert - 2000 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
The roots of reference.W. V. Quine - 1974 - LaSalle, Ill.,: Open Court.

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