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Alexander Franklin
King's College London
  1. Emergence without limits: The case of phonons.Alexander Franklin & Eleanor Knox - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 64:68-78.
    Recent discussions of emergence in physics have focussed on the use of limiting relations, and often particularly on singular or asymptotic limits. We discuss a putative example of emergence that does not fit into this narrative: the case of phonons. These quasi-particles have some claim to be emergent, not least because the way in which they relate to the underlying crystal is almost precisely analogous to the way in which quantum particles relate to the underlying quantum field theory. But there (...)
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  2. The Problem of Molecular Structure Just Is The Measurement Problem.Alexander Franklin & Vanessa Angela Seifert - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Whether or not quantum physics can account for molecular structure is a matter of considerable controversy. Three of the problems raised in this regard are the problems of molecular structure. We argue that these problems are just special cases of the measurement problem of quantum mechanics: insofar as the measurement problem is solved, the problems of molecular structure are resolved as well. In addition, we explore one consequence of our argument: that claims about the reduction or emergence of molecular structure (...)
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  3. On the Renormalization Group Explanation of Universality.Alexander Franklin - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (2):225-248.
    It is commonly claimed that the universality of critical phenomena is explained through particular applications of the renormalization group. This article has three aims: to clarify the structure of the explanation of universality, to discuss the physics of such RG explanations, and to examine the extent to which universality is thus explained. The derivation of critical exponents proceeds via a real-space or a field-theoretic approach to the RG. Building on work by Mainwood, this article argues that these approaches ought to (...)
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  4. Whence the Effectiveness of Effective Field Theories?Alexander Franklin - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (4):1235-1259.
    Effective quantum field theories are effective insofar as they apply within a prescribed range of length-scales, but within that range they predict and describe with extremely high accuracy and precision. The effectiveness of EFTs is explained by identifying the features—the scaling behaviour of the parameters—that lead to effectiveness. The explanation relies on distinguishing autonomy with respect to changes in microstates, from autonomy with respect to changes in microlaws, and relating these, respectively, to renormalizability and naturalness. It is claimed that the (...)
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  5. Universality Reduced.Alexander Franklin - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1295-1306.
    The universality of critical phenomena is best explained by appeal to the Renormalisation Group (RG). Batterman and Morrison, among others, have claimed that this explanation is irreducible. I argue that the RG account is reducible, but that the higher-level explanation ought not to be eliminated. I demonstrate that the key assumption on which the explanation relies – the scale invariance of critical systems – can be explained in lower-level terms; however, we should not replace the RG explanation with a bottom-up (...)
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  6. Emerging into the Rainforest: Emergence and Special Science Ontology.Alexander Franklin & Katie Robertson - manuscript
    Many philosophers of science are ontologically committed to a lush rainforest of special science entities ), but are often reticent about the criteria that determine which entities count as real. On the other hand, the metaphysics literature is much more forthcoming about such criteria, but often links ontological commitment to irreducibility. We argue that the irreducibility criteria are in tension with scientific realism: for example, they would exclude viruses, which are plausibly theoretically reducible and yet play a sufficiently important role (...)
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    Incoherent? No, Just Decoherent: How Quantum Many Worlds Emerge.Alexander Franklin - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    The modern Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics describes an emergent multiverse. The goal of this paper is to provide a perspicuous characterisation of how the multiverse emerges making use of a recent account of (weak) ontological emergence. This will be cashed out with a case study that identifies decoherence as the mechanism for emergence. The greater metaphysical clarity enables the rebuttal of critiques due to Baker (2007) and Dawid and Th\'ebault (2015) that cast the emergent multiverse ontology as incoherent; responses (...)
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  8. Can Multiple Realisation be Explained?Alexander Franklin - 2021 - Philosophy 96 (1):27-48.
    Multiple realisation prompts the question: how is it that multiple systems all exhibit the same phenomena despite their different underlying properties? In this paper I develop a framework for addressing that question and argue that multiple realisation can be reductively explained. I illustrate this position by applying the framework to a simple example – the multiple realisation of electrical conductivity. I defend my account by addressing potential objections:contra Polger and Shapiro, Batterman, and Sober, I claim that multiple realisation is commonplace, (...)
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    Book Forum.Alexander Franklin & Katie Robertson - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
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  10. A Middle Way: A Non-Fundamental Approach to Many-Body Physics by Robert Batterman: Autonomy and Varieties of Reduction. [REVIEW]Alexander Franklin & Katie Robertson - 2022 - Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 97:1223-125.
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