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  1. VII—Novel Explanation in the Special Sciences: Lessons From Physics.Eleanor Knox - 2017 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (2):123-140.
    This paper aims to understand how recent discussion of novel and robust behaviour in physics might be applied in biology and other special sciences. In particular, it looks at the prospects for extending an account of novel explanation to biological examples. Despite the differences in the disciplines, the prospects look good, at least when we look at a biological example in which a certain kind of reduction is possible.
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  • A Study in Metaphysics for Free Will: Using Models of Causality, Determinism and Supervenience in the Search for Free Will.David Robson - unknown
    We have two main aims: to construct mathematical models for analysing determinism, causality and supervenience; and then to use these to demonstrate the possibility of constructing an ontic construal of the operation of free will - one requiring both the presentation of genuine alternatives to an agent and their selecting between them in a manner that permits the attribution of responsibility. Determinism is modelled using trans-temporal ontic links between discrete juxtaposed universe states and shown to be distinct from predictability. Causality (...)
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  • Approximation and Idealization: Why the Difference Matters.John D. Norton - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (2):207-232.
    It is proposed that we use the term “approximation” for inexact description of a target system and “idealization” for another system whose properties also provide an inexact description of the target system. Since systems generated by a limiting process can often have quite unexpected, even inconsistent properties, familiar limit systems used in statistical physics can fail to provide idealizations, but are merely approximations. A dominance argument suggests that the limiting idealizations of statistical physics should be demoted to approximations.
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  • 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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  • Taking Reductionism to the Limit: How to Rebut the Antireductionist Argument From Infinite Limits.Juha Saatsi & Alexander Reutlinger - 2017 - Philosophy of Science (3):455-482.
    This paper analyses the anti-reductionist argument from renormalisation group explanations of universality, and shows how it can be rebutted if one assumes that the explanation in question is captured by the counterfactual dependence account of explanation.
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  • Dualities and Emergent Gravity: Gauge/Gravity Duality.Sebastian de Haro - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 59:109-125.
    In this paper I develop a framework for relating dualities and emergence: two notions that are close to each other but also exclude one another. I adopt the conception of duality as 'isomorphism', from the physics literature, cashing it out in terms of three conditions. These three conditions prompt two conceptually different ways in which a duality can be modified to make room for emergence; and I argue that this exhausts the possibilities for combining dualities and emergence. I apply this (...)
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  • Spacetime is as Spacetime Does.Vincent Lam & Christian Wüthrich - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 64:39-51.
    Theories of quantum gravity generically presuppose or predict that the reality underlying relativistic spacetimes they are describing is significantly non-spatiotemporal. On pain of empirical incoherence, approaches to quantum gravity must establish how relativistic spacetime emerges from their non-spatiotemporal structures. We argue that in order to secure this emergence, it is sufficient to establish that only those features of relativistic spacetimes functionally relevant in producing empirical evidence must be recovered. In order to complete this task, an account must be given of (...)
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  • Deduction and Definability in Infinite Statistical Systems.Benjamin H. Feintzeig - 2017 - Synthese:1-31.
    Classical accounts of intertheoretic reduction involve two pieces: first, the new terms of the higher-level theory must be definable from the terms of the lower-level theory, and second, the claims of the higher-level theory must be deducible from the lower-level theory along with these definitions. The status of each of these pieces becomes controversial when the alleged reduction involves an infinite limit, as in statistical mechanics. Can one define features of or deduce the behavior of an infinite idealized system from (...)
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  • Infinite Idealizations.John D. Norton - 2012 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 17:197-210.
    1. Approximations of arbitrarily large but finite systems are often mistaken for infinite idealizations in statistical and thermal physics. The problem is illustrated by thermodynamically reversible processes. They are approximations of processes requiring arbitrarily long, but finite times to complete, not processes requiring an actual infinity of time.2. The present debate over whether phase transitions comprise a failure of reduction is confounded by a confusion of two senses of “level”: the molecular versus the thermodynamic level and the few component versus (...)
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  • A Precipice Below Which Lies Absurdity? Theories Without a Spacetime and Scientific Understanding.Sebastian De Haro & Henk W. de Regt - 2018 - Synthese:1-29.
    While the relation between visualization and scientific understanding has been a topic of long-standing discussion, recent developments in physics have pushed the boundaries of this debate to new and still unexplored realms. For it is claimed that, in certain theories of quantum gravity, spacetime ‘disappears’: and this suggests that one may have sensible physical theories in which spacetime is completely absent. This makes the philosophical question whether such theories are intelligible, even more pressing. And if such theories are intelligible, the (...)
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  • Disappearance and Emergence of Space and Time in Quantum Gravity.Daniele Oriti - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (2):186-199.
    We discuss the hints for the disappearance of continuum space and time at microscopic scale. These include arguments for a discrete nature of them or for a fundamental non-locality, in a quantum theory of gravity. We discuss how these ideas are realized in specific quantum gravity approaches. Turning then the problem around, we consider the emergence of continuum space and time from the collective behaviour of discrete, pre-geometric atoms of quantum space, and for understanding spacetime as a kind of “condensate”, (...)
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  • Nagel on Reduction.Sahotra Sarkar - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 53:43-56.
    This paper attempts a critical reappraisal of Nagel's (1961, 1970) model of reduction taking into account both traditional criticisms and recent defenses. This model treats reduction as a type of explanation in which a reduced theory is explained by a reducing theory after their relevant representational items have been suitably connected. In accordance with the deductive-nomological model, the explanation is supposed to consist of a logical deduction. Nagel was a pluralist about both the logical form of the connections between the (...)
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  • Flat Emergence.Olivier Sartenaer - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):225-250.
    The main contention of this article is that current approaches to ontological emergence are not comprehensive, in that they share a common bias that make them blind to some conceptual space available to emergence. In this article, I devise an alternative perspective on ontological emergence called ‘flat emergence’, which is free of such a bias. The motivation is twofold: not only does flat emergence constitute another viable way to fulfill the initial emergentist promise, but it also allows for making sense (...)
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  • Distinguishing Between Inter-Domain and Intra-Domain Emergence.Olimpia Lombardi & María J. Ferreira Ruiz - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (1):133-151.
    Currently, there are almost as many conceptions of emergence as authors who address the issue. Most literature on the matter focuses either on discussing, evaluating and comparing particular contributions or accounts of emergence, or on assessing a particular case study. Our aim in this paper is rather different. We here set out to introduce a distinction that has not been sufficiently taken into account in previous discussions on this topic: the distinction between inter-domain emergence—a relation between items belonging to different (...)
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  • Local Reduction in Physics.Joshua Rosaler - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 50:54-69.
    A conventional wisdom about the progress of physics holds that successive theories wholly encompass the domains of their predecessors through a process that is often called reduction. While certain influential accounts of inter-theory reduction in physics take reduction to require a single "global" derivation of one theory's laws from those of another, I show that global reductions are not available in all cases where the conventional wisdom requires reduction to hold. However, I argue that a weaker "local" form of reduction, (...)
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  • Introduction: Principles of Quantum Gravity.Karen Crowther & Dean Rickles - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (2):135-141.
    In this introduction, we describe the rationale behind this special issue on Principles of Quantum Gravity. We explain what we mean by ‘principles’ and relate this to the various contributions. Finally, we draw out some general themes that can be found running throughout these contributions.
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  • Abstraction and its Limits: Finding Space For Novel Explanation.Eleanor Knox - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):41-60.
    Several modern accounts of explanation acknowledge the importance of abstraction and idealization for our explanatory practice. However, once we allow a role for abstraction, questions remain. I ask whether the relation between explanations at different theoretical levels should be thought of wholly in terms of abstraction, and argue that changes of the quantities in terms of which we describe a system can lead to novel explanations that are not merely abstractions of some more detailed picture. I use the example of (...)
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  • Effective Spacetime Geometry.Eleanor Knox - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):346-356.
    I argue that the need to understand spacetime structure as emergent in quantum gravity is less radical and surprising it might appear. A clear understanding of the link between general relativity's geometrical structures and empirical geometry reveals that this empirical geometry is exactly the kind of thing that could be an effective and emergent matter. Furthermore, any theory with torsion will involve an effective geometry, even though these theories look, at first glance, like theories with straightforward spacetime geometry. As it's (...)
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  • Emergent Spacetime According to Effective Field Theory: From Top-Down and Bottom-Up.Karen Crowther - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):321-328.
    The framework of effective field theory is a natural one in which to understand the claim that the spacetime of general relativity is an emergent low-energy phenomenon. I argue for a pragmatic understanding of EFT, given that the appropriate conception of emergence it suggests is necessarily epistemological in a sense. Analogue models of spacetime are examples of the top-down approach to EFT. They offer concrete illustrations of spacetime emergent within an EFT, and lure us toward a strong analogy between condensed (...)
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  • On Broken Symmetries and Classical Systems.Benjamin Feintzeig - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):267-273.
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  • Science Generates Limit Paradoxes.Eric Dietrich & Chris Fields - 2015 - Axiomathes 25 (4):409-432.
    The sciences occasionally generate discoveries that undermine their own assumptions. Two such discoveries are characterized here: the discovery of apophenia by cognitive psychology and the discovery that physical systems cannot be locally bounded within quantum theory. It is shown that such discoveries have a common structure and that this common structure is an instance of Priest’s well-known Inclosure Schema. This demonstrates that science itself is dialetheic: it generates limit paradoxes. How science proceeds despite this fact is briefly discussed, as is (...)
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  • Mass Additivity and a Priori Entailment.Kelvin J. McQueen - 2015 - Synthese 192 (5):1373-1392.
    The principle of mass additivity states that the mass of a composite object is the sum of the masses of its elementary components. Mass additivity is true in Newtonian mechanics but false in special relativity. Physicists have explained why mass additivity is true in Newtonian mechanics by reducing it to Newton’s microphysical laws. This reductive explanation does not fit well with deducibility theories of reductive explanation such as the modern Nagelian theory of reduction, and the a priori entailment theory of (...)
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  • Emergence in Holographic Scenarios for Gravity.Dennis Dieks, Jeroen van Dongen & Sebastian de Haro - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):203-216.
    'Holographic' relations between theories have become a main theme in quantum gravity research. These relations entail that a theory without gravity is equivalent to a gravitational theory with an extra spatial dimension. The idea of holography was first proposed in 1993 by Gerard 't Hooft on the basis of his studies of evaporating black holes. Soon afterwards the holographic 'AdS/CFT' duality was introduced, which since has been heavily studied in the string theory community and beyond. Recently, Erik Verlinde has proposed (...)
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  • Emergence, Computation and the Freedom Degree Loss Information Principle in Complex Systems.Ignazio Licata & Gianfranco Minati - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (4):863-881.
    We consider processes of emergence within the conceptual framework of the Information Loss principle and the concepts of systems conserving information; systems compressing information; and systems amplifying information. We deal with the supposed incompatibility between emergence and computability tout-court. We distinguish between computational emergence, when computation acquires properties, and emergent computation, when computation emerges as a property. The focus is on emergence processes occurring within computational processes. Violations of Turing-computability such as non-explicitness and incompleteness are intended to represent partially the (...)
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  • Complexity-Based Theories of Emergence: Criticisms and Constraints.Kari L. Theurer - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (3):277-301.
    In recent years, many philosophers of science have attempted to articulate a theory of non-epistemic emergence that is compatible with mechanistic explanation and incompatible with reductionism. The 2005 account of Fred C. Boogerd et al. has been particularly influential. They argued that a systemic property was emergent if it could not be predicted from the behaviour of less complex systems. Here, I argue that Boogerd et al.'s attempt to ground emergence in complexity guarantees that we will see emergence, but at (...)
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  • Decoupling Emergence and Reduction in Physics.Karen Crowther - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (3):419-445.
    An effective theory in physics is one that is supposed to apply only at a given length scale; the framework of effective field theory describes a ‘tower’ of theories each applying at different length scales, where each ‘level’ up is a shorter-scale theory. Owing to subtlety regarding the use and necessity of EFTs, a conception of emergence defined in terms of reduction is irrelevant. I present a case for decoupling emergence and reduction in the philosophy of physics. This paper develops (...)
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  • From Dressed Electrons to Quasiparticles: The Emergence of Emergent Entities in Quantum Field Theory.Alexander S. Blum & Christian Joas - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53:1-8.
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  • The Metaphysics of Super‐Substantivalism.Dennis Lehmkuhl - 2018 - Noûs 52 (1):24-46.
    Recent decades have seen a revived interest in super-substantivalism, the idea that spacetime is the only fundamental substance and matter some kind of aspect, property or consequence of spacetime structure. However, the metaphysical debate so far has misidentified a particular variant of super-substantivalism with the position per se. I distinguish between a super-substantival core commitment and different ways of fleshing it out. I then investigate how general relativity and alternative spacetime theories square with the different variants of super-substantivalism.
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  • Quantum Gravity and the Nature of Space and Time.Keizo Matsubara - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (3):e12405.
    This is a nontechnical overview of how various approaches to quantum gravity suggest modifications to the way we conceptualize space and time. A theory of quantum gravity is needed to reconcile quantum physics with general relativity, our best theory for gravity. The most popular approaches to quantum gravity are string theory and loop quantum gravity. So far, no approach has been empirically successful, and there is no commonly accepted theory. Thus, the conclusions presented here are tentative. Many approaches suggest that (...)
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  • Topological Supervenience.David Robson - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9).
    This paper sets out some new skeleton mathematically-couched models for dealing with supervenience in some, if not all, its many guises. Our models are based around a naïve invocation of a ‘topology’ induced on object sets by property sets. We have two aims: one is to provide an overview of supervenience with enough rigour and detail to act as a self-contained introduction to the subject; and the other is to set out our new approach—but without getting too bogged down in (...)
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  • Inter-Theory Relations in Quantum Gravity: Correspondence, Reduction, and Emergence.Karen Crowther - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
    Relationships between current theories, and relationships between current theories and the sought theory of quantum gravity (QG), play an essential role in motivating the need for QG, aiding the search for QG, and defining what would count as QG. Correspondence is the broad class of inter-theory relationships intended to demonstrate the necessary compatibility of two theories whose domains of validity overlap, in the overlap regions. The variety of roles that correspondence plays in the search for QG are illustrated, using examples (...)
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  • Toward an Understanding of Parochial Observables.Benjamin Feintzeig - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw010.
    Ruetsche claims that an abstract C*-algebra of observables will not contain all of the physically significant observables for a quantum system with infinitely many degrees of freedom. This would signal that in addition to the abstract algebra, one must use Hilbert space representations for some purposes. I argue to the contrary that there is a way to recover all of the physically significant observables by purely algebraic methods. 1 Introduction2 Preliminaries3 Three Extremist Interpretations3.1 Algebraic imperialism3.2 Hilbert space conservatism3.3 Universalism4 Parochial (...)
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  • Emergence and Reduction in Context: Philosophy of Science and/or Analytic Metaphysics. [REVIEW]Michael Silberstein - 2012 - Metascience 21 (3):627-642.
    Emergence and reduction in context: Philosophy of science and/or analytic metaphysics Content Type Journal Article Category Survey Review Pages 1-16 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9671-4 Authors Michael Silberstein, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
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