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I provide a fairly systematic analysis of when quantities that are variant under a dynamical symmetry transformation should be regarded as unobservable, or redundant, or unreal; of when models related by a dynamical symmetry transformation represent the same state of affairs; and of when mathematical structure that is variant under a dynamical symmetry transformation should be regarded as surplus. In most of these cases the answer is `it depends': depends, that is, on the details of the symmetry in question. A (...) 

According to the Standard Model of particle physics, some gauge transformations are physical symmetries. That is, they are mathematical transformations that relate representatives of distinct physical states of affairs. This is at odds with the standard philosophical position according to which gauge transformations are an eliminable redundancy in a gauge theory's representational framework. In this paper I defend the Standard Model's treatment of gauge from an objection due to Richard Healey. If we follow the Standard Model in taking some gauge (...) 

Recent work on the hole argument in general relativity by Weatherall has drawn attention to the neglected concept of models’ representational capacities. I argue for several theses about the structure of these capacities, including that they should be understood not as manytoone relations from models to the world, but in general as manytomany relations constrained by the models’ isomorphisms. I then compare these ideas with a recent argument by Belot for the claim that some isometries “generate new possibilities” in general (...) 

This is an essay about general covariance, and what it says about spacetime structure. After outlining a version of the dynamical approach to spacetime theories, and how it struggles to deal with generally covariant theories, I argue that we should think about the symmetry structure of spacetime rather differently in generallycovariant theories compared to nongenerallycovariant theories: namely, as a form of internal rather than external symmetry structure. 

Background independence begins life as an informal property that a physical theory might have, often glossed as 'doesn't posit a fixed spacetime background'. Interest in trying to offer a precise account of background independence has been sparked by the pronouncements of several theorists working on quantum gravity that background independence embodies in some sense an essential discovery of the General Theory of Relativity, and a feature we should strive to carry forward to future physical theories. This paper has two goals. (...) 