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  1. Explanatory Depth in Primordial Cosmology: A Comparative Study of Inflationary and Bouncing Paradigms.William J. Wolf & Karim Pierre Yves Thébault - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    We develop and apply a multi-dimensional account of explanatory depth towards a comparative analysis of inflationary and bouncing paradigms in primordial cosmology. Our analysis builds on earlier work due to Azhar and Loeb (2021) that establishes initial conditions fine-tuning as a dimension of explanatory depth relevant to debates in contemporary cosmology. We propose dynamical fine-tuning and autonomy as two further dimensions of depth in the context of problems with instability and trans-Planckian modes that afflict bouncing and inflationary approaches respectively. In (...)
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  • Mathematical Representation and Explanation: structuralism, the similarity account, and the hotchpotch picture.Ziren Yang - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
    This thesis starts with three challenges to the structuralist accounts of applied mathematics. Structuralism views applied mathematics as a matter of building mapping functions between mathematical and target-ended structures. The first challenge concerns how it is possible for a non-mathematical target to be represented mathematically when the mapping functions per se are mathematical objects. The second challenge arises out of inconsistent early calculus, which suggests that mathematical representation does not require rigorous mathematical structures. The third challenge comes from renormalisation group (...)
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  • 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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  • Universality caused: the case of renormalization group explanation.Emily Sullivan - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):36.
    Recently, many have argued that there are certain kinds of abstract mathematical explanations that are noncausal. In particular, the irrelevancy approach suggests that abstracting away irrelevant causal details can leave us with a noncausal explanation. In this paper, I argue that the common example of Renormalization Group explanations of universality used to motivate the irrelevancy approach deserves more critical attention. I argue that the reasons given by those who hold up RG as noncausal do not stand up to critical scrutiny. (...)
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  • 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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  • Renormalization group methods: Which kind of explanation?Elena Castellani & Emilia Margoni - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 95 (C):158-166.
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  • Finite-size scaling theory: Quantitative and qualitative approaches to critical phenomena.Vincent Ardourel & Sorin Bangu - 2023 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 100 (C):99-106.
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  • On the Universality of Hawking Radiation.Sean Gryb, Patricia Palacios & Karim Thebault - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz025.
    A physically consistent semi-classical treatment of black holes requires universality arguments to deal with the `trans-Planckian' problem where quantum spacetime effects appear to be amplified such that they undermine the entire semi-classical modelling framework. We evaluate three families of such arguments in comparison with Wilsonian renormalization group universality arguments found in the context of condensed matter physics. Our analysis is framed by the crucial distinction between robustness and universality. Particular emphasis is placed on the quality whereby the various arguments are (...)
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