Ontological Investigations in the Quantum Domain: A deflationary approach on ontology of physics

Dissertation, Federal University of Santa Catarina (2020)
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Abstract
The aim of this thesis is to propose a deflationary approach towards the ontological analysis of physical theories. Such an approach sustains that the development of ontologies for physical theories must be neutral relatively to the debate between realists and anti-realists in philosophy of physics. Mainly, our attention will be oriented towards what we called "quantum domain", which includes the non-relativistic Quantum Mechanics and variants of the Quantum Field Theory. This meta-ontological approach consists in an attempt to provide a methodology for the development of specific ontologies for physical theories. With this aim we suggest the separation between physical phenomena and physical theories on one side, and physical theories and ontologies on the other side. This separation intends to endorse the idea that physical theories can provide all the informative contents required for the development of the ontologies associated with them. The result is a defense of the idea that physical theories can positively contribute for the constitution of the ontologies in physics. Additionally, we present a critical analysis of four different ontological approaches to QM and QFT. Each one of these interpretations deals with a different ontological category (tropes, events and processes). At the end of the thesis we will analyze the concepts of interaction and commutation in QFT in order to exemplify the main lines of the deflationary approach suggested here.
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