British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (4):1235-1259 (2018)
AbstractEffective 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 effectiveness of EFTs is a consequence of each theory’s autonomyms rather than its autonomyml.1Introduction2Renormalizability2.1Explaining renormalizability3Naturalness3.1An unnatural but renormalizable theory4Two Kinds of Autonomy5The Effectiveness of Effective Quantum Field Theories6Conclusion
Archival historyArchival date: 2018-06-04
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