12 found
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  1. Lagrangian possibilities.Alexandre Guay & Quentin Ruyant - 2024 - Synthese 203 (4):1-22.
    Natural modalities are often analysed from an abstract point of view where they are associated with putative laws of nature. However, the way possibilities are represented in physics is more complex. Lagrangian mechanics, for instance, involves two different layers of modalities: kinematical and dynamical possibilities. This paper examines the status of these two layers, both in the classical and quantum case. The quantum case is particularly problematic: we identify four possible interpretive options. The upshot is that a close inspection of (...)
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  2. Can We Make Sense of Relational Quantum Mechanics?Quentin Ruyant - 2018 - Foundations of Physics 48 (4):440-455.
    The relational interpretation of quantum mechanics proposes to solve the measurement problem and reconcile completeness and locality of quantum mechanics by postulating relativity to the observer for events and facts, instead of an absolute “view from nowhere”. The aim of this paper is to clarify this interpretation, and in particular, one of its central claims concerning the possibility for an observer to have knowledge about other observer’s events. I consider three possible readings of this claim, and develop the most promising (...)
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  3. Structural Realism or Modal Empiricism?Quentin Ruyant - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (4):1051-1072.
    Structural realism has been suggested as the best compromise in the debate on scientific realism. It proposes that we should be realist about the relational structure of the world, not its nature. However, it faces an important objection, first raised by Newman against Russell: if relations are not qualified, then the position is either trivial or collapses into empiricism, but if relations are too strongly qualified, then it is no longer SR. A way to overcome this difficulty is to talk (...)
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  4. True Griceanism: Filling the Gaps in Callender and Cohen’s Account of Scientific Representation.Quentin Ruyant - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (3):533-553.
    Callender and Cohen have proposed to apply a “Gricean strategy” to the constitution problem of scientific representation, taking inspiration from Grice’s reduction of linguistic meaning to mental states. They suggest that scientific representation can be reduced to stipulation by epistemic agents. This account has been criticised for not making a distinction between symbolic and epistemic representation and not taking into account the communal aspects of scientific representation. I argue that these criticisms would not apply if Grice’s actual strategy were properly (...)
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  5. Perspectival realism and norms of scientific representation.Quentin Ruyant - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (2):1-17.
    Perspectival realism combines two apparently contradictory aspects: the epistemic relativity of perspectives and the mind-independence of realism. This paper examines the prospects for a coherent perspectival realism, taking the literature on scientific representation as a starting point. It is argued that representation involves two types of norms, referred to as norms of relevance and norms of accuracy. Norms of relevance fix the domain of application of a theory and the way it categorises the world, and norms of accuracy give the (...)
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  6. Symmetries, Indexicality and the Perspectivist Stance.Quentin Ruyant - 2021 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 34 (1):21-39.
    I critically examine the assumption that the theoretical structure that varies under theoretical symmetries is redundant and should be eliminated from a metaphysical picture of the universe, following a ‘symmetry to reality’ inference. I do so by analysing the status of coordinate change symmetries taking a pragmatic approach. I argue that coordinate systems function as indexical devices, and play an important pragmatic role for representing concrete physical systems. I examine the implications of considering this pragmatic role seriously, taking what I (...)
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  7. The Inductive Route Towards Necessity.Quentin Ruyant - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (2):147-163.
    It is generally assumed that relations of necessity cannot be known by induction on experience. In this paper, I propose a notion of situated possibilities, weaker than nomic possibilities, that is compatible with an inductivist epistemology for modalities. I show that assuming this notion, not only can relations of necessity be known by induction on our experience, but such relations cannot be any more underdetermined by experience than universal regularities. This means that any one believing in a universal regularity is (...)
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  8. Consistent histories through pragmatist lenses.Quentin Ruyant - 2023 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 98 (C):40-48.
    This article adopts a bottom-up approach to theory interpretation, following the slogan “meaning is use”, and applies it to quantum mechanics. I argue that it fits very well with the Consistent Histories formulation of quantum mechanics, interpreted in a particular way that is not the interpretation favoured by original proponents of the formulation. I examine the difficulties and advantages of this interpretation.
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    Valeurs Dans la Representation Scientifique.Quentin Ruyant - 2023 - Lato Sensu: Revue de la Société de Philosophie des Sciences 10 (1):24-38.
    Le but de cet article est d'examiner le rôle joué par les valeurs dans les activités de représentation en science, notamment la construction ou utilisation de modèles, en distinguant représentation concrète et abstraite. Un modèle hiérarchique est proposé. La conclusion est que l'influence des valeurs sociales dans la représentation scientifique dépend du niveau d'abstraction considéré, et qu'elle n'est problématique que quand des valeurs locales sont considérées pour évaluer des représentations plus générales.
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  10. Le réalisme structural face au problème de la mesure.Quentin Ruyant - 2016 - Lato Sensu: Revue de la Société de Philosophie des Sciences 3 (1):43-51.
    Le réalisme structural est une tentative d’établir un compromis entre le réalisme scientifique et l’empirisme, en restreignant le réalisme à la structure relationnelle des théories scientifiques. Il se décline en deux versions, épistémique et ontique. Le réalisme structural ontique propose de concevoir les relations nomologiques décrites par les théories comme des éléments primitifs de la réalité. Il est motivé, notamment, par le fait que sous sa forme épistémique, le réalisme structural ne se distingue pas réellement d’une position empiriste. Cependant, il (...)
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  11. On the Relationship Between Modelling Practices and Interpretive Stances in Quantum Mechanics.Quentin Ruyant - 2022 - Foundations of Science 27 (2):387-405.
    The purpose of this article is to establish a connection between modelling practices and interpretive approaches in quantum mechanics, taking as a starting point the literature on scientific representation. Different types of modalities play different roles in scientific representation. I postulate that the way theoretical structures are interpreted in this respect affects the way models are constructed. In quantum mechanics, this would be the case in particular of initial conditions and observables. I examine two formulations of quantum mechanics, the standard (...)
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  12. Semantic realism in the semantic conception of theories.Quentin Ruyant - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7965-7983.
    Semantic realism can be characterised as the idea that scientific theories are truth-bearers, and that they are true or false in virtue of the world. This notion is often assumed, but rarely discussed in the literature. I examine how it fares in the context of the semantic view of theories and in connection with the literature on scientific representation. Making sense of semantic realism requires specifying the conditions of application of theoretical models, even for models that are not actually used, (...)
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