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Why Is There Universal Macro-Behavior? Renormalization Group Explanation As Non-causal Explanation

Reutlinger, Alexander (2013) Why Is There Universal Macro-Behavior? Renormalization Group Explanation As Non-causal Explanation. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

Renormalization group (RG) methods are an established strategy to explain how it is possible that microscopically different systems exhibit virtually the same macro behavior when undergoing phase-transitions. I argue – in agreement with Robert Batterman – that RG explanations are non-causal explanations. However, Batterman misidentifies the reason why RG explanations are non-causal: it is not the case that an explanation is non- causal if it ignores causal details. I propose an alternative argument, according to which RG explanations are non-causal explanations because their explanatory power is due to the application mathematical operations, which do not serve the purpose of representing causal relations.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Reutlinger, AlexanderAlexander.Reutlinger@lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Additional Information: forthcoming in Philosophy of Science (PSA 2012 Symposia)
Keywords: explanation; non-causal explanation; renormalization group explanation; universality
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Alexander Reutlinger
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2013 14:53
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2013 14:53
Item ID: 10130
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 1 November 2013
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10130

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