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Feynman's Diagrams, Pictorial Representations and Styles of Scientific Thinking

Dorato, Mauro and Rossanese, Emanuele (2017) Feynman's Diagrams, Pictorial Representations and Styles of Scientific Thinking. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In this paper we argue that the different positions taken by Dyson and Feynman on Feynman diagrams’ representational role depend on their different styles of scientific thinking. We begin by criticizing the idea that Feynman Diagrams can be considered to be pictures or depictions of actual physical processes. We then show that the best interpretation of the role they play in quantum field theory and quantum electrodynamics is captured by Hughes' Denotation, Deduction and Interpretation theory of models (DDI), where “models” are to be interpreted as inferential, non-representational devices constructed in given social contexts by the community of physicists.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Dorato, Maurodorato@uniroma3.it0000-0002-8313-6362
Rossanese, Emanueleemanuele.rossanese@gmail.com
Keywords: Feynman diagrams, quantum electrodynamics, pictures, style of scientific thinking, model
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Depositing User: Mauro Dorato
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2017 17:35
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2017 17:35
Item ID: 12815
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Date: 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12815

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