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Infinitesimal Idealization, Easy Road Nominalism, and Fractional Quantum Statistics

Shech, Elay (2018) Infinitesimal Idealization, Easy Road Nominalism, and Fractional Quantum Statistics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

It has been recently debated whether there exists a so-called “easy road” to nominalism. In this essay, I attempt to fill a lacuna in the debate by making a connection with the literature on infinite and infinitesimal idealization in science through an example from mathematical physics that has been largely ignored by philosophers. Specifically, by appealing to John Norton’s distinction between idealization and approximation, I argue that the phenomena of fractional quantum statistics bears negatively on Mary Leng’s proposed path to easy road nominalism, thereby partially defending Mark Colyvan’s claim that there is no easy road to nominalism.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Shech, Elayeshech@gmail.com
Keywords: Idealization, Approximation, Mathematical Explanation, Indispensability Argument, Easy Road Nominalism, Anyons, Fractional Statistics, Quantum Hall Effect
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: Mr. Elay Shech
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2018 18:03
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2018 18:03
Item ID: 14249
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: January 2018
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14249

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