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The Heuristic Function of Duality

De Haro, Sebastian (2018) The Heuristic Function of Duality. [Preprint]

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Abstract

I conceptualise the role of dualities in quantum gravity, in terms of their functions for theory construction. I distinguish between two functions of duality in physical practice: namely, discovering and describing 'equivalent physics', vs. suggesting 'new physics'. I dub these the 'theoretical' vs. the 'heuristic' functions of dualities. The distinction seems to have gone largely unnoticed in the philosophical literature: and it exists both for dualities, and for the more general relation of theoretical equivalence.

The paper develops the heuristic function of dualities: illustrating how they can be used, if one has any luck, to find and formulate new theories.

I also point to the different physical commitments about the theories in question that underlie these two functions. I show how a recently developed schema for dualities articulates the differences between the two functions.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
De Haro, Sebastiansd696@cam.ac.uk0000-0002-3000-5967
Keywords: heuristics, duality, methodology in quantum gravity
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Methodology
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Depositing User: Dr Sebastian De Haro
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2018 02:16
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2018 02:16
Item ID: 14331
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Methodology
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Date: 27 January 2018
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14331

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