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Whose Devil? Which Details?

Belot, Gordon (2003) Whose Devil? Which Details? [Preprint]

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Abstract

Batterman has recently argued that fundamental theories are typically explanatorily inadequate, in that there exist physical phenomena whose explanation requires that the conceptual apparatus of a fundamental theory be supplemented by that of a less fundamental theory. This paper is an extended critical commentary on that argument: situating its importance, describing its structure, and developing a line of objection to it. The objection is that in the examples Batterman considers, the mathematics of the less fundamental theory is definable in terms of the mathematics of the fundamental theory and that only the latter need be given a physical interpretation---so we can view the desired explanation as drawing only upon resources internal to the more fundamental physical theory. (The paper also includes an appendix surveying some recent results on quantum chaos.)


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
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Belot, Gordon
Keywords: Batterman; Semi-classical analysis; quantum chaos
Subjects: General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Gordon Belot
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2003
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:12
Item ID: 1515
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1515

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