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A Neo-Kantian Approach to the Standard Model

French, Steven (2019) A Neo-Kantian Approach to the Standard Model. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Cassirer’s neo-Kantian stance towards quantum theory as presented in his Determinism and Indeterminism in Modern Physics has a number of attractive features. Two of the most significant are, first, the ontological move away from objects that can be situated within a more general shift from substance that was driven by developments in modern physics—a shift in which not only Cassirer but also Eddington and Whitehead participated, in their very different ways. Secondly there is the prominent role given to high level physical ‘principles’, such as, crucially, symmetry principles within his overall structuralist conception. Again the emergence of such principles is a major feature of the development of modern physics and Cassirer was definitely ‘ahead of the game’ in this regard. It is perhaps in this respect that his framework meshes so well with the later developments that crystallised in the Standard Model. As is well known, and put bluntly, he suggested that this framework could be understood as a kind of non-hierarchical ‘Parmenidean sphere’, with such principles, laws and measurement outcomes all intertwined and mutually informing one another. One can more or less straightforwardly extend it to cover quantum field theory and thereby the Standard Model of modern elementary particle physics.Here I shall set out this framework, indicating how it can be extended in this way and consider two concerns raised by Mormann and Friedman.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
French, StevenS.R.D.French@leeds.ac.uk
Keywords: Kantian; Standard Model; Structuralism; Quantum theory; Symmetry
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Professor Steven French
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2019 19:05
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2019 19:05
Item ID: 16234
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 17 July 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16234

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