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Explaining Unification in Physics Internally

Salimkhani, Kian (2019) Explaining Unification in Physics Internally. Synthese. ISSN 1573-0964

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Abstract

In this paper I challenge two widespread convictions about unification in physics: (1) unification is an aim of physics and (2) unification is driven by metaphysical or metatheoretical presuppositions. I call these external explanations of why there is unification in physics. Against this, I claim that (a) unification is a by-product of physical research and (b) unification is driven by basic methodological strategies of physics alone (without any appeal to metaphysical or metatheoretical presuppositions). I call this an internal (or methodological) explanation of why there is unification in physics. To support my claims, I will investigate the actual practice undertaken in physics in paradigmatic examples of unification.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Salimkhani, Kianksalimkhani@uni-bonn.de0000-0003-3453-402X
Keywords: Unification; Methodology; Physics; Metaphysics
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
General Issues > Theory Change
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Depositing User: Mr. Kian Salimkhani
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2019 05:15
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2019 05:15
Item ID: 16349
Journal or Publication Title: Synthese
Publisher: Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-0...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s11229-019-02436-x
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
General Issues > Theory Change
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Date: 2019
ISSN: 1573-0964
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16349

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