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Metaphysical Underdetermination as a Motivational Device

French, Steven (2020) Metaphysical Underdetermination as a Motivational Device. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The view that quantum particles cannot be regarded as individuals was articulated in the early days of the 'quantum revolution' and became so well-entrenched that French and Krause (2006) called it 'the Received View'. However it was subsequently shown that quantum statistics is in fact compatible with a metaphysics of particle individuality, subject to certain caveats. As a consequent it has been claim that there exists a kind of underdetermination of the metaphysics by the physics which in turn has been used to motivate a form of 'notice' structural realism (Ladyman 1998; French 2014). In this essay I will review this purported underdetermination and the motivation for structural realism that it purportedly provides in the context of recent developments in both the philosophy of physics (specifically the work of Saunders) and metaphysics (specifically the work of Dasgupta). I aim to conclude that such developments reinforce the underdetermination and allow one to respond to certain critical concerns regarding its motivational power.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
French, StevenS.R.D.French@leeds.ac.uk
Keywords: quantum mechanics; identity; individuality; underdetermination; structural realism
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Professor Steven French
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2020 02:18
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 02:18
Item ID: 16922
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 9 February 2020
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16922

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