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Symmetries as Humean Metalaws

Duguid, Callum (2021) Symmetries as Humean Metalaws. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Symmetry principles are a central part of contemporary physics, yet there has been surprisingly little metaphysical work done on them. This paper develops the Wignerian treatment of symmetries as higher-order laws – metalaws – within a Humean framework of lawhood. Lange has raised two obstacles to Humean metalaws, and the paper shows that the account has the resources available to respond to both. It is argued that this framework for Humean metalaws stands as an example of naturalistic metaphysics, able to bring Humeanism into contact with the practice of actual science without giving up on the central denial of necessary connections.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Duguid, Callumcalduguid@gmail.com0000-0001-7140-6225
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Philosophy of Science
Keywords: Symmetries; Laws of nature; Humeanism; Best System Account
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Natural Kinds
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Callum Duguid
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2021 12:37
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 12:37
Item ID: 19385
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Natural Kinds
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19385

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