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Physics and Leibniz's Principles

Saunders, Simon (2003) Physics and Leibniz's Principles. [Preprint]


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It is shown that the Hilbert-Bernays-Quine principle of identity of indiscernibles applies uniformly to all the contentious cases of symmetries in physics, including permutation symmetry in classical and quantum mechanics. It follows that there is no special problem with the notion of objecthood in physics. Leibniz's principle of sufficient reason is considered as well; this too applies uniformly. But given the new principle of identity, it no longer implies that space, or atoms, are unreal.

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Item Type: Preprint
Saunders, Simon
Keywords: Identity, indiscernibles, Leibniz, symmetry, Quine, space, time, indistinguishability
Subjects: General Issues > Structure of Theories
Specific Sciences > Physics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: simon saunders
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2004
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:12
Item ID: 2012

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