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Physics and Leibniz's Principles

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

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    Abstract

    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
    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 11:12
    Item ID: 2012
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2012

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