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Invariance, Intrinsicality, and Perspicuity

Jacobs, Caspar (2022) Invariance, Intrinsicality, and Perspicuity. [Preprint]

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Abstract

It is now standard to interpret symmetry-related models of physical theories as representing the same state of affairs. Recently, a debate has sprung up around the question when this interpretational move is warranted. In particular, Moller-Nielsen (2017) has argued that one is only allowed to interpret symmetry-related models as physically equivalent when one has a characterisation of their common content. I disambiguate two versions of this claim. On the first, a perspicuous interpretation is required: an account of the models' common ontology. On the second, stricter, version of this claim, a perspicuous formalism is required in addition: one whose mathematical structures `intrinsically' represent the physical world, in the sense of Field (1980). Using Dewar (2019)'s distinction between internal and external sophistication as a case study, I argue that the second requirement is decisive. This clarifies the conditions under which it is warranted to interpret symmetry-related models as physically equivalent.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Jacobs, Casparcasparjacobs@gmail.com0000-0001-6903-0468
Keywords: symmetries, invariance, motivationalism, intrinsic formulations, perspicuous, sophistication
Subjects: General Issues > Structure of Theories
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Caspar Jacobs
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2022 04:11
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2022 04:11
Item ID: 20413
Subjects: General Issues > Structure of Theories
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20413

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