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Perfect Symmetries

Healey, Richard (2008) Perfect Symmetries. [Preprint]

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Abstract

While empirical symmetries relate situations, theoretical symmetries relate models of a theory we use to represent them. An empirical symmetry is perfect if and only if any two situations it relates share all intrinsic properties. Sometimes one can use a theory to explain an empirical symmetry by showing how it follows from a corresponding theoretical symmetry. The theory then reveals a perfect symmetry. I say what this involves and why it matters, beginning with a puzzle which is resolved by the subsequent analysis. I conclude by pointing to applications and implications of the ideas developed earlier in the paper.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Healey, Richard
Additional Information: Forthcoming in British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Keywords: Symmetries, gauge, intrinsic property, relativity principle
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Richard Andrew Healey
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:16
Item ID: 4144
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/4144

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