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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
    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 11:16
    Item ID: 4144
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/4144

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