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Philosophical perspectives on ad hoc-hypotheses and the Higgs mechanism

Friederich, Simon and Harlander, Robert V. and Karaca, Koray (2013) Philosophical perspectives on ad hoc-hypotheses and the Higgs mechanism. [Preprint]

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Abstract

We examine physicists' charge of adhocness against the Higgs mechanism in the Standard Model of elementary particle physics. We argue that even though this charge never rested on a clear-cut and well-entrenched definition of "ad hoc", it is based on conceptual and methodological assumptions and principles which are well-founded elements of the scientific practice of high-energy particle physics. Based on our findings, we dispute the claim made by Christopher Hunt in a recent article in "Philosophy of Science" that the use of "ad hoc" by scientists reflects nothing more substantial than a judgment made on the basis of their "individual aesthetic senses". We further evaluate the implications of the recent discovery of a Higgs-like particle at the CERN Large Hadron Collider for the charge of adhocness against the Higgs mechanism.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Friederich, Simonemail@simonfriederich.eu
Harlander, Robert V.robert.harlander@uni-wuppertal.de
Karaca, Koraykaracak@gmail.com
Keywords: ad hoc, methodology, particle physics, Higgs mechanism, naturalness
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Dr. Simon Friederich
Date Deposited: 22 May 2013 12:53
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2014 13:27
Item ID: 9780
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: 22 May 2013
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9780

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