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Symmetry, empirical equivalence, and identity

Friederich, Simon (2013) Symmetry, empirical equivalence, and identity. [Preprint]

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The paper proposes a novel approach to the much discussed question of which symmetries have direct empirical significance and which do not. The approach is based on a development of a recently proposed framework by Hilary Greaves and David Wallace, who claim that, contrary to the standard folklore among philosophers of physics, local symmetries may have direct empirical significance no less than global ones. Partly vindicating the standard folklore, a result is derived here from a number of quite plausible assumptions, which states that local symmetries can indeed have no direct empirical significance. Ways to interpret the result are considered and possible morals are outlined.

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Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: symmetries, empirical equivalence, identity of physical states, redundancy
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Dr. Simon Friederich
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2013 16:38
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2013 16:38
Item ID: 9816
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 5 June 2013

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