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The physics and metaphysics of primitive stuff

Esfeld, Michael and Lazarovici, Dustin and Lam, Vincent and Hubert, Mario (2014) The physics and metaphysics of primitive stuff. [Preprint]

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The paper sets out a primitive ontology of the natural world in terms of primitive stuff, that is, stuff that has as such no physical properties at all, but that is not a bare substratum either, being individuated by metrical relations. We focus on quantum physics and employ identity-based Bohmian mechanics to illustrate this view, but point out that it applies all over physics. Properties then enter into the picture exclusively through the role that they play for the dynamics of the primitive stuff. We show that such properties can be local (classical mechanics), as well as holistic (quantum mechanics), and discuss two metaphysical options to conceive them, namely Humeanism and modal realism in the guise of dispositionalism.

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Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: primitive ontology, primitive stuff, ontic structural realism, identical particles, Bohmian mechanics, Humeanism, modal realism, dispositionalism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Michael Esfeld
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2014 15:59
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2014 15:59
Item ID: 11175
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 30 November 2014

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