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Theoretical Equivalence in Physics

Weatherall, James Owen (2018) Theoretical Equivalence in Physics. [Preprint]

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I review the philosophical literature on the question of when two physical theories are equivalent. This includes a discussion of empirical equivalence, which is often taken to be necessary, and sometimes taken to be sufficient, for theoretical equivalence; and "interpretational" equivalence, which is the idea that two theories are equivalent just in case they have the same interpretation. It also includes a discussion of several formal notions of equivalence that have been considered in the recent philosophical literature, including (generalized) definitional equivalence and categorical equivalence. The article concludes with a brief discussion of the relationship between equivalence and duality.

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Item Type: Preprint
Weatherall, James Owenweatherj@uci.edu0000-0003-1461-7821
Keywords: Theoretical equivalence, empirical equivalence, categorical equivalence, definitional equivalence, Morita equivalence, duality, interpretational equivalence, physics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: James Owen Weatherall
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2018 01:29
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2018 01:29
Item ID: 15166
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Date: 2018

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