Particles and Laws of Nature in Classical and Quantum Physics

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Version: After imprimatur
Serval ID
serval:BIB_DCCBD627C57C
Type
PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Particles and Laws of Nature in Classical and Quantum Physics
Author(s)
Hubert Mario
Director(s)
Esfeld Michael
Institution details
Université de Lausanne, Faculté des lettres
Publication state
Accepted
Issued date
18/11/2016
Language
english
Abstract
I combine the idea of a primitive ontology with the metaphysics of laws of nature. In so doing, I examine the theoretical entities that are postulated in Newtonian mechanics, classical electrodynamics, and the de Broglie–Bohm quantum theory. I argue that the existence of mass, forces, fields, and the wave-function depends on the status of laws. The three major theories on laws of nature I treat are Humeanism, dispositionalism, and primitivism about laws. I point out that properties are notoriously ignored in debates on primitive ontologies. In fact, I show that properties, both intrinsic and relational, aren’t needed in physics; therefore, I replace the primitive ontology with a primitive stuff ontology, whose elements have no properties.
Recently, a debate has started on the ontological status of forces in classical mechanics; I criticize the major positions and present my own idea that focuses on the status of laws of nature. Another hot topic is the status of the wave-function. Here, I develop a new interpretation in the framework of Humeanism that crucially differs from that advocated by David Albert and Barry Loewer, in that our world is not an illusion of a reality in configuration space. In addition, I propose a hitherto unconsidered way in which the wave–function can be construed as a holistic disposition.
Keywords
particles, laws of nature, primitive ontology, local beables, fields, wave-function, classical physics, quantum physics
Create date
13/01/2017 18:32
Last modification date
20/08/2019 17:01
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