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Maxwell's Paradox: the Metaphysics of Classical Electrodynamics and its Time-Reversal Invariance

Allori, Valia (2015) Maxwell's Paradox: the Metaphysics of Classical Electrodynamics and its Time-Reversal Invariance. αnalytica, an electronic open-access journal for philosophy of science, 1. pp. 1-19.

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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that the recent discussion on the time-reversal invariance of classical electrodynamics (see (Albert 2000: ch.1), (Arntzenius 2004), (Earman 2002), (Malament 2004), (Horwich 1987: ch.3)) can be best understood assuming that the disagreement among the various authors is actually a disagreement about the metaphysics of classical electrodynamics. If so, the controversy will not be resolved until we have established which alternative is the most natural. It turns out that we have a paradox, namely that the following three claims are incompatible: the electromagnetic fields are real, classical electrodynamics is time-reversal invariant, and the content of the state of affairs of the world does not depend on whether it belongs to a forward or a backward sequence of states of the world.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Allori, Valiavallori@niu.edu
Keywords: Classical Electrodynamics; Time-reversal Invariance; Field Ontology; Symmetries
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Dr. Thomas Pashby
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2016 14:56
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2016 18:13
Item ID: 12390
Journal or Publication Title: αnalytica, an electronic open-access journal for philosophy of science
Publisher: Department of Philosophy and History of Science, University of Athens
Official URL: http://www.analytica.phs.uoa.gr/Contents
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 2015
Page Range: pp. 1-19
Volume: 1
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12390

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