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Universality and RG Explanations

Batterman, Robert (2017) Universality and RG Explanations. [Preprint]

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Abstract

I discuss the concept of universality, specifically of physical phenomena, and even more specifically of the behavior of critical phenomena. In the philosophical literature, I believe, this concept has been widely misunderstood. In particular, a number of recent attempts to formulate what counts as an explantation for the possibility of universal behavior are misguided because they fail to properly understand what the explanandum is. A proper explanation involves recognizing that universality implies a kind of stability of behavior under perturbation. Furthermore, this stability itself requires explanation. I relate the explanation of the stability characteristic of universality to the autonomy of certain models or theories at continuum scales from those and scales of the molecular or atomic.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Batterman, Robertrbatterm@pitt.edu
Keywords: Universality, Explanation, Renormalization Group, Scales, Stability
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: rbatterm rbatterm rbatterm
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 15:41
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2017 15:41
Item ID: 13460
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: September 2017
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13460

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