PhilSci Archive

Philosophical Foundations of Effective Field Theories

Rivat, Sébastien and Grinbaum, Alexei (2019) Philosophical Foundations of Effective Field Theories. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
EFTs v9 4philphys.pdf

Download (245kB) | Preview

Abstract

This survey covers some of the main philosophical debates raised by the framework of effective field theories during the last decades. It is centered on three issues: whether effective field theories underpin a specific realist picture of the world, whether they support an anti-reductionist picture of physics, and whether they provide reasons to give up the ultimate aspiration of formulating a final and complete physical theory. Reviewing the past and current literature, we argue that effective field theories do not give convincing reasons to adopt a particular stance towards these speculative issues. They hold good prospects for asking ontologically perspicuous and sensible questions about currently accessible domains. With respect to more fundamental questions, however, the only certainty is provisional and instrumental: effective theories are currently indispensable for conducting fruitful scientific research.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Rivat, Sébastiensr3109@columbia.edu
Grinbaum, Alexeialexei.grinbaum@cea.fr0000-0002-7484-1553
Keywords: quantum field theory, effective theory, realism, instrumentalism, reduction, emergence
Subjects: General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Alexei Grinbaum
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2019 19:37
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 19:37
Item ID: 16419
Subjects: General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 26 July 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16419

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item