PhilSci Archive

What Theoretical Equivalence Could Not Be

Teitel, Trevor (2021) What Theoretical Equivalence Could Not Be. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
What Theoretical Equivalence Could Not Be - Penultimate.pdf

Download (190kB) | Preview

Abstract

Formal criteria of theoretical equivalence are mathematical mappings between specific sorts of mathematical objects, notably including those objects used in mathematical physics. Proponents of formal criteria claim that results involving these criteria have implications that extend beyond pure mathematics. For instance, they claim that formal criteria bear on the project of using our best mathematical physics as a guide to what the world is like, and also have deflationary implications for various debates in the metaphysics of physics. In this paper, I investigate whether there is a defensible view according to which formal criteria have significant non-mathematical implications, of these sorts or any other, reaching a chiefly negative verdict. Along the way, I discuss various foundational issues concerning how we use mathematical objects to describe the world when doing physics, and how this practice should inform metaphysics. I diagnose the prominence of formal criteria as stemming from contentious views on these foundational issues, and endeavor to motivate some alternative views in their stead.


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

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Teitel, Trevortrevor.teitel@utoronto.ca
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Philosophical Studies
Keywords: theoretical equivalence; representation; logical positivism; metaphysics of physics; metaphysical realism; substantivalism; spacetime
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Trevor Teitel
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2021 14:12
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2021 14:12
Item ID: 18875
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: 26 March 2021
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18875

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item