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The Nature of a Constant of Nature: the Case of G

Jacobs, Caspar (2022) The Nature of a Constant of Nature: the Case of G. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Physics presents us with a symphony of natural constants: G, h, c, etc. Up to this point, constants have received comparatively little philosophical attention. In this paper I provide an account of dimensionful constants, in particular the gravitational constant. I propose that they represent inter-quantity structure in the form of relations between quantities with different dimensions. I use this account of G to settle a debate over whether mass scalings are symmetries of Newtonian Gravitation. I argue that they are not, but only if we interpret mass anti-quidditistically. This is analogous to anti-haecceitism in the presence of spacetime symmetries.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Jacobs, Casparcasparjacobs@gmail.co
Keywords: constants; constant of nature; symmetries; value space; mass; mass scaling; quantities; metaphysics of quantities; Newtonian Gravitation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Caspar Jacobs
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2022 17:04
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 17:04
Item ID: 21278
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21278

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