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Same-diff? Conceptual similarities between gauge transformations and diffeomorphisms. Part II: Challenges to sophistication

Gomes, Henrique (2022) Same-diff? Conceptual similarities between gauge transformations and diffeomorphisms. Part II: Challenges to sophistication. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The following questions are germane to our understanding of gauge-(in)variant quantities and physical possibility: how are gauge transformations and spacetime diffeomorphisms understood as symmetries, in which ways are they similar, and in which are they different? To what extent are we justified in endorsing different attitudes---nowadays called sophistication, haecceitism, and eliminativism---towards each? This is the second of four papers taking up this question, and it is the one that most engages with the metaphysical debates surrounding our understanding of symmetry and equivalence.

In this paper, I will provide two desiderata for the application of a treatment of symmetries known as `sophistication' and show that both general relativity and Yang-Mills theory satisfy these desiderata. The first desideratum for symmetries is mathematical, and was shown to hold for general relativity and Yang-Mills in the first paper: (i) that they correspond to the automorphisms of the structured base sets for the models of the two theories. Here I will extend the desideratum to more general theories. The second desideratum is mathematical-physical: (ii) that the general type of structure to which Desideratum (i) refers is axiomatizable and that this axiomatization can be phrased in terms of basic physical predicates of the theory. In the third paper in the series, I will provide yet a third desideratum, to deal with an issue that goes beyond the standard debate about sophistication.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Gomes, Henriquegomes.ha@gmail.com0000-0002-9285-0090
Keywords: Sophisticated substantivalism, hole argument, general relativity, gauge theory, symmetry, equivalence.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Dr Henrique Gomes
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2022 17:24
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 17:24
Item ID: 21310
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21310

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