
4Steven French: There Are No Such Things as Theories: Oxford University Press: Oxford 2020, 288 pp., £55.00, ISBN: 9780198848158 (review)Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (4): 609612. 2021.

45The hole argument purportedly shows that spacetime substantivalism implies a pernicious form of indeterminism. We show that the argument is seductive only because it mistakes a trivial claim (viz. there are isomorphic models) for a significant claim (viz. there are hole isomorphisms). We prove that the latter claim is false  thereby closing the debate about whether substantivalism implies indeterminism.

11Steven French: There Are No Such Things as TheoriesJournal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (4): 609612. 2021.

65This threepart paper comprises: (i) a critique by Halvorson of Bell’s (1973) paper ‘Subject and Object’; (ii) a comment by Butterfield; (iii) a reply by Halvorson. An Appendix gives the passage from Bell that is the focus of Halvorson's critique.

43The hole argument is supposed to show that spacetime substantivalism implies indeterminism. Here we attempt to answer the question: what is the mathematical fact that is supposed to generate the hole argument? We identify two potential mathematical facts. The first fact is trivial  as argued by Weatherall  and so cannot support the hole argument. The second fact would be nontrivial, but we prove that it is false. We conclude that there is no basis for the hole argument.

90Don't objectify theories (review)Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie. forthcoming.

213A critical examination of John Bell's article "Subject and object"

210A sentence's meaning may depend on the state of motion of the speaker. I argue that this contextsensitivity blocks the inference from special relativity to fourdimensionalism.

92How Logic Works: A User's GuidePrinceton University Press. 2020.How Logic Works is an introductory logic textbook that is different by design. Rather than teaching elementary symbolic logic as an abstract or rote mathematical exercise divorced from ordinary thinking, Hans Halvorson presents it as the skill of clear and rigorous reasoning, which is essential in all fields and walks of life, from the sciences to the humanities—anywhere that making good arguments, and spotting bad ones, is critical to success. Instead of teaching how to apply algorithms using …Read more

76Concluding Unscientific Image (review)Metascience 29 175185. 2020.40year anniversary review of van Fraassen's Scientific Image

479This paper presents a simple example of firstorder theories T1 and T2 such that i) T1 can be embedded in T2 and vice versa, ii) T1 posits all of the structure of T2 and vice versa, but iii) T1 and T2 are not equivalent. This shows that theories lack both the CantorBernstein and coCantorBernstein properties and are neither partially ordered by the relation 'is embeddable in' nor by 'posits all of the structure of'. In addition, these results clarify the overall geography of notions of equiv…Read more

190The purpose of this paper is to examine in detail a particularly interesting pair of firstorder theories. In addition to clarifying the overall geography of notions of equivalence between theories, this simple example yields two surprising conclusions about the relationships that theories might bear to one another. In brief, we see that theories lack both the CantorBernstein and coCantorBernstein properties.

9Deep Beauty: Understanding the Quantum World through Mathematical Innovation (edited book)Cambridge University Press. 2011.No scientific theory has caused more puzzlement and confusion than quantum theory. Physics is supposed to help us to understand the world, but quantum theory makes it seem a very strange place. This book is about how mathematical innovation can help us gain deeper insight into the structure of the physical world. Chapters by top researchers in the mathematical foundations of physics explore new ideas, especially novel mathematical concepts, at the cutting edge of future physics. These creative d…Read more

36It Keeps me Seeking: The Invitation from Science, Philosophy and ReligionOxford University Press. 2018.Here is a fresh look at how science contributes to the bigger picture of human flourishing, through a collage of science and philosophy, richly illustrated by the authors' own experience and personal reflection. They survey the territory of fundamental physics, machine learning, philosophy of human identity, evolutionary biology, miracles, arguments from design, naturalism, the history of ideas, and more. The natural world can be appreciated not only for itself, but also as an eloquent gesture, …Read more

310Some philosophers say that in special relativity, fourdimensional stuff is invariant in some sense that threedimensional stuff is not. I show that this claim is false.

260Quine’s conjecture on manysorted logicSynthese 194 (9): 35633582. 2017.Quine often argued for a simple, untyped system of logic rather than the typed systems that were championed by Russell and Carnap, among others. He claimed that nothing important would be lost by eliminating sorts, and the result would be additional simplicity and elegance. In support of this claim, Quine conjectured that every manysorted theory is equivalent to a singlesorted theory. We make this conjecture precise, and prove that it is true, at least according to one reasonable notion of the…Read more

126Robert K. Clifton 1964–2002Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 34 (1): 13. 2003.

1Quantum Entanglements: Selected Papers (edited book)Clarendon Press. 2004.This volume gathers together groundbreaking work on the foundations and philosophy of quantum physics, by one of the most brilliant and productive researchers in the field. Rob Clifton died tragically in 2002 at the age of 38; two of his colleagues, themselves leading philosophers of physics, present fourteen of his finest papers here, all of which combine exciting philosophical discussion with rigorous mathematical results. Quantum Entanglements offers inspiration and substantial reward to any…Read more

176Glymour and Quine on Theoretical EquivalenceJournal of Philosophical Logic 45 (5): 467483. 2016.Glymour and Quine propose two different formal criteria for theoretical equivalence. In this paper we examine the relationships between these criteria.

57The Logic in Philosophy of ScienceCambridge University Press. 2019.Major figures of twentiethcentury philosophy were enthralled by the revolution in formal logic, and many of their arguments are based on novel mathematical discoveries. Hilary Putnam claimed that the LöwenheimSkølem theorem refutes the existence of an objective, observerindependent world; Bas van Fraassen claimed that arguments against empiricism in philosophy of science are ineffective against a semantic approach to scientific theories; W. V. O. Quine claimed that the distinction between ana…Read more

129Morita EquivalenceReview of Symbolic Logic 9 (3): 556582. 2016.Logicians and philosophers of science have proposed various formal criteria for theoretical equivalence. In this paper, we examine two such proposals: definitional equivalence and categorical equivalence. In order to show precisely how these two wellknown criteria are related to one another, we investigate an intermediate criterion called Morita equivalence.

111Foundations and PhilosophyPhilosophers' Imprint 18. 2018.The Univalent Foundations of mathematics take the point of view that all of mathematics can be encoded in terms of spatial notions like "point" and "path". We will argue that this new point of view has important implications for philosophy, and especially for those parts of analytic philosophy that take set theory and firstorder logic as their benchmark of rigor. To do so, we will explore the connection between foundations and philosophy, outline what is distinctive about the logic of the Univa…Read more

58From Geometry to Conceptual RelativityErkenntnis 82 (5): 10431063. 2017.The purported fact that geometric theories formulated in terms of points and geometric theories formulated in terms of lines are “equally correct” is often invoked in arguments for conceptual relativity, in particular by Putnam and Goodman. We discuss a few notions of equivalence between firstorder theories, and we then demonstrate a precise sense in which this purported fact is true. We argue, however, that this fact does not undermine metaphysical realism.

324How is spontaneous symmetry breaking possible? Understanding Wigner's theorem in light of unitary inequivalenceStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4): 464469. 2013.We pose and resolve a puzzle about spontaneous symmetry breaking in the quantum theory of infinite systems. For a symmetry to be spontaneously broken, it must not be implementable by a unitary operator in a ground state's GNS representation. But Wigner's theorem guarantees that any symmetry's action on states is given by a unitary operator. How can this unitary operator fail to implement the symmetry in the GNS representation? We show how it is possible for a unitary operator of this sort to con…Read more

336To be a realist about quantum theoryIn Olimpia Lombardi (ed.), Quantum Worlds: Perspectives on the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics, . 2019.I look at the distinction between between realist and antirealist views of the quantum state. I argue that this binary classification should be reconceived as a continuum of different views about which properties of the quantum state are representationally significant. What's more, the extreme cases  all or none  are simply absurd, and should be rejected by all parties. In other words, no sane person should advocate extreme realism or antirealism about the quantum state. And if we focus on …Read more

230A Theological Critique of the FineTuning ArgumentIn Matthew A. Benton, John Hawthorne & Dani Rabinowitz (eds.), Knowledge, Belief, and God: New Insights in Religious Epistemology, Oxford University Press. pp. 122135. 2018.According to the premises of the finetuning argument, most nomologically possible universes lack intelligent life; and the fact that ours has intelligent life is best explained by supposing it was created. However, if our universe was created, then the creator chose the laws of nature, and hence chose in favor of lifeless universes. In other words, the finetuning argument shows that God prefers universes without intelligent life; and the fact that our universe has intelligent life provides n…Read more

170Algebraic quantum field theoryIn J. Butterfield & J. Earman (eds.), Handbook of the philosophy of physics, Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2006.Algebraic quantum field theory provides a general, mathematically precise description of the structure of quantum field theories, and then draws out consequences of this structure by means of various mathematical tools  the theory of operator algebras, category theory, etc.. Given the rigor and generality of AQFT, it is a particularly apt tool for studying the foundations of QFT. This paper is a survey of AQFT, with an orientation towards foundational topics. In addition to covering the basics…Read more

310AntimatterBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1): 93121. 2010.Next SectionThe nature of antimatter is examined in the context of algebraic quantum field theory. It is shown that the notion of antimatter is more general than that of antiparticles. Properly speaking, then, antimatter is not matter made up of antiparticles—rather, antiparticles are particles made up of antimatter. We go on to discuss whether the notion of antimatter is itself completely general in quantum field theory. Does the matter–antimatter distinction apply to all field theoretic system…Read more

145The Measure of All Things: Quantum Mechanics and the SoulIn Mark C. Baker & Stewart Goetz (eds.), The Soul Hypothesis: Investigations Into the Existence of the Soul, Continuum Press. pp. 138. 2011.

402On the nature of continuous physical quantities in classical and quantum mechanicsJournal of Philosophical Logic 30 (1): 2750. 2001.Within the traditional Hilbert space formalism of quantum mechanics, it is not possible to describe a particle as possessing, simultaneously, a sharp position value and a sharp momentum value. Is it possible, though, to describe a particle as possessing just a sharp position value (or just a sharp momentum value)? Some, such as Teller, have thought that the answer to this question is No  that the status of individual continuous quantities is very different in quantum mechanics than in classical…Read more
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Philosophy of Physical Science 
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Philosophy of Physical Science 