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Philosophy Matters: Steven Weinberg, Reductionism, and Inevitability

Philosophy Matters: Steven Weinberg, Reductionism, and Inevitability

Bruno Nobre and Antonio Augusto Passos Videira, “Philosophy Matters: Steven Weinberg, Reductionism, and Inevitability,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 74, no. 1 (2018): 249–78, DOI 10.17990/RPF/2018_74_1_0249

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Philosophy Matters: Steven Weinberg, Reductionism, and Inevitability

Type Journal Article
Author Bruno Nobre
Author Antonio Augusto Passos Videira
Rights © 2018 Aletheia - Associação Científica e Cultural | © 2018 Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
Volume 74
Issue 1
Pages 249-278
Publication Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
ISSN 0870-5283
Date 2018
DOI 10.17990/RPF/2018_74_1_0249
Language English
Abstract According to Steven Weinberg, it is the goal of elementary particle physics to search for the final laws of physics, i.e. a simple set of principles from which everything we know about physics can be derived. The main criterion that guides the search for such a set of principles is, according to the author, the sense of inevitability of physical theories, which Weinberg conflates with the idea of beauty. The theoretical physicists’ task is, in this sense, to look for constraining principles, such as symmetries and renormalizability, that increase the sense of inevitability of physical laws. It is the goal of this paper to discuss Weinberg’s arguments in favor of reductionism, as well as his conception of final theory and the associated concept of “inevitability.”
Date Added 26/04/2018, 14:53:54
Modified 26/04/2018, 15:55:35

Tags:

  • beauty,
  • inevitability,
  • meta-scientific principles,
  • reductionism,
  • renormalizability,
  • Steven Weinberg,
  • symmetry.

Notes:

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