Local Selective Realism: Shifting from Classical to Quantum Electrodynamics

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Abstract

This article elaborates local selective realism in view of the shifting from classical to quantum electrodynamics. After some introductory remarks, we critically address what we call global selective realism, hence setting forth the background for outlining local selective realism. When examining the transition from classical to quantum electrodynamics, we evaluate both continuities and discontinuities in observational features, mathematical structures, and ontological presuppositions. Our argument leads us to criticise the narrow understanding of limiting-case strategies, and to reject the claim that we need a fully coherent theoretical framework to account for the transition from one theory to its successor in the case of electrodynamics. We close with a few remarks on the scope of local selective realism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-970
Number of pages16
JournalFoundations of Science
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Electrodynamics
  • Localism
  • Mathematical structures
  • Observational features
  • Ontological presuppositions
  • Pluralism
  • Selective realism

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