•  172
    Why quantum theory is possibly wrong
    Foundations of Physics 40 (9-10): 1429-1438. 2010.
    Quantum theory is a tremendously successful physical theory, but nevertheless suffers from two serious problems: the measurement problem and the problem of interpretational underdetermination. The latter, however, is largely overlooked as a genuine problem of its own. Both problems concern the doctrine of realism, but pull, quite curiously, into opposite directions. The measurement problem can be captured such that due to scientific realism about quantum theory common sense anti-realism follows,…Read more
  •  31
    The paper has three parts. In the first part ExtOSR, an extended version of Ontic Structural Realism, will be introduced. ExtOSR considers structural properties as ontological primitives, where structural properties are understood as comprising both relational and structurally derived intrinsic properties or structure invariants. It is argued that ExtOSR is best suited to accommodate gauge symmetry invariants and zero value properties. In the second part, ExtOSR will be given a Humean shape by c…Read more
  •  266
    Is structural underdetermination possible?
    Synthese 180 (2). 2011.
    Structural realism is sometimes said to undermine the theory underdetermination (TUD) argument against realism, since, in usual TUD scenarios, the supposed underdetermination concerns the object-like theoretical content but not the structural content. The paper explores the possibility of structural TUD by considering some special cases from modern physics, but also questions the validity of the TUD argument itself. The upshot is that cases of structural TUD cannot be excluded, but that TUD is p…Read more
  •  43
    Cao, Tian yu (ed.), Conceptual foundations of quantum field theory
    Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 33 (1): 174-180. 2002.
  •  420
    Symmetrien, Strukturen, Realismus
    In Michael Esfeld (ed.), Philosophie der Physik, Suhrkamp. pp. 368-389. 2012.
    In der modernen Physik spielen Symmetrien eine herausragende Rolle zur Identifikation und Klassifizierung der fundamentalen Theorien und Entitäten. Symmetrien dienen der Darstellung invarianter Strukturen, das geeignete mathematische Werkzeug hierfür ist die Gruppentheorie. Eine Struktur lässt sich als eine Menge von Relationen verstehen, die einer Menge von Objekten aufgeprägt sind. Strukturell charakterisierte Objekte sind daher wesentlich über ihre relationalen Eigenschaften charakterisiert. …Read more
  •  113
    The principles of gauging
    Philosophy of Science 68 (3). 2001.
    The aim of this paper is twofold: First, to present an examination of the principles underlying gauge field theories. I shall argue that there are two principles directly connected to the two well-known theorems of Emmy Noether concerning global and local symmetries of the free matter-field Lagrangian, in the following referred to as "conservation principle" and "gauge principle". Since both these express nothing but certain symmetry features of the free field theory, they are not sufficient to …Read more
  •  37
    In 1768 Immanuel Kant presented an argument showing the necessity of absolute space, i.e. substantivalism in contrast to relationalism, based on the property of handedness. While there is large consensus about the fallacy of Kant’s argument, a more recent debate exists – mainly stimulated by John Earman – about the status of the Kantian argument in view of modern physics and its fundamentally built-in parity violation, which leads to a preferred handedness. According to Earman the relationalist …Read more
  •  155
    The paper is a kind of opinionated review paper on current issues in the debate about Structural Realism, roughly the view that we should be committed in the structural rather than object-like content of our best current scientific theories. The major thesis in the first part of the paper is that Structural Realism has to take structurally derived intrinsic properties into account, while in the second part key elements of aligning Structural Realism with a Humean framework are outlined.
  •  1396
    Active Content Externalism
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1): 17-33. 2016.
    The aim of this paper is to scrutinize active externalism and its repercussions for externalism about mental content. I start from the claim that active externalism is a version of content externalism that follows from the extended cognition thesis as a thesis about cognitive vehicles. Various features of active content externalism are explored by comparison with the known forms of passive externalism – in particular with respect to the multiple realizability of the relevant external content-det…Read more
  •  112
    Wissenschaftlicher Realismus. Eine Studie zur Realismus-Antirealismus-Debatte in der neueren Wissenschaftstheorie
    Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (2): 437-441. 2006.
  •  87
    The paper deals with an attempt to present an “abductive-transcendental” argument in favour of a particular version of structural realism (SR), dubbed Intermediate SR. In the first part of the paper the general structure of transcendental arguments is scrutinized with a close view on Kant’s original version and the prospect of their abductive variation. Then the role of symmetries in modern physics, especially symmetries without real instantiations and in particular gauge symmetries is discussed…Read more
  •  12
    Kants „Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Naturwissenschaft” : gestern und heute
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 54 (3): 401-416. 2006.
    Ausgehend von der These, dass Kant seine transzendentalphilosophische Methode als erkenntnistheoretisches Mittel zu einem übergeordneten naturphilosophischen Zweck, nämlich der Apriori-Begründung der fundamentalen Grundgesetze der Physik, entwickelte, zeichnet der Aufsatz zunächst die historische Entwicklung der „Metaphysischen Anfangsgründe der Naturwissenschaft“ sowie ihre wesentlichen technischen Mängel auf. In einem zweiten Schritt wird dann der Frage nachgegangen, welche modernen Umsetzungs…Read more
  •  102
    Does the Higgs mechanism exist?
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (2): 119-133. 2008.
    This paper explores the argument structure of the concept of spontaneous symmetry breaking in the electroweak gauge theory of the Standard Model: the so-called Higgs mechanism. As commonly understood, the Higgs argument is designed to introduce the masses of the gauge bosons by a spontaneous breaking of the gauge symmetry of an additional field, the Higgs field. The technical derivation of the Higgs mechanism, however, consists in a mere reshuffling of degrees of freedom by transforming the Higg…Read more
  •  1318
    Verkörperlichung und situative Einbettung
    In Achim Stephan & Sven Walter (eds.), Handbuch Kognitionswissenschaft. Metzler, Stuttgart, S. , 2013., Metzler. pp. 186-192. 2013.
  •  18
    Berry phase and quantum structure
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 48 45-51. 2014.
    The paper aims to spell out the relevance of the Berry phase in view of the question what the minimal mathematical structure is that accounts for all observable quantum phenomena. The question is both of conceptual and of ontological interest. While common wisdom tells us that the quantum structure is represented by the structure of the projective Hilbert space, the appropriate structure rich enough to account for the Berry phase is the U(1) bundle over that projective space. The Berry phase is …Read more
  •  34
    The Place of Philosophy of Physics in Physics and Philosophy: A Response to Michael Dummett
    European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 8 (1): 120-132. 2012.
    The paper is an attempt to react as direct and as close as possible on Dummett’s 2007 paper by addressing his overall theses about bridging the gulfs between philosophers and physicists and between analytical and continental philosophy on the one hand and, on the other hand, picking up a couple of more detailed issues Dummett raises about physics and its philosophy.
  •  447
    Must Structural Realism Cover the Special Sciences?
    In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science, Springer. pp. 383--390. 2013.
    Structural Realism (SR) is typically rated as a moderate realist doctrine about the ultimate entities of nature described by fundamental physics. Whether it must be extended to the higher-level special sciences is not so clear. In this short paper I argue that there is no need to ‘structuralize’ the special sciences. By mounting concrete examples I show that structural descriptions and structural laws certainly play a role in the special sciences, but that they don’t play any exclusive role nor …Read more
  •  617
    Handedness, self-models and embodied cognitive content
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (4). 2008.
    The paper presents and discusses the “which-is-which content of handedness,” the meaning of left as left and right as right, as a possible candidate for the idea of a genuine embodied cognitive content. After showing that the Ozma barrier, the non-transferability of the meaning of left and right, provides a kind of proof of the non-descriptive, indexical nature of the which-is-which content of handedness, arguments are presented which suggest that the classical representationalist account of cog…Read more
  •  12
    Berry phase and quantum structure
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 48 (1): 45-51. 2014.
  •  849
    Der Aufsatz lotet den zeitgenössischen Reduktionismus aus. Im ersten Teil wird in zentrale Stationen der wissenschaftstheoretischen Debatte um Theorien-Reduktion eingeleitet, wobei das Schaffner-Hooker-Modell und die Bedeutung von Näherungsbegriffen hervorgehoben werden. Der zweite Teil behandelt die multiple Realisierbarkeit als eines der nach wie vor zentralen anti-reduktionistischen Argumente. Die Analyse soll zeigen, dass es sich hierbei nicht um ein einheitliches Phänomen handelt, sondern d…Read more