•  112
    I distinguish two types of reduction within the context of quantum-classical relations, which I designate “formal” and “empirical”. Formal reduction holds or fails to hold solely by virtue of the mathematical relationship between two theories; it is therefore a two-place, a priori relation between theories. Empirical reduction requires one theory to encompass the range of physical behaviors that are well-modeled in another theory; in a certain sense, it is a three-place, a posteriori relation co…Read more
  •  96
    Local reduction in physics
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 50 54-69. 2015.
    A conventional wisdom about the progress of physics holds that successive theories wholly encompass the domains of their predecessors through a process that is often called reduction. While certain influential accounts of inter-theory reduction in physics take reduction to require a single "global" derivation of one theory's laws from those of another, I show that global reductions are not available in all cases where the conventional wisdom requires reduction to hold. However, I argue that a we…Read more
  •  37
    Reduction as an a posteriori Relation
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1): 269-299. 2019.
    Reduction between theories in physics is often approached as an a priori relation in the sense that reduction is often taken to depend only on a comparison of the mathematical structures of two theories. I argue that such approaches fail to capture one crucial sense of “reduction,” whereby one theory encompasses the set of real behaviors that are well-modeled by the other. Reduction in this sense depends not only on the mathematical structures of the theories, but also on empirical facts about w…Read more
  •  33
    Interpretation neutrality in the classical domain of quantum theory
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53 54-72. 2016.
    I show explicitly how concerns about wave function collapse and ontology can be decoupled from the bulk of technical analysis necessary to recover localized, approximately Newtonian trajectories from quantum theory. In doing so, I demonstrate that the account of classical behavior provided by decoherence theory can be straightforwardly tailored to give accounts of classical behavior on multiple interpretations of quantum theory, including the Everett, de Broglie-Bohm and GRW interpretations. I f…Read more
  •  30
    I defend three general claims concerning inter-theoretic reduction in physics. First, the popular notion that a superseded theory in physics is generally a simple limit of the theory that supersedes it paints an oversimplified picture of reductive relations in physics. Second, where reduction specifically between two dynamical systems models of a single system is concerned, reduction requires the existence of a particular sort of function from the state space of the low-level model to that of th…Read more
  •  26
    Supporters of the de Broglie-Bohm interpretation of quantum theory argue that because the theory, like classical mechanics, concerns the motions of point particles in 3D space, it is specially suited to recover classical behavior. I offer a novel account of classicality in dBB theory, if only to show that such an account falls out almost trivially from results developed in the context of decoherence theory. I then argue that this undermines any special claim that dBB theory is purported to have …Read more
  •  24
    In 1973, Nickles identified two senses in which the term `reduction' is used to describe the relationship between physical theories: namely, the sense based on Nagel's seminal account of reduction in the sciences, and the sense that seeks to extract one physical theory as a mathematical limit of another. These two approaches have since been the focus of most literature on the subject, as evidenced by recent work of Batterman and Butterfield, among others. In this paper, I discuss a third sense i…Read more
  •  14
    Naturalness, Wilsonian renormalization, and “fundamental parameters” in quantum field theory
    with Robert Harlander
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 66 118-134. 2019.
  •  13
    This study attempts to spell out more explicitly than has been done previously the connection between two types of formal correspondence that arise in the study of quantum–classical relations: one the one hand, deformation quantization and the associated continuity between quantum and classical algebras of observables in the limit \, and, on the other, a certain generalization of Ehrenfest’s Theorem and the result that expectation values of position and momentum evolve approximately classically …Read more
  •  5
    with Robert Harlander, Gregor Schiemann, and Miguel Ángel Carretero Sahuquillo
    Foundations of Physics 1-5. forthcoming.
  • Higgs Naturalness and Renormalized Parameters
    with Robert Harlander
    Foundations of Physics 1-19. forthcoming.
    A recently popular formulation of the Higgs naturalness principle prohibits delicate cancellations between running renormalized Higgs mass parameters and EFT matching corrections, by contrast with the principle’s original formulation, which prohibits delicate cancellations between the bare Higgs mass parameter and its quantum corrections. While the need for this latter cancellation is sometimes viewed as unproblematic since bare parameters are thought by some to be divergent and unphysical, reno…Read more