•  17
    Mathematical Structure and Empirical Content
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
    Approaches to the interpretation of physical theories provide accounts of how physical meaning accrues to the mathematical structure of a theory. According to many standard approaches to interpretation, meaning relations are captured by maps from the mathematical structure of the theory to statements expressing its empirical content. In this paper I argue that while such accounts adequately address meaning relations when exact models are available or perturbation theory converges, they do not fa…Read more
  •  21
    Worldly imprecision
    Philosophical Studies 178 (9): 2895-2911. 2020.
    Physical theories often characterize their observables with real number precision. Many non-fundamental theories do so needlessly: they are more precise than they need to be to capture the physical matters of fact about their observables. A natural expectation is that a truly fundamental theory will require its full precision in order to exhaustively capture all of the fundamental physical matters of fact. I argue against this expectation and I show that we do not have good reason to expect that…Read more
  •  82
    Haag's theorem has been interpreted as establishing that quantum field theory cannot consistently represent interacting fields. Earman and Fraser have clarified how it is possible to give mathematically consistent calculations in scattering theory despite the theorem. However, their analysis does not fully address the worry raised by the result. In particular, I argue that their approach fails to be a complete explanation of why Haag's theorem does not undermine claims about the empirical adequa…Read more
  •  34
    The origins of Schwinger׳s Euclidean Green׳s functions
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 50 5-12. 2015.
    This paper places Julian Schwinger's development of the Euclidean Green's function formalism for quantum field theory in historical context. It traces the techniques employed in the formalism back to Schwinger's work on waveguides during World War II, and his subsequent formulation of the Minkowski space Green's function formalism for quantum field theory in 1951. Particular attention is dedicated to understanding Schwinger's physical motivation for pursuing the Euclidean extension of this forma…Read more