Theoretical Equivalence in Physics

Por • 30 oct, 2018 • Sección: Ciencia y tecnología

James Owen Weatherall

I review the philosophical literature on the question of when two physical theories are equivalent. This includes a discussion of empirical equivalence, which is often taken to be necessary, and sometimes taken to be sufficient, for theoretical equivalence; and “interpretational” equivalence, which is the idea that two theories are equivalent just in case they have the same interpretation. It also includes a discussion of several formal notions of equivalence that have been considered in the recent philosophical literature, including (generalized) definitional equivalence and categorical equivalence. The article concludes with a brief discussion of the relationship between equivalence and duality.

arXiv:1810.08192v1 [physics.hist-ph]

History and Philosophy of Physics (physics.hist-ph)

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