PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Fundamental Determinables in Fundamental Physics

I have argued (Wilson 2012) that determinables might be fundamental. Here I consider how determinables and determinates might together constitute a fundamental base, taking fundamental physics as a guiding case-in-point. I argue that physical laws are irreducibly general, in relating genuine determinables; and that for these general laws to determine concrete states of affairs, the fundamental determinables must be determined, via initial or other boundary conditions. This blueprint suggests that both determinable and determinate physical properties are needed to characterize a fundamental base, which suggests (contra common assumption) that fundamental entities need not be either wholly or modally distinct.

Author Information:

Jessica Wilson    
Department of Philosophy
University of Toronto


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