Berlin 2014 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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AGPhil: Arbeitsgruppe Philosophie der Physik

AGPhil 2: Quantum-Classical Divide I

AGPhil 2.1: Vortrag

Mittwoch, 19. März 2014, 16:30–17:00, SPA SR22

Convergence in theories of quantum gravity? — •Johannes Thürigen — Albert Einstein Institute, Potsdam, Germany

Theories in (empirical) science can be considered epistemically justified not only by empirical content but also by systematization power and uniformity. In the light of these concepts we present an analysis of the basic structure and intertheoretic relations of some approaches to quantum gravity each starting from quite different assumptions. These are Loop quantum gravity, Spin foams, Causal dynamical triangulations, Regge calculus and Group field theory. The aim of this analysis is to critically discuss an argument of physicists working on quantum gravity, stating that there is some kind of convergence of the mentioned approaches which (at least partially) justifies them.

Such an argument would be of high relevance since neither the precise relation to the established theories (and thus the phenomena described by those) nor the derivation of original phenomena might be achievable in the foreseeable future, leaving uniformity as the only epistemological criterion in favor for them.

We find that intertheoretic relations can be found mainly at the level of the conceptual framework of the theories, rather than regarding the actual dynamical laws. Therefore a weaker notion of theory relation is needed. The recent concept of theory crystallization is a good candidate and we analyze to what extent the approaches to quantum gravity meet its conditions.

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