Primitive ontology and quantum field theory

Lam, Vincent (2015) Primitive ontology and quantum field theory. European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 5 3: 387-397. doi:10.1007/s13194-015-0113-1


Author Lam, Vincent
Title Primitive ontology and quantum field theory
Journal name European Journal for Philosophy of Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1879-4912
1879-4920
Publication date 2015-10-04
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s13194-015-0113-1
Volume 5
Issue 3
Start page 387
End page 397
Total pages 11
Place of publication Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Primitive ontology is a recently much discussed approach to the ontology of quantum theory according to which the theory is ultimately about entities in 3-dimensional space and their temporal evolution. This paper critically discusses the primitive ontologies that have been suggested within the Bohmian approach to quantum field theory in the light of the existence of unitarily inequivalent representations. These primitive ontologies rely either on a Fock space representation or a wave functional representation, which are strictly speaking unambiguously available only for free systems in flat spacetime. As a consequence, it is argued that they do not constitute fundamental ontologies for quantum field theory, in contrast to the case of the Bohmian approach to quantum mechanics.
Keyword Bohmian mechanics
Fields
Fock space
Local beables
Particles
Primitive ontology
Quantum field theory
Unitarily inequivalent representations
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
 
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