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Identity in Physics – A Historical, Philosophical, and Formal Analysis - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Identity in Physics: A Historical, Philosophical, and Formal Analysis

Steven French and Décio Krause


Drawing on philosophical accounts of identity and individuality, as well as the histories of both classical and quantum physics, this book explores two alternative metaphysical approaches to quantum particles. It asks if quantum particles can be regarded as individuals, just like books, tables, and people. Taking the first approach, the book argues that if quantum particles are regarded as individuals, then Leibniz’s famous Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles is in fact violated. Recent discussions of this conclusion are analysed in detail and the costs involved in saving the Princip ... More

Keywords: individuality, classical physics, quantum physics, particles, Leibniz, Identity of Indiscernibles, non-standard logic, set theory, non-individuality, quantum field theory

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780199278244
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006 DOI:10.1093/0199278245.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Steven French, author
University of Leeds
Author Webpage

Décio Krause, author
Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil