“Interpreting Toy Theories, With an Application to Symmetries”
David Baker (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

August 9, 2022, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Harvard University

United States

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


Harvard University

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Abstract: I define ‘toy theories’ as theories whose laws do not permit the existence of observers. In scientific practice, such theories are often treated as if they have a clear physical interpretation, but on standard philosophical accounts of the methodology of interpretation, it isn't obvious how this is possible. I discern three different senses in which a toy theory could possess a meaningful interpretation, and apply this taxonomy to resolve a disagreement between Gordon Belot and David Wallace on the interpretation of symmetries in toy theories.

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August 9, 2022, 12:00pm EST

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