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The Correspondence Principle and theory choice in physics.

Aliabadi, Youssef Samadi (1997) The Correspondence Principle and theory choice in physics. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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A conception of the Correspondence Principle which Bohr deployed implicitly in developing a new theory of atomic constitution in 1913, is made explicit through an extensive examination of his classic paper of that year. Arguments are considered which purport to show that the application of the principle must be restricted to few isolated cases. These arguments are either defused or rejected. In particular an extensive review of issues concerning the interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is made to counter the claims that an insurmountable conceptual gap exits between the tenets of this theory and those of Classical Mechanics which makes it logically impossible for the latter to be regarded as the 'limiting case' of the former. In the light of a particular interpretation adopted and defended, a proposal is made that suggests that the Hamilton-Jacobi formulation of Classical Mechanics, as well as Maxwell's electromagnetic theory, can be viewed as 'limiting cases' of Quantum Mechanics. Having established a case for the global validity of the requirement imposed on physics by the Correspondence Principle, it is then argued that this requirement is indispensable if a particular brand of realism is adopted for the interpretation of theories in physics. Taking on board the assumption that an ultimate theory exists which mirrors the underlying physical constitution of the world, it is subsequently argued that the intertheory order established by the global imposition of the principle in physics, can be used to solve the problem of rational theory choice for this brand of realism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Philosophy of Science, Physics, Theory
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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