Taking Particle Physics Seriously

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The working assumption amongst most philosophers of QFT appears to be that algebraic QFT (AQFT), and not the "Lagrangian" QFT of the working physicist, is the proper object of philosophical and foundational study. I argue that this assumption is unmotivated, and fails to take into account important features of the post-1960s development of Lagrangian QFT. From a modern perspective the two forms of QFT are better seen as rival research programs than as variant formulations of one theory; furthermore, the Lagrangian research program is overwhelmingly supported by experiment.


A presentation at the Philosophy of Quantum Field Theory Workshop, which was held at The University of Western Ontario on April 24-26, 2009

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