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Universality Reduced

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1295-1306
Number of pages12
JournalPHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Volume86
Issue number5
DOIs
Accepted/In press4 Jul 2018
Published1 Dec 2019

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Abstract

The universality of critical phenomena may be explained by appeal to the Renormalisation Group (RG). Batterman and Morrison, among others, have argued that this explanation is irreducible. In this paper I offer a reduction of the RG account by demonstrating that the key assumption on which it relies – the scale invariance of systems at the critical point – can be explained in lower-level terms. This does not mean that we should replace the RG explanation with a bottom-up account, rather we should acknowledge that the explanation appeals to dependencies which may be traced down to lower levels.

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