Title

Fundamentality, Scale, and the Fractional Quantum Hall Effect

Publication Name

Erkenntnis

Abstract

We examine arguments for distinguishing between ontological and epistemological concepts of fundamentality, focusing in particular on the role that scale plays in these concepts. Using the fractional quantum Hall effect as a case study, we show that we can draw a distinction between ontologically fundamental and non-fundamental theories without insisting that it is only the fundamental theories that get the ontology right: there are cases where non-fundamental theories involve distinct ontologies that better characterize real systems than fundamental ones do. In order to reconcile these distinct ontologies between fundamental and non-fundamental theories, we suggest that ontology must be understood as scale-dependent.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Volume

86

Issue

6

First Page

1411

Last Page

1430

Funding Sponsor

Institute for Advanced Study

Share

COinS
 

Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10670-019-00161-y