The Philosophy behind Quantum Gravity
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Universidad del País Vasco
ReductionismQuantum gravityQuantum mechanicsUnity of physics
Zinkernagel, H. The Philosophy behind Quantum Gravity. Theoria, 21(3): 295-312 (2006). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/29897]
PatrocinadorSpanish Ministry of Education and Science (project HUM2005-07187-C03-03).
This paper investigates some of the philosophical and conceptual issues raised by the search for a quantum theory of gravity. It is critically discussed whether such a theory is necessary in the first place, and how much would be accomplished if it is eventually constructed. I argue that the motivations behind, and expectations to, a theory of quantum gravity are entangled with central themes in the philosophy of science, in particular unification, reductionism, and the interpretation of quantum mechanics. I further argue that there are —contrary to claims made on behalf of string theory— no good reasons to think that a quantum theory of gravity, if constructed, will provide a theory of everything, that is, a fundamental theory from which all physics in principle can be derived.