Erkenntnis

, Volume 78, Issue 4, pp 797–821

CPT Invariance, the Spin-Statistics Connection, and the Ontology of Relativistic Quantum Field Theories

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10670-011-9324-9

Cite this article as:
Bain, J. Erkenn (2013) 78: 797. doi:10.1007/s10670-011-9324-9

Abstract

CPT invariance and the spin-statistics connection are typically taken to be essential properties in relativistic quantum field theories (RQFTs), insofar as the CPT and Spin-Statistics theorems entail that any state of a physical system characterized by an RQFT must possess these properties. Moreover, in the physics literature, they are typically taken to be properties of particles. But there is a Received View among philosophers that RQFTs cannot fundamentally be about particles. This essay considers what proofs of the CPT and Spin-Statistics theorems suggest about the ontology of RQFTs, and the extent to which this is compatible with the Received View. I will argue that such proofs suggest the Received View’s approach to ontology is flawed.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Technology, Culture and SocietyPolytechnic Institute of New York UniversityBrooklynUSA