, Volume 78, Issue 4, pp 797-821

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

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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.