Why be Natural?

  • Jonathan BainEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Naturalness, Hierarchy, and Fine-Tuning


Naturalness, as a guiding principle for effective field theories (EFTs), requires that there be no sensitive correlations between phenomena at low- and high-energy scales. This essay considers four reasons to adopt this principle: (i) natural EFTs exhibit modest empirical success; (ii) unnatural EFTs are improbable; (iii) naturalness underwrites what Williams (Stud Hist Philos Mod Phys 51:82, 2015) calls a “central dogma” of EFTs; namely, that phenomena at widely separated scales should decouple; and (iv) naturalness underwrites a non-trivial notion of emergence. I argue that the first three are not compelling reasons, whereas the fourth is.


Naturalness Effective field theories Emergence 



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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Technology, Culture and Society, Tandon School of EngineeringNew York UniversityBrooklynUSA

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