Emergence in effective field theories

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This essay considers the extent to which a concept of emergence can be associated with Effective Field Theories (EFTs). I suggest that such a concept can be characterized by microphysicalism and novelty underwritten by the elimination of degrees of freedom from a high-energy theory, and argue that this makes emergence in EFTs distinct from other concepts of emergence in physics that have appeared in the recent philosophical literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-273
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal for Philosophy of Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Effective field theory
  • Emergence
  • Quantum field theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science


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