Why Is There Universal Macro-Behavior? Renormalization Group Explanation As Non-causal Explanation

Publication Year:
Usage 579
Downloads 579
Social Media 1
Tweets 1
Repository URL:
Reutlinger, Alexander
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
conference paper description
Renormalization group (RG) methods are an established strategy to explain how it is possible that microscopically different systems exhibit virtually the same macro behavior when undergoing phase-transitions. I argue – in agreement with Robert Batterman – that RG explanations are non-causal explanations. However, Batterman misidentifies the reason why RG explanations are non-causal: it is not the case that an explanation is non- causal if it ignores causal details. I propose an alternative argument, according to which RG explanations are non-causal explanations because their explanatory power is due to the application mathematical operations, which do not serve the purpose of representing causal relations.