Against Fields

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Lazarovici, Dustin
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preprint description
Using the example of classical electrodynamics, I argue that the concept of fields as mediators of particle interactions is fundamentally flawed and reflects a misguided attempt to retrieve Newtonian concepts in relativistic theories. This leads to various physical and metaphysical problems that are discussed in detail. In particular, I emphasize that physics has not found a satisfying solution to the self-interaction problem in the context of the classical field theory. To demonstrate the superiority of a pure particle ontology, I defend the direct interaction theory of Wheeler and Feynman against recent criticism and argue that it provides the most cogent formulation of classical electrodynamics.