Samediff? Conceptual similarities between gauge transformations and diffeomorphisms. Part II: Challenges to sophistication
Abstract
The following questions are germane to our understanding of gauge(in)variant quantities and physical possibility: how are gauge transformations and spacetime diffeomorphisms understood as symmetries, in which ways are they similar, and in which are they different? To what extent are we justified in endorsing different attitudes  nowadays called sophistication, haecceitism, and eliminativism  towards each? This is the second of four papers taking up this question, and it is the one that most engages with the metaphysical debates surrounding our understanding of symmetry and equivalence. In this paper, I will provide two desiderata for the application of a treatment of symmetries known as `sophistication' and show that both general relativity and YangMills theory satisfy these desiderata. The first desideratum for symmetries is mathematical, and was shown to hold for general relativity and YangMills in the first paper: (i) that they correspond to the automorphisms of the structured base sets for the models of the two theories. Here I will extend the desideratum to more general theories. The second desideratum is mathematicalphysical: (ii) that the general type of structure to which Desideratum (i) refers is axiomatizable and that this axiomatization can be phrased in terms of basic physical predicates of the theory. In the third paper in the series I will provide yet a third desideratum, to deal with an issue that goes beyond the standard debate about sophistication.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 October 2021
 DOI:
 10.48550/arXiv.2110.07204
 arXiv:
 arXiv:2110.07204
 Bibcode:
 2021arXiv211007204G
 Keywords:

 Physics  History and Philosophy of Physics;
 General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
 High Energy Physics  Theory
 EPrint:
 30 pages