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Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia

Volume 21, Issue 3, Septiembre 2006

Henrik Zinkernagel
Pages 295-312

The Philosophy behind Quantum Gravity

This paper investigates some of the philosophical and conceptual issues raised by the search for a quantum theory of gravity. It is critically discussed whether such a theory is necessary in the first place, and how much would be accomplished if it is eventually constructed. I argue that the motivations behind, and expectations to, a theory of quantum gravity are entangled with central themes in the philosophy of science, in particular unification, reductionism, and the interpretation of quantum mechanics. I further argue that there are —contrary to claims made on behalf of string theory— no good reasons to think that a quantum theory of gravity, if constructed, will provide a theory of everything, that is, a fundamental theory from which all physics in principle can be derived.

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