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Hartmann, Stephan (1998): Idealization in Quantum Field Theory. In: Shanks, Niall (ed.) : Idealization IX: Idealization in Contemporary Physics. Poznań Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, Vol. 64. Amsterdam: Rodopi. pp. 99-122

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Abstract

This paper explores various functions of idealizations in quantum field theory. To this end it is important to first distinguish between different kinds of theories and models of or inspired by quantum field theory. Idealizations have pragmatic and cognitive functions. Analyzing a case-study from hadron physics, I demonstrate the virtues of studying highly idealized models for exploring the features of theories with an extremely rich structure such as quantum field theory and for gaining some understanding of the physical processes in the system under consideration.

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