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Reutlinger, Alexander (January 2016): Do Renormalization Group Explanations Conform to the Commonality Strategy? In: Journal for General Philosophy of Science
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Renormalization group (RG) explanations account for the astonishing phenomenon that microscopically very different physical systems display the same macro-behavior when undergoing phase-transitions. Among philosophers, this explanandum phenomenon is often described as the occurrence of a particular kind of multiply realized macro-behavior. In several recent publications, Robert Batterman denies that RG explanations account for this explanandum phenomenon by following (what I call) the commonality strategy, i.e. by identifying properties that microscopically very different physical systems have in common. Arguing against Batterman's claim, I defend the view that RG explanations are in accord with the commonality strategy.