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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

7 - The Formation of the Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Field Theory

from Part II - The Quantum Field Programme for Fundamental Interactions


Quantum field theory (QFT) can be analyzed in terms of its mathematical structure, its conceptual scheme, or its basic ontology. The analysis can be done logically or historically. In this chapter, only the genesis of the conceptual foundations of QFT relevant to its basic ontology will be treated carefully; no detailed discussion of its mathematical structures or its epistemological underpinnings will be given. Some conceptual problems, such as those related to probability and measurement, will be discussed, but only because of their relevance to the basic ontology of QFT, rather than their intrinsic philosophical interest.