Hossenfelder vs Goff: Do electrons exist?

Are Electrons Real? And Should We Even Care?

Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder and philosopher Philip Goff recently argued over whether electrons exist. At the core of the argument was whether scientific theories are true, or whether they are something like useful fictions, as well as the meta-question of whether this argument is worth having in the first place. Philosopher of science Cat Gillen offers a way out and through.

 

As if times weren’t uncertain enough, the reality or unreality of electrons was recently thrown into question during an X (aka Twitter) debate between philosopher Philip Goff and physicist Sabine Hossenfelder. Although this was the question that left Twitter spinning (though best to leave the concept of spin for now…) the real crux of the discussion was whether science tells us anything about how the world really is, or if it is just a tool for making predictions. Moreover, are such philosophical concerns

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