Natural Philosophy versus Philosophy of Naturalness

Goran Senjanovic
I reflect on some of the basic aspects of present day Beyond the Standard Model particle physics, focusing mostly on the issues of naturalness, in particular on the so-called hierarchy problem. To all of us, physics as natural science emerged with Galileo and Newton, and led to centuries of unparalleled success in explaining and often predicting new phenomena of nature. I argue here that the long standing obsession with the hierarchy problem as a guiding principle for the future of our field has had the tragic consequence of deviating high energy physics from its origins as natural philosophy, and turning it into a philosophy of naturalness.
Read more at https://arxiv.org/pdf/2001.10988.pdf

Two Notions of Naturalness

Porter Williams
My aim in this paper is twofold: (i) to distinguish two notions of naturalness employed in BSM physics and (ii) to argue that recognizing this distinction has methodological consequences. One notion of naturalness is an “autonomy of scales” requirement: it prohibits sensitive dependence of an effective field theory’s low-energy observables on precise specification of the theory’s description of cutoff-scale physics. I will argue that considerations from the general structure of effective field theory provide justification for the role this notion of naturalness has played in BSM model construction. A second, distinct notion construes naturalness as a statistical principle requiring that the values of the parameters in an effective field theory be “likely” given some appropriately chosen measure on some appropriately circumscribed space of models. I argue that these two notions are historically and conceptually related but are motivated by distinct theoretical considerations and admit of distinct kinds of solution.
Read more at https://arxiv.org/pdf/1812.08975.pdf