Muntean: AdS/CFT duality beyond emergence of spacetime. A case for unification

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Is the AdS/CFT duality a case of unification? If so, what unifies the AdS and the CFT sectors? In a series of philosophical papers, several authors (D. Rickles, N. Teh, J. Butterfield, N. Bouatta) have discussed the AdS/CFT duality in the context of reduction and emergence, especially emergence and reduction of spacetime structures. This presentation relates AdS/CFT duality to the operation of unifying the two models: AdS and CFT. Rickles believes that this duality indicates the presence of a deeper and unificatory structure (Su) and/or a unificatory theory (Tu). Here we explore the prospects of Su, without assuming the underlying Tu. First, Su, the structure that unifies AdS and CFT, is placed in the context of structural realism. The important unificatory aspect (see some exemplar unifications) is the identification of the generating functionals Z. Second, we survey two deflationary views against a Su. On one view, both AdS and CFT are premised on some common assumptions (typically a symmetry assumption, e.g. SuSy) which create a spurious unification. On the other deflationary view, the AdS/CFT duality is the result of our incomplete understanding of string theory or, more generally, quantum gravity.


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