I will argue that it is possible to have a localised, separable ontology for gauge theories such as electromagnetism (EM) and Yang-Mills theories. First, I will respond to Healey’s claim that “even if there were localized gauge potential properties, one could not use such a gauge theory to say, or represent, what they are.” (Healey, 2007, p. 97) I will discuss Healey’s general argument for standard formulations of EM, and consider the comparison to ‘inexpressible ignorance’. Finally, I move onto a discussion of how these challenges are different within a fibre bundle formalism of EM. I argue that there could be an issue along the lines of Healey’s multiple realisability, but that it is resolved by an appeal to anti-quidditism about localised gauge potential properties and an appropriate metaphysics of the fibre bundle account.
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Philosophy of Physics Graduate Lunch Seminar Convenor: Daniel Grimmer