Fundamental Theory

Ball, R. D. and R. S. Thorne (1993, November). Renormalizability of effective scalar field theory. Annals of Physics 236 (1), 117-204.

When they were first devised, quantum field theories were expected to be valid for all energies, i.e. fundamental.

Lind, H (1993). A Note on Fundamental Theory and Idealizations in Economics and Physics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):493-503:

The term fundamental theory refers to the most abstract and general theories in a science.

Frisch, M. (2008). Philosophical issues in electromagnetism. Philosophy Compass 4 (1):255-270:

In the case of non-fundamental theories, domain restrictions may also include restrictions to certain length- or energy-scales.

Castellani, E. (2002). Reductionism, emergence, and effective field theories, Studies In History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies In History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 33 (2):251-267:

“fundamental physics” is the physics concerned with the search for the ultimate constituents of the universe and the laws governing their behavior and interactions. Fundamentality, on this view, is the prerogative of the physics of smaller and smaller distances (or higher and higher energies), and, accordingly, particle physics and cosmology are currently identified as the fields where the quest for the “final theory” takes place.

Steven Weinberg, as quoted by Hartmann:

‘Particle physics is in some sense more fundamental than other areas of physics’ ( Weinberg, 1987, p. 434). It is more fundamental because it is ‘on a level closer to the source of the arrows of explanation than other areas of physics’ (ibid., p. 437).