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  1. Yuri Balashov (2012). Do Composite Objects Have an Age in Relativistic Spacetime? Philosophia Naturalis 49 (1):9-23.
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  2. Robert Disalle (1995). Spacetime Theory as Physical Geometry. Erkenntnis 42 (3):317-337.
    Discussions of the metaphysical status of spacetime assume that a spacetime theory offers a causal explanation of phenomena of relative motion, and that the fundamental philosophical question is whether the inference to that explanation is warranted. I argue that those assumptions are mistaken, because they ignore the essential character of spacetime theory as a kind of physical geometry. As such, a spacetime theory does notcausally explain phenomena of motion, but uses them to construct physicaldefinitions of basic geometrical structures by coordinating (...)
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  3. Robert DiSalle (1992). Einstein, Newton and the Empirical Foundations of Space Time Geometry. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 6 (3):181 – 189.
    Abstract Einstein intended the general theory of relativity to be a generalization of the relativity of motion and, therefore, a radical departure from previous spacetime theories. It has since become clear, however, that this intention was not fulfilled. I try to explain Einstein's misunderstanding on this point as a misunderstanding of the role that spacetime plays in physics. According to Einstein, earlier spacetime theories introduced spacetime as the unobservable cause of observable relative motions and, in particular, as the cause of (...)
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  4. Paul Fitzgerald (1969). The Truth About Tomorrow's Sea Fight. Journal of Philosophy 66 (11):307-329.
    This paper considers traditional debates and position regarding time and the future in relation to Einstein's physics of space-time.
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  5. Sharon R. Ford (2010). What Fundamental Properties Suffice to Account for the Manifest World? Powerful Structure. Dissertation, University of Queensland
    This Thesis engages with contemporary philosophical controversies about the nature of dispositional properties or powers and the relationship they have to their non-dispositional counterparts. The focus concerns fundamentality. In particular, I seek to answer the question, ‘What fundamental properties suffice to account for the manifest world?’ The answer I defend is that fundamental categorical properties need not be invoked in order to derive a viable explanation for the manifest world. My stance is a field-theoretic view which describes the world as (...)
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  6. Gregory Fowler (2007). Holes as Regions of Spacetime. The Monist 90 (3):372-378.
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  7. Nick Huggett (2008). Why the Parts of Absolute Space Are Immobile. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):391-407.
    Newton's arguments for the immobility of the parts of absolute space have been claimed to licence several proposals concerning his metaphysics. This paper clarifies Newton, first distinguishing two distinct arguments. Then, it demonstrates, contrary to Nerlich ([2005]), that Newton does not appeal to the identity of indiscernibles, but rather to a view about de re representation. Additionally, DiSalle ([1994]) claims that one argument shows Newton to be an anti-substantivalist. I agree that its premises imply a denial of a kind of (...)
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  8. Dennis Lehmkuhl (ed.) (forthcoming). Towards a Theory of Spacetime Theories (Einstein Studies Series).
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  9. Graham Nerlich (2005). Can Parts of Space Move? On Paragraph Six of Newton's Scholium. Erkenntnis 62 (1):119--135.
    Paragraph 6 of Newtons Scholium argues that the parts of space cannot move. A premise of the argument – that parts have individuality only through an order of position – has drawn distinguished modern support yet little agreement among interpretations of the paragraph. I argue that the paragraph offers an a priori, metaphysical argument for absolute motion, an argument which is invalid. That order of position is powerless to distinguish one part of Euclidean space from any other has gone virtually (...)
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  10. Josh Parsons (2008). Hudson on Location. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (2):427 - 435.
    Paper begins: Chapter 4 of Hud Hudson’s stimulating book The metaphysics of hyperspace contains an discussion of the notion of location in a container spacetime. Hudson uses this idea to define a number of what we might call modes of extension or ways of being extended. A pertended object is what most people think of as a typical extended object — it is made up of spatial parts, one part for each region the object pervades. An entended object is an (...)
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  11. Vesselin Petkov (2007). On the Reality of Minkowski Space. Foundations of Physics 37 (10):1499-1502.
    Should physicists deal with the question of the reality of Minkowski space (or any relativistic spacetime)? It is argued that they should since this is a question about the dimensionality of the world at the macroscopic level and it is physics that should answer it.
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  12. Matthew Trump & W. C. Schieve (1997). The Synchronization Problem in Covariant Relativistic Dynamics. Foundations of Physics 27 (1):1-17.
    In the classical Stueckelberg-Horwitz-Piron relativistic Hamiltonian mechanics, a significant aspect of evolution of the classical n-body particle system with mutual interaction is the method by which events along distinct particle world lines are put into correspondence as a dynamical state. Approaches to this procedure are discussed in connection with active and passive symmetry principles.
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  13. P. D. Welch (2008). The Extent of Computation in Malament–Hogarth Spacetimes. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4):659-674.
    We analyse the extent of possible computations following Hogarth ([2004]) conducted in Malament–Hogarth (MH) spacetimes, and Etesi and Németi ([2002]) in the special subclass containing rotating Kerr black holes. Hogarth ([1994]) had shown that any arithmetic statement could be resolved in a suitable MH spacetime. Etesi and Németi ([2002]) had shown that some relations on natural numbers that are neither universal nor co-universal, can be decided in Kerr spacetimes, and had asked specifically as to the extent of computational limits there. (...)
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Causal Theories of Spacetime
  1. Erik C. Banks (2014). The Realistic Empiricism of Mach, James, and Russell. Cambridge University Press.
    The book revives the neutral monism of Mach, James, and Russell and applies the updated view to the problem of redefining physicalism, explaining the origins of sensation, and the problem of deriving extended physical objects and systems from an ontology of events.
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  2. Hanoch Ben-Yami (forthcoming). Causal Order, Temporal Order, and Becoming in Special Relativity. Topoi:1-5.
    I reconstruct from Rietdijk and Putnam’s well-known papers an argument against the applicability of the concept of becoming in Special Relativity, which I think is unaffected by some of the objections found in the literature. I then consider a line of thought found in the discussion of the possible conventionality of simultaneity in Special Relativity, beginning with Reichenbach, and apply it to the debate over becoming. We see that it immediately renders Rietdijk and Putnam’s argument unsound. I end by comparing (...)
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  3. John Earman, Clark Glymour & John Stachel (eds.) (1977). Foundations of Space-Time Theories: Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. University of Minnesota Press.
    Some Philosophical Prehistory of General Relativity As history, my remarks will form rather a medley. If they can claim any sort of unity (apart from a ...
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  4. Peter Lynds, Denying the Existence of Instants of Time and the Instantaneous.
    Extending on an earlier paper [Found. Phys. Ltt., 16(4) 343–355, (2003)], it is argued that instants of time and the instantaneous (including instantaneous relative position) do not actually exist. This conclusion, one which is also argued to represent the correct solution to Zeno’s motion paradoxes, has several implications for modern physics and for our philosophical view of time, including that time and space cannot be quantized; that contrary to common interpretation, motion and change are compatible with the “block” universe and (...)
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  5. Lawrence Sklar (1977). What Might Be Right About the Causal Theory of Time. Synthese 35 (2):155 - 171.
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  6. John A. Winnie (1977). The Causal Theory of Space-Time. In John Earman, Clark Glymour & John Stachel (eds.), Foundations of Space-Time Theories. University of Minnesota Press.
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Conventionalism about Spacetime
  1. Robert DiSalle (2010). Synthesis, the Synthetic a Priori, and the Origins of Modern Space-Time Theory. In Michael Friedman, Mary Domski & Michael Dickson (eds.), Discourse on a New Method: Reinvigorating the Marriage of History and Philosophy of Science. Open Court.
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  2. Lionel Stefan Shapiro (1994). 'Coordinative Definition' and Reichenbach's Semantic Framework: A Reassessment. Erkenntnis 41 (3):287 - 323.
    Reichenbach's Philosophy of Space and Time (1928) avoids most of the logical positivist pitfalls it is generally held to exemplify, notably both conventionalism and verificationism. To see why, we must appreciate that Reichenbach's interest lies in how mathematical structures can be used to describe reality, not in how words like 'distance' acquire meaning. Examination of his proposed "coordinative definition" of congruence shows that Reichenbach advocates a reductionist analysis of the relations figuring in physical geometry (contrary to common readings that attribute (...)
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  3. Eran Tal (forthcoming). Making Time: A Study in the Epistemology of Measurement. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    This article develops a model-based account of the standardization of physical measurement, taking the contemporary standardization of time as its central case-study. To standardize the measurement of a quantity, I argue, is to legislate the mode of application of a quantity-concept to a collection of exemplary artefacts. Legislation involves an iterative exchange between top-down adjustments to theoretical and statistical models regulating the application of a concept, and bottom-up adjustments to material artefacts in light of remaining gaps. The model-based account clarifies (...)
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  4. David Zaret (1979). Absolute Space and Conventionalism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (3):211-226.
Relationism about Spacetime
  1. Jeeva Anandan & Harvey R. Brown (1995). On the Reality of Space-Time Geometry and the Wavefunction. Foundations of Physics 25 (2):349--60.
    The action-reaction principle (AR) is examined in three contexts: (1) the inertial-gravitational interaction between a particle and space-time geometry, (2) protective observation of an extended wave function of a single particle, and (3) the causal-stochastic or Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics. A new criterion of reality is formulated using the AR principle. This criterion implies that the wave function of a single particle is real and justifies in the Bohm interpretation the dual ontology of the particle and its associated wave (...)
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  2. Julian B. Barbour (1982). Relational Concepts of Space and Time. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 33 (3):251-274.
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  3. Gordon Belot, Some Background to the Absolute-Relational Debate.
    Some notes discussing some of the ancient and medieval background to the absolute-relational debate.
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  4. Gordon Belot (1999). Rehabilitating Relationalism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (1):35 – 52.
    I argue that the conviction, widespread among philosophers, that substantivalism enjoys a clear superiority over relationalism in both Newtonian and relativistic physics is ill-founded. There are viable relationalist approaches to understanding these theories, and the substantival-relational debate should be of interest to philosophers and physicists alike, because of its connection with questions about the correct space of states for various physical theories.
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  5. Jiri Benovsky (2011). The Relationist and Substantivalist Theories of Time: Foes or Friends? European Journal of Philosophy 19 (4):491-506.
    Abstract: There are two traditionally rival views about the nature of time: substantivalism that takes time to be a substance that exists independently of events located in it, and relationism that takes time to be constructed out of events. In this paper, first, I want to make some progress with respect to the debate between these two views, and I do this mainly by examining the strategies they use to face the possibilities of ‘empty time’ and ‘time without change’. As (...)
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  6. Carolyn Brighouse (1999). Incongruent Counterparts and Modal Relationism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (1):53 – 68.
    Kant's argument from incongruent counterparts for substantival space is examined; it is concluded that the argument has no force against a relationist. The argument does suggest that a relationist cannot give an account of enantiomorphism, incongruent counterparts and orientability. The prospects for a relationist account of these notions are assessed, and it is found that they are good provided the relationist is some kind of modal relationist. An illustration and interpretation of these modal commitments is given.
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  7. Harvey R. Brown & Oliver Pooley (2006). Minkowski Space-Time: A Glorious Non-Entity. In Dennis Dieks (ed.), The Ontology of Spacetime. Elsevier. 67--89.
    It is argued that Minkowski space-time cannot serve as the deep structure within a ``constructive'' version of the special theory of relativity, contrary to widespread opinion in the philosophical community.
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  8. Dennis Dieks (2001). Space-Time Relationism in Newtonian and Relativistic Physics. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 15 (1):5 – 17.
    I argue that there is natural relationist interpretation of Newtonian and relativistic non-quantum physics. Although relationist, this interpretation does not fall prey to the traditional objections based on the existence of inertial effects.
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  9. Dennis Geert Bernardus Johan Dieks (ed.) (2006). The Ontology of Spacetime. Elsevier.
    This book contains selected papers from the First International Conference on the Ontology of Spacetime. Its fourteen chapters address two main questions: first, what is the current status of the substantivalism/relationalism debate, and second, what about the prospects of presentism and becoming within present-day physics and its philosophy? The overall tenor of the four chapters of the book’s first part is that the prospects of spacetime substantivalism are bleak, although different possible positions remain with respect to the ontological status of (...)
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  10. Mauro Dorato & Massimo Pauri, Holism and Structuralism in Classical and Quantum General Relativity.
    The main aim of our paper is to show that interpretative issues belonging to classical General Relativity (GR) might be preliminary to a deeper understanding of conceptual problems stemming from on-going attempts at constructing a quantum theory of gravity. Among such interpretative issues, we focus on the meaning of general covariance and the related question of the identity of points, by basing our investigation on the Hamiltonian formulation of GR. In particular, we argue that the adoption of a peculiar gauge-fixing (...)
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  11. John Earman (1989). World Enough and Spacetime. MIT press.
  12. E. J. Furlong (1982). On Being "Embrangled" by Time. In Colin M. Turbayne (ed.), Berkeley: Critical and Interpretive Essays.
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  13. Carl Hoefer (1998). Absolute Versus Relational Spacetime: For Better or Worse, the Debate Goes On. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (3):451-467.
    The traditional absolutist-relationist debate is still clearly formulable in the context of General Relativity Theory (GTR), despite the important differences between Einstein's theory and the earlier context of Newtonian physics. This paper answers recent arguments by Robert Rynasiewicz against the significance of the debate in the GTR context. In his (1996) (‘Absolute vs. Relational Spacetime: An Outmoded Debate?’), Rynasiewicz argues that already in the late nineteenth century, and even more so in the context of General Relativity theory, the terms of (...)
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  14. Paul Horwich (1978). On the Existence of Time, Space and Space-Time. Noûs 12 (4):397-419.
  15. Nick Huggett, Absolute and Relational Theories of Space and Motion. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Since antiquity, natural philosophers have struggled to comprehend the nature of three tightly interconnected concepts: space, time, and motion. A proper understanding of motion, in particular, has been seen to be crucial for deciding questions about the natures of space and time, and their interconnections. Since the time of Newton and Leibniz, philosophers’ struggles to comprehend these concepts have often appeared to take the form of a dispute between absolute conceptions of space, time and motion, and relational conceptions. This article (...)
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  16. Nick Huggett (2006). The Regularity Account of Relational Spacetime. Mind 115 (457):41--73.
    A version of relationism that takes spatiotemporal structures—spatial geometry and a standard of inertia—to supervene on the history of relations between bodies is described and defended. The account is used to explain how the relationist should construe models of Newtonian mechanics in which absolute acceleration manifestly does not supervene on the relations; Ptolemaic and Copernican models for example. The account introduces a new way in which a Lewis-style ‘best system’ might capture regularities in a broadly Humean world; a defence is (...)
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  17. Nick Huggett (1999). Why Manifold Substantivalism is Probably Not a Consequence of Classical Mechanics. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (1):17 – 34.
    This paper develops and defends three related forms of relationism about spacetime against attacks by contemporary substantivalists. It clarifies Newton's globes argument to show that it does not bear on relations that fail to determine geodesic motions, since the inertial effects on which Newton relies are not simply correlated with affine structure, but must be understood in dynamical terms. It develops remarks by Sklar and van Fraassen into relational versions of Newtonian mechanics, and argues that Earman does not show them (...)
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  18. Tim Maudlin (2009). Space, Absolute, and Relational. In Robin Le Poidevin (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. Routledge.
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  19. Tim Maudlin (1993). Buckets of Water and Waves of Space: Why Spacetime is Probably a Substance. Philosophy of Science 60 (2):183-203.
    This paper sketches a taxonomy of forms of substantivalism and relationism concerning space and time, and of the traditional arguments for these positions. Several natural sorts of relationism are able to account for Newton's bucket experiment. Conversely, appropriately constructed substantivalism can survive Leibniz's critique, a fact which has been obscured by the conflation of two of Leibniz's arguments. The form of relationism appropriate to the Special Theory of Relativity is also able to evade the problems raised by Field. I survey (...)
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  20. Jill North (2009). The “Structure” of Physics. Journal of Philosophy 106 (2):57-88.
    We are used to talking about the “structure” posited by a given theory of physics. We say that relativity is a theory about spacetime structure. Special relativity posits one spacetime structure; different models of general relativity posit different spacetime structures. We also talk of the “existence” of these structures. Special relativity says the world’s spacetime structure is Minkowskian: it posits that this spacetime structure exists. Understanding structure in this sense seems important for understanding what physics is telling us about the (...)
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  21. Oliver Pooley, Relationism Rehabilitated? II: Relativity.
    In a companion paper (Pooley & Brown 2001) it is argued that Julian Barbour's Machian approach to dynamics provides a genuinely relational interpretation of Newtonian dynamics and that it is more explanatory than the conventional, substantival interpretation. In this paper the extension of the approach to relativistic physics is considered. General relativity, it turns out, can be reinterpreted as a perfectly Machian theory. However, there are difficulties with viewing the Machian interpretation as more fundamental than the conventional, spacetime interpretation. Moreover, (...)
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  22. Oliver Pooley (2013). Substantivalist and Relationalist Approaches to Spacetime. In Robert Batterman (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics. Oxford University Press.
    Substantivalists believe that spacetime and its parts are fundamental constituents of reality. Relationalists deny this, claiming that spacetime enjoys only a derivative existence. I begin by describing how the Galilean symmetries of Newtonian physics tell against both Newton's brand of substantivalism and the most obvious relationalist alternative. I then review the (now) obvious substantivalist response to the problem, which is to ditch substantival space for substantival spacetime. The resulting position has many affinities with what are arguably the most natural interpretations (...)
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  23. Oliver Pooley (2004). Comments on Sklar's ``Barbour's Relationist Metric of Time''. Chronos 6:77-86.
    Julian Barbour's approach to dynamics is reviewed. With a particular focus on questions of explanation and confirmation, the approach is contrasted with standard formulations of dynamics. This paper expands upon my commentary on Lawrence Sklar's paper at the Philosophy of Time Society meeting at the APA's Central Division meeting in Chicago, April 2004. Although a commentary, the current paper is comprehensible without reference to Sklar's paper.
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  24. Oliver Pooley & Harvey R. Brown (2002). Relationalism Rehabilitated? I: Classical Mechanics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (2):183--204.
    The implications for the substantivalist–relationalist controversy of Barbour and Bertotti's successful implementation of a Machian approach to dynamics are investigated. It is argued that in the context of Newtonian mechanics, the Machian framework provides a genuinely relational interpretation of dynamics and that it is more explanatory than the conventional, substantival interpretation. In a companion paper (Pooley [2002a]), the viability of the Machian framework as an interpretation of relativistic physics is explored. 1 Introduction 2 Newton versus Leibniz 3 Absolute space versus (...)
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  25. Vernon Pratt (1968). Time to Stop. Analysis 29 (2):52 - 53.
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  26. John T. Roberts (2003). Leibniz on Force and Absolute Motion. Philosophy of Science 70 (3):553-573.
    I elaborate and defend an interpretation of Leibniz on which he is committed to a stronger space-time structure than so-called Leibnizian space-time, with absolute speeds grounded in his concept of force rather than in substantival space and time. I argue that this interpretation is well-motivated by Leibniz's mature writings, that it renders his views on space, time, motion, and force consistent with his metaphysics, and that it makes better sense of his replies to Clarke than does the standard interpretation. Further, (...)
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  27. Alexander Rueger (1996). What Spacetime Explains. Review of Metaphysics 49 (3):670-671.
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