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  1. Constantin Antonopoulos (2004). Moving Without Being Where You're Not; a Non-Bivalent Way. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 35 (2):235 - 259.
    The classical response to Zeno’s paradoxes goes like this: ‘Motion cannot properly be defined within an instant. Only over a period’ (Vlastos.) I show that this ob-jection is exactly what it takes for Zeno to be right. If motion cannot be defined at an instant, even though the object is always moving at that instant, motion cannot be defined at all, for any longer period of time identical in content to that instant. The nonclassical response introduces discontinuity, to evade the (...)
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  2. Yuri Balashov (2012). Do Composite Objects Have an Age in Relativistic Spacetime? Philosophia Naturalis 49 (1):9-23.
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  3. J. Butterfield (1984). Relationism and Possible Worlds. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 35 (2):101-113.
    Relationism claims that our physical theory does not commit us to spacetime points. I consider how a relationist might rewrite physical theories without referring to spacetime points, by appealing to possible objects and possible configurations of objects. I argue that a number of difficulties confront this project. I also argue that a relationist need not be Machian in the sense of claiming that objects' spatiotemporal relations determine whether any object is accelerating.
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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Mauro Dorato, Is Structural Spacetime Realism Relationism in Disguise? The Supererogatory Nature of the Substantivalism/Relationism Debate.
    The paper defends two claims;(1) Viewed from the perspective of the substantivalism/relationism debate, structural spacetime realism (i.e., the view that spacetime is exemplified structure) is a form of relationism; (2) However, if we managed to reinforce Rynasiewicz’s (1996) point that the general theory of relativity makes the substantivalism/relationism dispute “outdated”, the re-elaboration of Stein’s 1967 version of structural spacetime realism to be proposed here proves to be a good, antimetaphysical solution to the problem of the ontological status of spacetime.
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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. Gregory Fowler (2007). Holes as Regions of Spacetime. The Monist 90 (3):372-378.
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  10. Jerzy Gołosz (2000). O tzw. argumencie dziury. Filozofia Nauki 1.
    Th author submits to a critical analysis the argument of the hole, which has been formulated by Einstein and later developed by Earman and Norton. The aim of the analysis is an evaluation of the assumption made in the argument and the possibility of avoiding its indeterministic consequences. It turns out that it is a particular form of substantivalism assumed by Earman and Norton which is responsible for the indeterministic consequences of the argument. It follows that those consequences can be (...)
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  11. Carl Hoefer (1992). General Relativity and Spacetime Relationism. Dissertation, Stanford University
    This dissertation takes up the project of showing that, in the context of the general theory of relativity , spacetime relationism is not a refuted or hopeless view, as many in the recent literature have maintained . Most of the challenges to the relationist view in General Relativity can be satisfactorily answered; in addition, the opposing absolutist and substantivalist views of spacetime can be shown to be problematic. The crucial burden for relationists concerned with GTR is to show that the (...)
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  12. 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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  13. Dennis Lehmkuhl (ed.) (forthcoming). Towards a Theory of Spacetime Theories (Einstein Studies Series).
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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. Robert Rynasiewicz (1992). Rings, Holes and Substantivalism: On the Program of Leibniz Algebras. Philosophy of Science 59 (4):572-589.
    In a number of publications, John Earman has advocated a tertium quid to the usual dichotomy between substantivalism and relationism concerning the nature of spacetime. The idea is that the structure common to the members of an equivalence class of substantival models is captured by a Leibniz algebra which can then be taken to directly characterize the intrinsic reality only indirectly represented by the substantival models. An alleged virtue of this is that, while a substantival interpretation of spacetime theories falls (...)
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  18. Jonathan Schaffer (2009). Spacetime the One Substance. Philosophical Studies 145 (1):131 - 148.
    What is the relation between material objects and spacetime regions? Supposing that spacetime regions are one sort of substance, there remains the question of whether or not material objects are a second sort of substance. This is the question of dualistic versus monistic substantivalism. I will defend the monistic view. In particular, I will maintain that material objects should be identified with spacetime regions. There is the spacetime manifold, and the fundamental properties are pinned directly to it.
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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. Hans Westman & Sebastiano Sonego (2008). Events and Observables in Generally Invariant Spacetime Theories. Foundations of Physics 38 (10):908-915.
    We address the problem of observables in generally invariant spacetime theories such as Einstein’s general relativity. Using the refined notion of an event as a “point-coincidence” between scalar fields that completely characterise a spacetime model, we propose a generalisation of the relational local observables that does not require the existence of four everywhere invertible scalar fields. The collection of all point-coincidences forms in generic situations a four-dimensional manifold, that is naturally identified with the physical spacetime.
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Causal Theories of Spacetime
  1. Erik C. Banks (2014). The Realistic Empiricism of Mach, James, and Russell: Neutral Monism Reconceived. 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 (2015). Causal Order, Temporal Order, and Becoming in Special Relativity. Topoi 34 (1):277-281.
    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. Rowan Grigg, A Case for Lattice Schemes in Fundamental Physics.
    A synthesis of trending topics in pancomputationalism. I introduce the notion that "strange loops" engender the most atomic levels of physical reality, and introduce a mechanism for global non-locality. Writen in a simple and accesssible style, it seeks to draw research in fundamental physics back to realism, and have a bit of fun in the process.
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  5. 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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  6. Lawrence Sklar (1977). What Might Be Right About the Causal Theory of Time. Synthese 35 (2):155 - 171.
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  7. 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:axu037.
    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. Roberto Torretti (1983/1996). Relativity and Geometry. Dover Publications.
    This high-level study discusses Newtonian principles and 19th-century views on electrodynamics and the aether. Additional topics include Einstein's electrodynamics of moving bodies, Minkowski spacetime, gravitational geometry, time and causality, and other subjects. Highlights include a rich exposition of the elements of the special and general theories of relativity.
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  5. 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. Franz Brentano (1988). Philosophical Investigations on Space, Time, and the Continuum. Routledge & Kegan Paul.
    Franz Brentano is recognised as one of the most important philosophers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This work, first published in English in 1988, besides being an important contribution to metaphysics in its own right, has considerable historical importance through its influence on Husserl’s views on internal time consciousness. The work is preceded by a long introduction by Stephan Körner in collaboration with Brentano’s literary executor Roderick Chisholm. It is translated by Barry Smith.
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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. John Earman (1989). World Enough and Spacetime. MIT press.
  13. E. J. Furlong (1982). On Being "Embrangled" by Time. In Colin M. Turbayne (ed.), Berkeley: Critical and Interpretive Essays.
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  14. 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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  15. Paul Horwich (1978). On the Existence of Time, Space and Space-Time. Noûs 12 (4):397-419.
  16. Nick Huggett, Absolute and Relational Theories of Space and Motion.
    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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  17. 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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