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  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. Final version appears as Appendix C in my book, Geometric Possibility.
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  4. Gordon Belot (2000). Geometry and Motion. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (4):561--95.
    I will discuss only one of the several entwined strands of the philosophy of space and time, the question of the relation between the nature of motion and the geometrical structure of the world.1 This topic has many of the virtues of the best philosophy of science. It is of long-standing philosophical interest and has a rich history of connections to problems of physics. It has loomed large in discussions of space and time among contemporary philosophers of science. Furthermore, there (...)
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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. Jiri Benovsky (2010). Relational and Substantival Ontologies, and the Nature and the Role of Primitives in Ontological Theories. Erkenntnis 73 (1):101-121.
    Several metaphysical debates have typically been modeled as oppositions between a relationist approach and a substantivalist approach. Such debates include the Bundle Theory and the Substratum Theory about ordinary material objects, the Bundle (Humean) Theory and the Substance (Cartesian) Theory of the Self, and Relationism and Substantivalism about time. In all three debates, the substantivalist side typically insists that in order to provide a good treatment of the subject-matter of the theory (time, Self, material objects), it is necessary to postulate (...)
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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. Favio Cala Vitery, Relational Spacetime Ontology.
    In the aftermath of the rediscovery of Einstein’s hole argument by Earman and Norton (1987), we hear that the ontological relational/substantival debate over the status of spacetime seems to have reached stable grounds. Despite Einstein’s early intention to cast GR’s spacetime as a relational entity à la Leibniz-Mach, most philosophers of science feel comfortable with the now standard sophisticated substantivalist (SS) account of spacetime. Furthermore, most philosophers share the impression that although relational accounts of certain highly restricted models of GR (...)
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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. John Earman (1989). World Enough and Spacetime. MIT Press.
  16. Martin F. Fricke (2012). Perspectivas modernas: Leibniz, Newton y Kant. In Rosario Gómez, Adam Sellen & Arturo Taracena Arriola (eds.), Diálogos sobre los espacios: imaginados, percibidos y construidos. UNAM 47-78.
    El capítulo introduce al debate sobre la naturaleza del espacio entre Leibniz y Clarke/Newton y a la posición que adopta Kant más tarde. En particular, se exponen los dos principales argumentos de Leibniz, basados en los Principios de Razón Suficiente e Identidad de Indiscernibles, en favor del relacionismo así como algunas respuestas de Clarke/Newton. También se presenta el argumento basado en la orientación del espacio que propuso Kant en 1768 para refutar al relacionismo de Leibniz. Se concluye con una breve (...)
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  17. E. J. Furlong (1982). On Being "Embrangled" by Time. In Colin M. Turbayne (ed.), Berkeley: Critical and Interpretive Essays.
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  18. Sophie Gibb (2006). Space, Supervenence and Entailment. Philosophical Papers 35 (2):171-184.
    Le Poidevin has recently presented an argument that gives rise to a serious problem for relationist theories of space. It appeals to the simple geometrical fact that if A, B and C are three points lying in a straight line, then AB and BC together entail AC. He suggests that an ontological relationship of supervenience must be appealed to to explain this entailment. Given this thesis of supervenience, relationism is implausible. I argue that the problem that Le Poidevin raises for (...)
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  19. 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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  20. Paul Horwich (1978). On the Existence of Time, Space and Space-Time. Noûs 12 (4):397-419.
  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. John-Michael Kuczynski (2016). Aggregative Properties and Emergent Properties. Amazon Digital Services LLC.
    It is said what aggregative properties are and also what emergent properties are, and examples are given each of kind of property. It is also explained why, even though all emergent properties are aggregative properties, not all aggregative properties are emergent properties. It is further made clear that, strictly speaking, emergence is a property of one's knowledge of a given kind of aggregate, and not of such aggregates themselves, this being why a property that is emergent at one time will, (...)
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  25. Baptiste Le Bihan (2016). Super-Relationism: Combining Eliminativism About Objects and Relationism About Spacetime. Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2151-2172.
    I will introduce and motivate eliminativist super-relationism. This is the conjunction of relationism about spacetime and eliminativism about material objects. According to the view, the universe is a big collection of spatio-temporal relations and natural properties, and no substance (material or spatio-temporal) exists in it. The view is original since eliminativism about material objects, when understood as including not only ordinary objects like tables or chairs but also physical particles, is generally taken to imply substantivalism about spacetime: if properties are (...)
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  26. Robin le Poidevin (2006). Truth-Makers and Geometrical Inference: Reply to Gibb. Philosophical Papers 35 (2):185-191.
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  27. Robin Le Poidevin (2004). Space, Supervenience and Substantivalism. Analysis 64 (3):191–198.
  28. Martin Lin (forthcoming). Leibniz on the Modal Status of Absolute Space. Noûs.
  29. Tim Maudlin (2009). Space, Absolute, and Relational. In Robin Le Poidevin (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. Routledge
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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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 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 of (...)
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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. Vernon Pratt (1968). Time to Stop. Analysis 29 (2):52 - 53.
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  36. 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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  37. Alexander Rueger (1996). What Spacetime Explains. Review of Metaphysics 49 (3):670-671.
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  38. Jeffrey Sanford Russell (2014). On Where Things Could Be. Philosophy of Science 81 (1):60-80.
    Some philosophers respond to Leibniz’s “shift” argument against absolute space by appealing to antihaecceitism about possible worlds, using David Lewis’s counterpart theory. But separated from Lewis’s distinctive system, it is difficult to understand what this doctrine amounts to or how it bears on the Leibnizian argument. In fact, the best way of making sense of the relevant kind of antihaecceitism concedes the main point of the Leibnizian argument, pressing us to consider alternative spatiotemporal metaphysics.
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  39. Robert Rynasiewicz (1996). Absolute Versus Relational Space-Time: An Outmoded Debate? Journal of Philosophy 93 (6):279-306.
  40. Bradford Skow (2007). Sklar's Maneuver. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (4):777 - 786.
    Sklar ([1974]) claimed that relationalism about ontology-the doctrine that space and time do not exist-is compatible with Newtonian mechanics. To defend this claim he sketched a relationalist interpretation of Newtonian mechanics. In his interpretation, absolute acceleration is a fundamental, intrinsic property of material bodies; that a body undergoes absolute acceleration does not entail that space and time exist. But Sklar left his proposal as just a sketch; his defense of relationalism succeeds only if the sketch can be filled in. I (...)
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  41. Edward Slowik (2015). The ‘Space’ at the Intersection of Platonism and Nominalism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (2):393-408.
    This essay explores the use of platonist and nominalist concepts, derived from the philosophy of mathematics and metaphysics, as a means of elucidating the debate on spacetime ontology and the spatial structures endorsed by scientific realists. Although the disputes associated with platonism and nominalism often mirror the complexities involved with substantivalism and relationism, it will be argued that a more refined three-part distinction among platonist/nominalist categories can nonetheless provide unique insights into the core assumptions that underlie spatial ontologies, but it (...)
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  42. Edward Slowik (2013). The Deep Metaphysics of Quantum Gravity: The Seventeenth Century Legacy and an Alternative Ontology Beyond Substantivalism and Relationism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):490-499.
    This essay presents an alternative to contemporary substantivalist and relationist interpretations of quantum gravity hypotheses by means of an historical comparison with the ontology of space in the seventeenth century. Utilizing differences in the spatial geometry between the foundational theory and the theory derived from the foundational, in conjunction with nominalism and platonism, it will be argued that there are crucial similarities between seventeenth century and contemporary theories of space, and that these similarities reveal a host of underlying conceptual issues (...)
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  43. Edward Slowik (2012). The 'Properties' of Leibnizian Space: Whither Relationism? Intellectual History Review 22 (1):107-129.
    This essay examines the metaphysical foundation of Leibniz’s theory of space against the backdrop of the subtantivalism/relationism debate and at the ontological level of material bodies and properties. As will be demonstrated, the details of Leibniz’ theory defy a straightforward categorization employing the standard relationism often attributed to his views. Rather, a more careful analysis of his metaphysical doctrines related to bodies and space will reveal the importance of a host of concepts, such as the foundational role of God, the (...)
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  44. Edward Slowik (2006). The “Dynamics” of Leibnizian Relationism: Reference Frames and Force in Leibniz's Plenum. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 37 (4):617-634.
    This paper explores various metaphysical aspects of Leibniz’s concepts of space, motion, and matter, with the intention of demonstrating how the distinctive role of force in Leibnizian physics can be used to develop a theory of relational motion using privileged reference frames. Although numerous problems will remain for a consistent Leibnizian relationist account, the version developed within our investigation will advance the work of previous commentators by more accurately reflecting the specific details of Leibniz’s own natural philosophy, especially his handling (...)
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  45. Edward Slowik (2005). Spacetime, Ontology, and Structural Realism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (2):147 – 166.
    This essay explores the possibility of constructing a structural realist interpretation of spacetime theories that can resolve the ontological debate between substantivalists and relationists. Drawing on various structuralist approaches in the philosophy of mathematics, as well as on the theoretical complexities of general relativity, our investigation will reveal that a structuralist approach can be beneficial to the spacetime theorist as a means of deflating some of the ontological disputes regarding similarly structured spacetimes.
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  46. Edward Slowik (2005). On the Cartesian Ontology of General Relativity: Or, Conventionalism in the History of the Substantival-Relational Debate. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1312-1323.
    Utilizing Einstein’s comparison of General Relativity and Descartes’ physics, this investigation explores the alleged conventionalism that pervades the ontology of substantival and relationist conceptions of spacetime. Although previously discussed, namely by Rynasiewicz and Hoefer, it will be argued that the close similarities between General Relativity and Cartesian physics have not been adequately treated in the literature—and that the disclosure of these similarities bolsters the case for a conventionalist interpretation of spacetime ontology.
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  47. Edward Slowik (2002). Descartes' Forgotten Hypotheses on Motion. Journal of Philosophical Research 27:433-448.
    This essay explores two of the more neglected hypotheses that comprise, or supplement, Descartes’ relationalist doctrine of bodily motion. These criteria are of great importance, for they would appear to challenge Descartes’ principal judgment that motion is a purely reciprocal change of a body’s contiguous neighborhood. After critiquing the work of the few commentators who have previously examined these forgotten hypotheses, mainly, D. Garber and M. Gueroult, the overall strengths and weaknesses of Descartes’ supplementary criteria will be assessed. Overall, despite (...)
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  48. Edward Slowik (1999). Descartes' Quantity of Motion: 'New Age' Holism Meets the Cartesian Conservation Principle. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80 (2):178–202.
    This essay explores various problematical aspects of Descartes' conservation principle for the quantity of motion (size times speed), particularly its largely neglected "dual role" as a measure of both durational motion and instantaneous "tendencies towards motion". Overall, an underlying non-local, or "holistic", element of quantity of motion (largely derived from his statics) will be revealed as central to a full understanding of the conservation principle's conceptual development and intended operation; and this insight can be of use in responding to some (...)
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  49. Edward Slowik (1999). Descartes, Spacetime, and Relational Motion. Philosophy of Science 66 (1):117-139.
    This paper examines Descartes' problematic relational theory of motion, especially when viewed within the context of his dynamics, the Cartesian natural laws. The work of various commentators on Cartesian motion is also surveyed, with particular emphasis placed upon the recent important texts of Garber and Des Chene. In contrast to the methodology of most previous interpretations, however, this essay employs a modern "spacetime" approach to the problem. By this means, the role of dynamics in Descartes' theory, which has often been (...)
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  50. Edward Slowik (1998). Cartesianism and the Kinematics of Mechanisms: Or, How to Find Fixed Reference Frames in a Cartesian Space-Time. Noûs 32 (3):364-385.
    In De gravitatione, Newton contends that Descartes' physics is fundamentally untenable since the "fixed" spatial landmarks required to ground the concept of inertial motion cannot be secured in the constantly changing Cartesian plenum. Likewise, it is has often been alleged that the collision rules in Descartes' Principles of Philosophy undermine the "relational" view of space and motion advanced in this text. This paper attempts to meet these challenges by investigating the theory of connected gears (or "kinematics of mechanisms") for a (...)
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