Whatever is never and nowhere is not: Space, time, and ontology in classical and quantum gravity

Abstract
Substantivalists claim that spacetime enjoys an existence analogous to that of material bodies, while relationalists seek to reduce spacetime to sets of possible spatiotemporal relations. The resulting debate has been central to the philosophy of space and time since the Scientific Revolution. Recently, many philosophers of physics have turned away from the debate, claiming that it is no longer of any relevance to physics. At the same time, there has been renewed interest in the debate among physicists working on quantum gravity, who claim that the conceptual problems which they face are intimately related to interpretative questions concerning general relativity (GR). My goal is to show that the physicists are correct—there is a close relationship between the interpretative issues of classical and quantum gravity.
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