David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):709-753 (2006)
This paper forms part of a wider campaign: to deny em pointillisme. That is the doctrine that a physical theory's fundamental quantities are defined at points of space or of spacetime, and represent intrinsic properties of such points or point-sized objects located there; so that properties of spatial or spatiotemporal regions and their material contents are determined by the point-by-point facts. More specifically, this paper argues against pointillisme about the concept of velocity in classical mechanics; especially against proposals by Tooley, Robinson and Lewis. A companion paper argues against pointillisme about (chrono)-geometry, as proposed by Bricker. To avoid technicalities, I conduct the argument almost entirely in the context of ``Newtonian'' ideas about space and time, and the classical mechanics of point-particles, i.e. extensionless particles moving in a void. But both the debate and my arguments carry over to relativistic physics.
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Citations of this work BETA
Mark Bickhard (2011). Some Consequences (and Enablings) of Process Metaphysics. Axiomathes 21 (1):3-32.
David Wallace & Christopher Gordon Timpson (2010). Quantum Mechanics on Spacetime I: Spacetime State Realism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):697-727.
Vincent Lam (2007). The Singular Nature of Spacetime. Philosophy of Science 74 (5):712-723.
Vassilios Karakostas (2008). Humean Supervenience in the Light of Contemporary Science. Metaphysica 10 (1):1-26.
Roger Harris (2010). Do Material Things Have Intrinsic Properties? Metaphysica 11 (2):105-117.
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