David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 76 (1):44-72 (2009)
I argue that, contrary to the recent claims of physicists and philosophers of physics, general relativity requires no interpretation in any substantive sense of the term. I canvass the common reasons given in favor of the alleged need for an interpretation, including the difficulty in coming to grips with the physical significance of diffeomorphism invariance and of singular structure, and the problems faced in the search for a theory of quantum gravity. I find that none of them shows any defect in our comprehension of general relativity as a physical theory. I conclude by comparing general relativity with quantum mechanics, a theory that manifestly does stand in need of an interpretation in an important sense. Although many aspects of the conceptual structure of general relativity remain poorly understood, it suffers no incoherence in its formulation as a physical theory that only an ‘interpretation’ could resolve. *Received November 2007; revised February 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 817 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15260; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . When science starts to be interpretive it is more unscientific even than mysticism. (D. H. Lawrence, “Self‐Protection”).
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
James Mattingly (2001). Singularities and Scalar Fields: Matter Theory and General Relativity. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S395-.
Roger Jones (1980). Is General Relativity Generally Relativistic? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:363 - 381.
Jeroen van Dongen (2010). Einstein's Unification. Cambridge University Press.
Harvey R. Brown (1997). On the Role of Special Relativity in General Relativity. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (1):67 – 81.
Yuri Balashov & Michel Janssen (2003). Presentism and Relativity. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):327-346.
Gordon Belot (1996). Why General Relativity Does Need an Interpretation. Philosophy of Science 63 (3):88.
Added to index2009-04-22
Total downloads103 ( #12,021 of 1,102,060 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #128,871 of 1,102,060 )
How can I increase my downloads?