David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 37 (1):174-191 (2006)
In his general theory of relativity (GR) Einstein sought to generalize the special-relativistic equivalence of inertial frames to a principle according to which all frames of reference are equivalent. He claimed to have achieved this aim through the general covariance of the equations of GR. There is broad consensus among philosophers of relativity that Einstein was mistaken in this. That equations can be made to look the same in different frames certainly does not imply in general that such frames are physically equivalent. We shall argue, however, that Einstein's position is tenable. The equivalence of arbitrary frames in GR should not be equated with relativity of arbitrary motion, though. There certainly are observable differences between reference frames in GR (differences in the way particles move and fields evolve). The core of our defense of Einstein's position will be to argue that such differences should be seen as fact-like rather than law-like in GR. By contrast, in classical mechanics and in special relativity (SR) the differences between inertial systems and accelerated systems have a law-like status. The fact-like character of the differences between frames in GR justifies regarding them as equivalent in the same sense as inertial frames in SR.
|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
D. G. B. J. Dieks (2011). E. W. Beth as a Philosopher of Physics. Synthese 179 (2):271 - 284.
Alexander Afriat & Ermenegildo Caccese (2010). The Relativity of Inertia and Reality of Nothing. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (1):9-26.
Michel Janssen (2012). The Twins and the Bucket: How Einstein Made Gravity Rather Than Motion Relative in General Relativity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 43 (3):159-175.
Eleanor Knox (2013). Effective Spacetime Geometry. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 44 (3):346-356.
Márton Gömöri & László E. Szabó (2013). Formal Statement of the Special Principle of Relativity. Synthese:1-24.
Similar books and articles
Toshio Ishigaki (1995). A Formal System for Classical Particle Mechanics, its Model-Theoretic Applications and Space-Time Structure. Synthese 102 (2):267 - 292.
Michel Ghins & Tim Budden (2001). The Principle of Equivalence. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (1):33-51.
Allen I. Janis (1969). Synchronism by Slow Transport of Clocks in Noninertial Frames of Reference. Philosophy of Science 36 (1):74-81.
Roger Jones (1980). Is General Relativity Generally Relativistic? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:363 - 381.
Peter Gabriel Bergmann (1942). Introduction to the Theory of Relativity. New York, Prentice-Hall, Inc..
Robert Goldblatt (2006). Maps and Monads for Modal Frames. Studia Logica 83 (1-3):309 - 331.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads77 ( #26,084 of 1,696,592 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #94,197 of 1,696,592 )
How can I increase my downloads?