David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Erkenntnis 42 (3):317-337 (1995)
Discussions of the metaphysical status of spacetime assume that a spacetime theory offers a causal explanation of phenomena of relative motion, and that the fundamental philosophical question is whether the inference to that explanation is warranted. I argue that those assumptions are mistaken, because they ignore the essential character of spacetime theory as a kind of physical geometry. As such, a spacetime theory does notcausally explain phenomena of motion, but uses them to construct physicaldefinitions of basic geometrical structures by coordinating them with dynamical laws. I suggest that this view of spacetime theories leads to a clearer view of the philosophical foundations of general relativity and its place in the historical evolution of spacetime theory. I also argue that this view provides a much clearer and more defensible account of what is entailed by realism concerning spacetime.
|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
Michael Friedman (2007). Understanding Space-Time. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (1):216--225.
Hilary Greaves (2011). In Search of (Spacetime) Structuralism. Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):189-204.
William Harper (2000). Michael Friedman on Kant and Newton. Dialogue 39 (02):279-.
Alberto A. Martínez (2007). There's No Pain in the FitzGerald Contraction, is There? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (1):209-215.
Similar books and articles
John Norton (1988). The Hole Argument. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:56 - 64.
Mauro Dorato, Is Structural Spacetime Realism Relationism in Disguise? The Supererogatory Nature of the Substantivalism/Relationism Debate.
Y. S. (2001). Spacetime as a Fundamental and Inalienable Structure of Fields. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (2):205-215.
Vincent Lam (2007). The Singular Nature of Spacetime. Philosophy of Science 74 (5):712-723.
John Earman & John Norton (1987). What Price Spacetime Substantivalism? The Hole Story. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (4):515-525.
W. G. Kudszus (1997). Acknowledgements. The Chesterton Review 23 (1-2):3-3.
Robert DiSalle (1992). Einstein, Newton and the Empirical Foundations of Space Time Geometry. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 6 (3):181 – 189.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads71 ( #22,793 of 1,139,859 )
Recent downloads (6 months)20 ( #9,810 of 1,139,859 )
How can I increase my downloads?