David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 141 (3):381 - 415 (2004)
All change involves temporal variation of properties. There is change in the physical world only if genuine physical magnitudes take on different values at different times. I defend the possibility of change in a general relativistic world against two skeptical arguments recently presented by John Earman. Each argument imposes severe restrictions on what may count as a genuine physical magnitude in general relativity. These restrictions seem justified only as long as one ignores the fact that genuine change in a relativistic world is frame-dependent. I argue on the contrary that there are genuine physical magnitudes whose values typically vary with the time of some frame, and that these include most familiar measurable quantities. Frame-dependent temporal variation in these magnitudes nevertheless supervenes on the unchanging values of more basic physical magnitudes in a general relativistic world. Basic magnitudes include those that realize an observer's occupation of a frame. Change is a significant and observable feature of a general relativistic world only because our situation in such a world naturally picks out a relevant class of frames, even if we lack the descriptive resources to say how they are realized by the values of basic underlying physical magnitudes.
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy Epistemology Logic Metaphysics Philosophy of Language|
|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
David John Baker (2010). Symmetry and the Metaphysics of Physics. Philosophy Compass 5 (12):1157-1166.
Dean Rickles, Chris Smeenk, Holger Lyre & Richard Healey (2009). Gauge Pressure. Metascience 18 (1):5-41.
Similar books and articles
Timothy A. Johnson (2007). Time for Change. Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):497-513.
Ardnés Rivadulla (2004). The Newtonian Limit of Relativity Theory and the Rationality of Theory Change. Synthese 141 (3):417 - 429.
Roger Jones (1980). Is General Relativity Generally Relativistic? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:363 - 381.
David S. Oderberg (2004). Temporal Parts and the Possibility of Change. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (3):686–708.
Nicholas Asher (1994). Problems with Persistence. Topoi 13 (1):37-49.
John Bowin (2009). Aristotle on the Order and Direction of Time. Apeiron 42 (1):49-78.
Gordon Belot (2007). The Representation of Time and Change in Mechanics. In John Earman & Jeremy Butterfield (eds.), Philosophy of Physics. Elsevier 133--227.
C. Callender & R. Weingard (2000). Topology Change and the Unity of Space. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 31 (2):227-246.
John Earman (2002). Thoroughly Modern Mctaggart: Or, What Mctaggart Would Have Said If He Had Read the General Theory of Relativity. Philosophers' Imprint 2 (3):1-28.
Richard Healey (2004). Change Without Change, and How to Observe It in General Relativity. Synthese 141 (3):1-35..
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads35 ( #115,451 of 1,906,980 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #345,326 of 1,906,980 )
How can I increase my downloads?