Emergent spacetime and empirical coherence

Numerous approaches to a quantum theory of gravity posit fundamental ontologies that exclude spacetime, either partially or wholly. This situation raises deep questions about how such theories could relate to the empirical realm, since arguably only entities localized in spacetime can ever be observed. Are such entities even possible in a theory without fundamental spacetime? How might they be derived, formally speaking? Moreover, since by assumption the fundamental entities can't be smaller than the derived and so can't 'compose' them in any ordinary sense, would a formal derivation actually show the physical reality of localized entities? We address these questions via a survey of a range of theories of quantum gravity, and generally sketch how they may be answered positively
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2012.11.003
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References found in this work BETA
David Lewis (1970). How to Define Theoretical Terms. Journal of Philosophy 67 (13):427-446.
Jeremy Butterfield & Chris Isham (1999). On the Emergence of Time in Quantum Gravity. In The Arguments of Time. Published for the British Academy by Oxford University Press 111--168.

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Tiziana Vistarini (2014). String Theory and the Scientific Method. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (1):108-111.

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