David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):286-293 (2013)
The procedures of canonical quantization of the gravitational field apparently lead to entities for which any interpretation in terms of spatio-temporal localization or spatio-temporal extension seems difficult. This fact is the main ground for the suggestion that can often be found in the physics literature on canonical quantum gravity according to which spacetime may not be fundamental in some sense. This paper aims to investigate this radical suggestion from an ontologically serious point of view in the cases of two standard forms of canonical quantum gravity, quantum geometrodynamics and loop quantum gravity. We start by discussing the physical features of the quantum wave functional of quantum geometrodynamics and of the spin networks of loop quantum gravity that motivate the view according to which spacetime is not fundamental. We then point out that, by contrast, for any known ontologically serious understanding of quantum entanglement, the commitment to spacetime seems indispensable. Against this background, we then critically discuss the idea that spacetime may emerge from more fundamental entities. As a consequence, we finally suggest that the emergence of classical spacetime in canonical quantum gravity faces a dilemma: either spacetime ontologically emerges from more fundamental non-spatio-temporal entities or it already belongs to the fundamental quantum gravitational level and the emergence of the classical picture is merely a matter of levels of description. On the first horn of the dilemma, it is unclear how to make sense of concrete physical entities that are not in spacetime and of the notion of ontological emergence that is involved. The second horn runs into the difficulties raised by the physics of canonical quantum gravity.
|Keywords||Spacetime Emergence Quantum geometrodynamics Loop quantum gravity Quantum superposition Quantum entanglement Non-separability Structural realism Local beables Structural Realism Metaphysics Systems Worlds Time|
|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
John Worrall (1989). Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds? Dialectica 43 (1-2):99-124.
Steven French & James Ladyman (2003). Remodelling Structural Realism: Quantum Physics and the Metaphysics of Structure. [REVIEW] Synthese 136 (1):31-56.
J. Ladyman (1998). What is Structural Realism? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
GianCarlo Ghirardi, Alberto Rimini & Tullio Weber (1986). Uniﬁed Dynamics for Microscopic and Macroscopic Systems. Physical Review D 34 (D):470–491.
Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam (2006). Moderate Structural Realism About Space-Time. Synthese 160 (1):27 - 46.
Citations of this work BETA
Mauro Dorato (2015). Laws of Nature and the Reality of the Wave Function. Synthese 192 (10):3179-3201.
Daniele Oriti (2014). Disappearance and Emergence of Space and Time in Quantum Gravity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (2):186-199.
Vincent Lam (2013). The Entanglement Structure of Quantum Field Systems. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):59 - 72.
Edward Slowik (2013). The Deep Metaphysics of Quantum Gravity: The Seventeenth Century Legacy and an Alternative Ontology Beyond Substantivalism and Relationism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):490-499.
Similar books and articles
Jeremy Butterfield & Chris Isham (2001). Spacetime and the Philosophical Challenge of Quantum Gravity. In Physics Meets Philosophy at the Panck Scale. Cambridge University Press
Gordon Belot & John Earman (2001). Pre-Socratic Quantum Gravity. In Craig Callender & Nick Huggett (eds.), Physics Meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale. Cambridge University Press 213--55.
A. Arageorgis, J. Earman & L. Ruetsche (2002). Weyling the Time Away: The Non-Unitary Implementability of Quantum Field Dynamics on Curved Spacetime. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 33 (2):151-184.
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.
Bradley Monton (2006). Presentism and Quantum Gravity. In Dennis Dieks (ed.), The Ontology of Spacetime.
Peter J. Riggs (1996). Spacetime or Quantum Particles: The Ontology of Quantum Gravity? In P. Riggs (ed.), Natural Kinds, Laws of Nature and Scientific Methodology. Kluwer Academic Publishers 211--226.
Jonathan Bain (2013). The Emergence of Spacetime in Condensed Matter Approaches to Quantum Gravity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 44 (3):338-345.
Added to index2012-07-16
Total downloads39 ( #91,793 of 1,778,991 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #167,974 of 1,778,991 )
How can I increase my downloads?