The singular nature of spacetime

Philosophy of Science 74 (5):712-723 (2007)
We consider to what extent the fundamental question of spacetime singularities is relevant for the philosophical debate about the nature of spacetime. After reviewing some basic aspects of the spacetime singularities within general relativity, we argue that the well known difficulty to localize them in a meaningful way may challenge the received metaphysical view of spacetime as a set of points possessing some intrinsic properties together with some spatiotemporal relations. Considering the algebraic formulation of general relativity, we argue that the spacetime singularities highlight the philosophically misleading dependence on the standard geometric representation of spacetime. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland; e-mail:
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DOI 10.1086/525616
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Rae Langton & David Lewis (1998). Defining 'Intrinsic'. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (2):333-345.
Jeremy Butterfield (2006). Against Pointillisme About Mechanics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):709-753.

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