David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 58 (1):102-124 (1991)
Relationist theories of space or space-time based on embedding of a physical relational system A into a corresponding geometrical system B raise problems associated with the degree of uniqueness of the embedding. Such uniqueness problems are familiar in the representational theory of measurement (RTM), and are dealt with by imposing a condition of uniqueness of embeddings up to composition with an "admissible transformation" of the space B. Friedman (1983) presents an alternative treatment of the uniqueness problem for embedding relationist theories, developed independently of RTM. Friedman's approach differs from that of RTM in securing uniqueness by adding new primitives to the physical system A in contrast to the RTM approach which adds new axioms. Friedman's proposal has recently been developed and defended by Catton and Solomon (1988). This method of solving the uniqueness problem is here argued to be substantially inferior to the RTM method, both in practice and in principle. In practice we find that in none of the concrete examples offered to illustrate the method is the uniqueness problem actually solved in general. Moreover we find that in the most interesting case (addition to the system A of a finite number of relations of finite degree) the method is in principle incapable of success for mathematical reasons. In addition to these technical difficulties there are compelling methodological reasons for preferring the RTM method to the method of adding primitives
|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
Thomas Mormann (1995). Incompatible Empirically Equivalent Theories: A Structural Explication. Synthese 103 (2):203 - 249.
Similar books and articles
Saharon Shelah (1979). On Uniqueness of Prime Models. Journal of Symbolic Logic 44 (2):215-220.
Brent Mundy (1986). Embedding and Uniqueness in Relational Theories of Space. Synthese 67 (3):383 - 390.
Brent Mundy (1987). Faithful Representation, Physical Extensive Measurement Theory and Archimedean Axioms. Synthese 70 (3):373 - 400.
Mark Balaguer (1998). Non-Uniqueness as a Non-Problem. Philosophia Mathematica 6 (1):63-84.
Brent Mundy (1989). On Quantitative Relationist Theories. Philosophy of Science 56 (4):582-600.
Nancy R. Howell (2008). Uniqueness in Context. Zygon 43 (2):493-503.
Jonathan Matheson (2011). The Case for Rational Uniqueness. Logic and Episteme 2 (3):359-373.
Philip Catton & Graham Solomon (1988). Uniqueness of Embeddings and Space-Time Relationalism. Philosophy of Science 55 (2):280-291.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads186 ( #17,653 of 1,793,159 )
Recent downloads (6 months)68 ( #12,861 of 1,793,159 )
How can I increase my downloads?