Structure in Classical Mechanics
Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||How do we learn about the fundamental nature of the world from a mathematically formulated physical theory? To learn about spacetime, we follow this rule: posit the least spacetime structure to the world required by a theory’s dynamical laws. Applied to special relativity, for example, this rule tells us to not posit an absolute simultaneity structure. I suggest that we should use this rule for more than just spacetime structure. We should use the rule for statespace, positing the least statespace structure required by a theory’s dynamical laws. Using this rule, I argue that a classical mechanical world has surprisingly little fundamental structure. Fundamentally, such a world does not have a Euclidean distance structure. This bears on more general questions: what physics tells us about the world; what possibilities are distinguished by a theory; what is in a theory’s fundamental ontology (which I suggest includes the statespace structure); and when two formulations of a theory are mere notational variants|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
|External links||This entry has no external links. Add one.|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
Mark Hogarth (1994). Non-Turing Computers and Non-Turing Computability. Psa 1994:126--138.
Kent Johnson (2004). From Impossible Words to Conceptual Structure: The Role of Structure and Processes in the Lexicon. Mind and Language 19 (3):334-358.
Robert DiSalle (1992). Einstein, Newton and the Empirical Foundations of Space Time Geometry. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 6 (3):181 – 189.
Y. S. (2001). Spacetime as a Fundamental and Inalienable Structure of Fields. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (2):205-215.
Theodore Sider (2011). Writing the Book of the World. Oxford University Press.
David Malament (2006). Classical Relativity Theory. In Jeremy N. Butterfield & John Earman (eds.), Philosophy of Physics. Elsevier.
Jill North (2009). The “Structure” of Physics. Journal of Philosophy 106 (2):57-88.
Added to index2009-11-21
Total downloads39 ( #34,866 of 740,441 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?