Structure in Classical Mechanics
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
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)|
|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
No citations found.
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 ( #47,390 of 1,101,724 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?