Ephemeral point-events: Is there a last-remnant of physical objectivity?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Dialogos 37:263-304 (2002)
For the past two decades, Einstein's Hole Argument (which deals with the apparent indeterminateness of general relativity due to the general covariance of the field equations) and its resolution in terms of "Leibniz equivalence" (the statement that pseudo-Riemannian geometries related by active diffeomorphisms represent the same physical solution) have been the starting point for a lively philosophical debate on the objectivity of the point-events of space-time. It seems that Leibniz equivalence makes it impossible to consider the points of the space-time manifold as physically individuated without recourse to dynamical individuating fields. Various authors have posited that the metric field itself can be used in this way , but nobody so far has considered the problem of explicitly distilling the "metrical fingerprint" of point-events from the gauge-dependent elements of the metric field. Working in the Hamiltonian formulation of general relativity, and building on the results of Lusanna and Pauri (2002), we show how Bergmann and Komar's "intrinsic pseudo-coordinates" (based on the value of curvature invariants) can be used to provide a physical individuation of point-events in terms of the true degrees of freedom (the "Dirac observables") of the gravitational field, and we suggest how this conceptual individuation could in principle be implemented with a well-defined empirical procedure. We argue from these results that point-events retain a significant kind of physical objectivity.
|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
Kenneth L. Manders (1982). On the Space-Time Ontology of Physical Theories. Philosophy of Science 49 (4):575-590.
Nuel Belnap (1992). Branching Space-Time. Synthese 92 (3):385 - 434.
Hans Westman & Sebastiano Sonego (2008). Events and Observables in Generally Invariant Spacetime Theories. Foundations of Physics 38 (10):908-915.
D. Dieks (2001). Space and Time in Particle and Field Physics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (2):217-241.
Luca Lusanna & Massimo Pauri, Dynamical Emergence of Instantaneous 3-Spaces in a Class of Models of General Relativity.
Luca Lusanna & Massimo Pauri, General Covariance and the Objectivity of Space-Time Point-Events: The Physical Role of Gravitational and Gauge Degrees of Freedom - DRAFT.
Luca Lusanna & Massimo Pauri (2006). Explaining Leibniz Equivalence as Difference of Non-Inertial Appearances: Dis-Solution of the Hole Argument and Physical Individuation of Point-Events. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 37 (4):692-725.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads1 ( #600,466 of 1,696,808 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?