David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 141 (3):417 - 429 (2004)
The aim of this paper is to elucidate the question of whether Newtonian mechanics can be derived from relativity theory. Physicists agree that classical mechanics constitutes a limiting case of relativity theory. By contrast, philosophers of science like Kuhn and Feyerabend affirm that classical mechanics cannot be deduced from relativity theory because of the incommensurability between both theories; thus what we obtain when we take the limit c in relativistic mechanics cannot be Newtonian mechanics sensu stricto. In this paper I focus on the alleged change of reference of the term mass in the transition from one theory to the other. Contradicting Kuhn and Feyerabend, special relativity theory supports the view that the mass of an object is a characteristic property of the object, that it has the same value in whatever frame of reference it is measured, and that it does not depend on whether the object is in motion or at rest. Thus mass preserves the reference through the change of theory, and the existence of a Newtonian limit of relativity theory provides a good example of the rationality of theory change in mathematical physics.
|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
W. M. de Muynck (1995). Measurement and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Theory. Synthese 102 (2):293-318.
Peter Gabriel Bergmann (1942). Introduction to the Theory of Relativity. New York, Prentice-Hall, Inc..
John D. Norton (2007). Einstein, Nordstrom, and the Early Demise of Scalar, Lorentz Covariant Theories of Gravitation. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 250 (3).
Hermann Bondi (1964). Relativity and Common Sense. Garden City, N.Y.,Anchor Books.
Robert W. Batterman (1995). Theories Between Theories: Asymptotic Limiting Intertheoretic Relations. Synthese 103 (2):171 - 201.
Franz Balsiger & Alex Burri (1990). Sind Die Klassische Mechanik Und Die Spezielle Relativitätstheorie Kommensurabel? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 21 (1):157 - 162.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads50 ( #33,191 of 1,102,868 )
Recent downloads (6 months)19 ( #9,016 of 1,102,868 )
How can I increase my downloads?