David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Abhay Ashtekar, Jürgen Renn, Don Howard, Abner Shimony & S. Sarkar (eds.), Revisiting the Foundations of Relativistic Physics. Festschrift in Honour of John Stachel. Kluwer (2002)
What is the meaning of general covariance? We learn something about it from the hole argument, due originally to Einstein. In his search for a theory of gravity, he noted that if the equations of motion are covariant under arbitrary coordinate transformations, then particle coordinates at a given time can be varied arbitrarily - they are underdetermined - even if their values at all earlier times are held fixed. It is the same for the values of fields. The argument can also be made out in terms of transformations acting on the points of the manifold, rather than on the coordinates assigned to the points. So the equations of motion do not fix the particle positions, or the values of fields at manifold points, or particle coordinates, or fields as functions of the coordinates, even when they are specified at all earlier times. It is surely the business of physics to predict these sorts of quantities, given their values at earlier times. The principle of general covariance therefore seems untenable.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
John D. Norton (1995). Did Einstein Stumble? The Debate Over General Covariance. Erkenntnis 42 (2):223 - 245.
Massimo Pauri & Michele Vallisneri, Ephemeral Point-Events: Is There a Last Remnant of Physical Objectivity ?
Harvey Brown & Katherine Brading (2002). General Covariance From the Perspective of Noether's Theorems. Diálogos (Puerto Rico) 79.
Dennis Dieks (2006). Another Look at General Covariance and the Equivalence of Reference Frames. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 37 (1):174-191.
Harvey Brown (1999). Aspects of Objectivity in Quantum Mechanics. In Jeremy Butterfield & Constantine Pagonis (eds.), From Physics to Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. 45--70.
John D. Norton (2003). General Covariance, Gauge Theories and the Kretschmann Objection. In Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections. Cambridge University Press. 110--123.
J. Earman (2006). Two Challenges to the Requirement of Substantive General Covariance. Synthese 148 (2):443--68.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads21 ( #67,485 of 1,010,186 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #64,700 of 1,010,186 )
How can I increase my downloads?