David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 43 (2):137-154 (2012)
In this paper I critically review the long history of attempts to formulate and derive the geodesic principle, which claims that massive bodies follow geodesic paths in general relativity theory. I argue that if the principle is interpreted as a dynamical law of motion describing the actual evolution of gravitating bodies as endorsed by Einstein, then it is impossible to apply the law to massive bodies in a way that is coherent with his own field equations. Rejecting this canonical interpretation, I propose an alternative interpretation of the geodesic principle as a type of universality thesis analogous to the universality behavior exhibited in thermal systems during phase transitions
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References found in this work BETA
J. Butterfield (2011). Less is Different: Emergence and Reduction Reconciled. [REVIEW] Foundations of Physics 41 (6):1065-1135.
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Citations of this work BETA
Michael Tamir (2013). Geodesic Universality in General Relativity. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):1076-1088.
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