Proving the principle: Taking geodesic dynamics too seriously in Einstein's theory

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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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2011.12.002
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Robert Batterman (2005). Critical Phenomena and Breaking Drops: Infinite Idealizations in Physics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 36 (2):225-244.

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