David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 37 (1):81-99 (1970)
The Reichenbach-Grunbaum thesis of the conventionality of simultaneity is clarified and defended by developing the consequences of the Special Theory when assumptions are not made concerning the one-way speed of light. It is first shown that the conventionality of simultaneity leads immediately to the conventionality of all relative speeds. From this result, the general-length-contraction and time-dilation relations are then derived. Next, the place of time-dilation and length-contraction effects within the Special Theory is examined in the light of the conventionality thesis. The slow-transport method of synchrony is then examined in the light of these results and is shown not to provide an adequate method of uniquely determining the one-way speed of light. Finally, the general ε -Lorentz transformations for events along the x-axis are derived from three principles: the round-trip light principle, the principle of equal passage times, and the linearity principle. These principles are shown to be independent of one-way velocity assumptions, and thus may form the basis of a Special Theory of Relativity without distant simultaneity assumptions.
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Citations of this work BETA
Harvey R. Brown (1997). On the Role of Special Relativity in General Relativity. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (1):67 – 81.
Alberto A. Martínez (2007). There's No Pain in the FitzGerald Contraction, is There? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (1):209-215.
Robert Rynasiewicz (2012). Simultaneity, Convention, and Gauge Freedom. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 43 (2):90-94.
T. Budden (1997). A Star in the Minkowskian Sky: Anisotropic Special Relativity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 28 (3):325-361.
Carl Matheson (1998). Why the No-Miracles Argument Fails. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (3):263 – 279.
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