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  1. added 2019-04-28
    Hypothesis and Convention in Poincaré's Defense of Galilei Space-Time.Scott A. Walter - 2009 - In Michael Heidelberger & Gregor Schiemann (eds.), The Significance of the Hypothetical in the Natural Sciences. De Gruyter. pp. 193-219.
    According to the conventionalist doctrine of space elaborated by the French philosopher-scientist Henri Poincaré in the 1890s, the geometry of physical space is a matter of definition, not of fact. Poincaré’s Hertz-inspired view of the role of hypothesis in science guided his interpretation of the theory of relativity (1905), which he found to be in violation of the axiom of free mobility of invariable solids. In a quixotic effort to save the Euclidean geometry that relied on this axiom, Poincaré extended (...)
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  2. added 2019-04-28
    La vérité en géométrie: sur le rejet mathématique de la doctrine conventionnaliste.Scott A. Walter - 1997 - Philosophia Scientiae 2 (3):103-135.
    The reception of Poincaré’s conventionalist doctrine of space by mathematicians is studied for the period 1891–1911. The opposing view of Riemann and Helmholtz, according to which the geometry of space is an empirical question, is shown to have swayed several geometers. This preference is considered in the context of changing views of the nature of space in theoretical physics, and with respect to structural and social changes within mathematics. Included in the latter evolution is the emergence of non-Euclidean geometry as (...)
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  3. added 2017-09-25
    The Dynamical Approach as Practical Geometry.Syman Stevens - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1152-1162.
    This article introduces Harvey Brown and Oliver Pooley’s ‘dynamical approach’ to special relativity, and argues that it may be construed as a relationalist form of Einstein’s ‘practical geometry’. This construal of the dynamical approach is shown to be compatible with related chapters of Brown’s text and also with recent descriptions of the dynamical approach by Pooley and others.
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  4. added 2017-09-11
    David Hyder. The Determinate World: Kant and Helmholtz on the Physical Meaning of Geometry. Viii + 229 Pp., Bibl., Index. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2009. $105. [REVIEW]Gary Hatfield - 2012 - Isis 103 (4):769-770.
    David Hyder.The Determinate World: Kant and Helmholtz on the Physical Meaning of Geometry. viii + 229 pp., bibl., index. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2009.
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  5. added 2016-08-27
    Review of Poincaré, Philosopher of Science. [REVIEW]Nathan Lackey & Cory Wright - 2016 - Philosophy in Review 36 (4):157–159.
  6. added 2016-03-29
    Comment On: “The Role of Dynamics in the Synchronization Problem”, by Hans C. Ohanian.Alan Macdonald - 2005 - American Journal of Physics 73 (2).
    Hans C. Ohanian 1 claims to “defeat” the conventionalist thesis of clock synchronization using an argument based on dynamics. My aim here is to show that his argument does not succeed.
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  7. added 2016-03-29
    On the Marzke-Wheeler and Desloge Constructions.Alan Macdonald - 1992 - Foundations Of Physics Letters 3:493.
    There is no indication of time dilation of clocks or of length contraction of rods in Marzke and Wheeler's clock or in Desloge's metrosphere.
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  8. added 2016-03-28
    List of Contents: Volume 16, Number 6, December 2003.Ettore Minguzzi, Alan Macdonald & Universal One-Way Light Speed - 2004 - Foundations of Physics 34 (3).
    This paper gives two complete and elementary proofs that if the speed of light over closed paths has a universal value c, then it is possible to synchronize clocks in such a way that the one-way speed of light is c. The first proof is an elementary version of a recent proof. The second provides high precision experimental evidence that it is possible to synchronize clocks in such a way that the one-way speed of light has a universal value. We (...)
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  9. added 2015-12-06
    Conventionalism About What? Where Duhem and Poincaré Part Ways.Milena Ivanova - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 54:80-89.
    This paper examines whether, and in what contexts, Duhem’s and Poincaré’s views can be regarded as conventionalist or structural realist. After analysing the three different contexts in which conventionalism is attributed to them – in the context of the aim of science, the underdetermination problem and the epistemological status of certain principles – I show that neither Duhem’s nor Poincaré’s arguments can be regarded as conventionalist. I argue that Duhem and Poincaré offer different solutions to the problem of theory choice, (...)
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  10. added 2015-10-14
    Simultaneity, Convention, and Gauge Freedom.Robert Rynasiewicz - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 43 (2):90-94.
    As is well know from Einstein the choice of a criterion for distant simultaneity is equivalent to stipulating one-way speeds for the transit of light. It is shown that any choice of non-standard synchrony is equivalent to a Lorentz local time boost. From this and considerations from the hole argument, it follows that there is a non-trivial sense in which distant simultaneity is conventional, at least to the extent that the “gauge freedom” arising in the hole argument is non-trivial.
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  11. added 2015-09-11
    On the Cartesian Ontology of General Relativity: Or, Conventionalism in the History of the Substantival‐Relational Debate.Edward Slowik - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1312-1323.
    Utilizing Einstein’s comparison of General Relativity and Descartes’ physics, this investigation explores the alleged conventionalism that pervades the ontology of substantival and relationist conceptions of spacetime. Although previously discussed, namely by Rynasiewicz and Hoefer, it will be argued that the close similarities between General Relativity and Cartesian physics have not been adequately treated in the literature—and that the disclosure of these similarities bolsters the case for a conventionalist interpretation of spacetime ontology.
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  12. added 2015-08-13
    Transcendental Idealism Among the Jersey Metaphysicians.Gordon Belot - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (3):429 - 438.
    Some questions are posed for van Fraassen, concerning the role and status of metaphysics in his Scientific Representation.
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  13. added 2015-04-23
    Conventionalism, Structuralism and Neo-Kantianism in Poincaré׳s Philosophy of Science.Milena Ivanova - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):114-122.
    Poincaré is well known for his conventionalism and structuralism. However, the relationship between these two theses and their place in Poincaré׳s epistemology of science remain puzzling. In this paper I show the scope of Poincaré׳s conventionalism and its position in Poincaré׳s hierarchical approach to scientific theories. I argue that for Poincaré scientific knowledge is relational and made possible by synthetic a priori, empirical and conventional elements, which, however, are not chosen arbitrarily. By examining his geometric conventionalism, his hierarchical account of (...)
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  14. added 2015-01-01
    Relativity and Geometry.Roberto Torretti - 1983 - Dover Publications.
    This high-level study discusses Newtonian principles and 19th-century views on electrodynamics and the aether. Additional topics include Einstein's electrodynamics of moving bodies, Minkowski spacetime, gravitational geometry, time and causality, and other subjects. Highlights include a rich exposition of the elements of the special and general theories of relativity.
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  15. added 2014-03-31
    ?Coordinative Definition? And Reichenbach's Semantic Framework: A Reassessment.Lionel Stefan Shapiro - 1994 - Erkenntnis 41 (3):287 - 323.
    Reichenbach's Philosophy of Space and Time (1928) avoids most of the logical positivist pitfalls it is generally held to exemplify, notably both conventionalism and verificationism. To see why, we must appreciate that Reichenbach's interest lies in how mathematical structures can be used to describe reality, not in how words like 'distance' acquire meaning. Examination of his proposed "coordinative definition" of congruence shows that Reichenbach advocates a reductionist analysis of the relations figuring in physical geometry (contrary to common readings that attribute (...)
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  16. added 2013-12-11
    Making Time: A Study in the Epistemology of Measurement.E. Tal - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1):axu037.
    This article develops a model-based account of the standardization of physical measurement, taking the contemporary standardization of time as its central case-study. To standardize the measurement of a quantity, I argue, is to legislate the mode of application of a quantity-concept to a collection of exemplary artefacts. Legislation involves an iterative exchange between top-down adjustments to theoretical and statistical models regulating the application of a concept, and bottom-up adjustments to material artefacts in light of remaining gaps. The model-based account clarifies (...)
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  17. added 2010-02-16
    Absolute Space and Conventionalism.David Zaret - 1979 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (3):211-226.
  18. added 2010-02-15
    Synthesis, the Synthetic a Priori, and the Origins of Modern Space-Time Theory.Robert DiSalle - 2010 - In Michael Friedman, Mary Domski & Michael Dickson (eds.), Discourse on a New Method: Reinvigorating the Marriage of History and Philosophy of Science. Open Court.
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