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  1. Relativity without miracles.Adán Sus - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-33.
    It has been claimed, recently, that the fact that all the non-gravitational fields are locally Poincaré invariant and that these invariances coincide, in a certain regime, with the symmetries of the spacetime metric is miraculous in general relativity. In this paper I show that, in the context of GR, it is possible to account for these so-called miracles of relativity. The way to do so involves integrating the realisation that the gravitational field equations impose constraints on the behaviour of matter (...)
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  • Is Metaphysics Immune to Moral Refutation?Alex Barber - unknown - Acta Analytica 35 (4):469-492.
    When a novel scientific theory conflicts with otherwise plausible moral assumptions, we do not treat that as evidence against the theory. We may scrutinize the empirical data more keenly and take extra care over its interpretation, but science is in some core sense immune to moral refutation. Can the same be said of philosophical theories? If a position in the philosophy of mind, for example, is discovered to have eye-widening moral import, does that count against it at all? Actual responses (...)
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  • The Dynamical Approach to Spin-2 Gravity.Kian Salimkhani - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
    This paper engages with the following closely related questions that have recently received some attention in the literature: what is the status of the equivalence principle in general relativity?; how does the metric field obtain its property of being able to act as a metric?; and is the metric of GR derivative on the dynamics of the matter fields? The paper attempts to complement these debates by studying the spin-2 approach to gravity. In particular, the paper argues that three lessons (...)
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  • Upływ czasu i teoria względności.Jerzy Golosz - 2011 - Filozofia Nauki 19 (1):95-131.
  • Relativity Theory Between Structural and Dynamical Explanations.Mauro Dorato - 2006 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (1):95 – 102.
    (2007). Relativity Theory between Structural and Dynamical Explanations. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science: Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 95-102.
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  • Are There Non-Causal Explanations (of Particular Events)?Brdford Skow - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (3):axs047.
    Philosophers have proposed many alleged examples of non-causal explanations of particular events. I discuss several well-known examples and argue that they fail to be non-causal. 1 Questions2 Preliminaries3 Explanations That Cite Causally Inert Entities4 Explanations That Merely Cite Laws I5 Stellar Collapse6 Explanations That Merely Cite Laws II7 A Final Example8 Conclusion.
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  • Are There Non-Causal Explanations (of Particular Events)?Brdford Skow - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (3):445-467.
    Philosophers have proposed many alleged examples of non-causal explana- tions of particular events. I discuss several well-known examples and argue that they fail to be non-causal.
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  • Explaining the Unobserved—Why Quantum Mechanics Ain’T Only About Information.Amit Hagar & Meir Hemmo - 2006 - Foundations of Physics 36 (9):1295-1234.
    A remarkable theorem by Clifton, Bub and Halvorson (2003) (CBH) characterizes quantum theory in terms of information--theoretic principles. According to Bub (2004, 2005) the philosophical significance of the theorem is that quantum theory should be regarded as a ``principle'' theory about (quantum) information rather than a ``constructive'' theory about the dynamics of quantum systems. Here we criticize Bub's principle approach arguing that if the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics remains intact then there is no escape route from solving the measurement (...)
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  • Relativity and Three Four‐Dimensionalisms.Cody Gilmore, Damiano Costa & Claudio Calosi - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (2):102-120.
    Relativity theory is often said to support something called ‘the four-dimensional view of reality’. But there are at least three different views that sometimes go by this name. One is ‘spacetime unitism’, according to which there is a spacetime manifold, and if there are such things as points of space or instants of time, these are just spacetime regions of different sorts: thus space and time are not separate manifolds. A second is the B-theory of time, according to which the (...)
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  • Esistenza e Persistenza.Damiano Costa - 2018 - Milan, IT: Mimesis.
    Nel nostro universo, qualunque cosa, dalla più piccola particella alla più smisurata galassia, esiste in un qualche tempo e in un qualche luogo. Ma cosa significa esistere in un qualche tempo? Il fenomeno dell’esistenza temporale gioca un ruolo fondamentale nella comprensione dell’universo e di noi stessi quali creature temporali. Eppure è un fenomeno profondamente misterioso. L’esistenza temporale è da intendersi come una relazione? Che legami ha con l’esistenza dell’ontologia? L’esistenza temporale e la localizzazione spaziale sono due fenomeni essenzialmente differenti o (...)
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  • Drawing the Line Between Kinematics and Dynamics in Special Relativity.Michel Janssen - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (1):26-52.
    In his book, Physical Relativity, Harvey Brown challenges the orthodox view that special relativity is preferable to those parts of Lorentz's classical ether theory it replaced because it revealed various phenomena that were given a dynamical explanation in Lorentz's theory to be purely kinematical. I want to defend this orthodoxy. The phenomena most commonly discussed in this context in the philosophical literature are length contraction and time dilation. I consider three other phenomena of this kind that played a role in (...)
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  • Substantivalist and Relationalist Approaches to Spacetime.Oliver Pooley - 2013 - In Robert Batterman (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics. Oxford University Press.
    Substantivalists believe that spacetime and its parts are fundamental constituents of reality. Relationalists deny this, claiming that spacetime enjoys only a derivative existence. I begin by describing how the Galilean symmetries of Newtonian physics tell against both Newton's brand of substantivalism and the most obvious relationalist alternative. I then review the obvious substantivalist response to the problem, which is to ditch substantival space for substantival spacetime. The resulting position has many affinities with what are arguably the most natural interpretations of (...)
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  • A Conceptual Analysis of Julian Barbour's Time.Maria Kon - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
    One of Julian Barbour’s main aims is to solve the problem of time that appears in quantum geometrodynamics (QG). QG involves the application of canonical quantization procedure to the Hamiltonian formulation of General Relativity. The problem of time arises because the quantization of the Hamiltonian constraint results in an equation that has no explicit time parameter. Thus, it appears that the resulting equation, as apparently timeless, cannot describe evolution of quantum states. Barbour attempts to resolve the problem by allegedly eliminating (...)
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  • Do Time-Asymmetric Laws Call for Time-Asymmetric Spacetime Structure?Daniel Peterson - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (44):75-98.
    Many philosophers of physics take the failure of the laws of physics to be invariant under the time reversal transformation to give us good reason to think that spacetime is temporally anisotropic, yet the details of this inference are rarely made explicit. I discuss two reasonable ways of filling in the details of this inference, the first of which utilizes a symmetry principle proposed by John Earman and the second of which utilizes Harvey Brown’s account of spacetime. I contend that (...)
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  • Philosophical Issues in Electromagnetism.Mathias Frisch - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (1):255-270.
    This paper provides a survey of several philosophical issues arising in classical electrodynamics arguing that there is a philosophically rich set of problems in theories of classical physics that have not yet received the attention by philosophers that they deserve. One issue, which is connected to the philosophy of causation, concerns the temporal asymmetry exhibited by radiation fields in the presence of wave sources. Physicists and philosophers disagree on whether this asymmetry reflects a fundamental causal asymmetry or is due to (...)
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  • Physical Relativity From a Functionalist Perspective.Eleanor Knox - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 67:118-124.
    This paper looks at the relationship between spacetime functionalism and Harvey Brown’s dynamical relativity. One popular way of reading and extending Brown’s programme in the literature rests on viewing his position as a version of relationism. But a kind of spacetime functionalism extends the project in a different way, by focussing on the account Brown gives of the role of spacetime in relativistic theories. It is then possible to see this as giving a functional account of the concept of spacetime (...)
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  • Putting Probabilities First. How Hilbert Space Generates and Constrains Them.Michael Janas, Michael Cuffaro & Michel Janssen - manuscript
    We use Bub's (2016) correlation arrays and Pitowksy's (1989b) correlation polytopes to analyze an experimental setup due to Mermin (1981) for measurements on the singlet state of a pair of spin-12 particles. The class of correlations allowed by quantum mechanics in this setup is represented by an elliptope inscribed in a non-signaling cube. The class of correlations allowed by local hidden-variable theories is represented by a tetrahedron inscribed in this elliptope. We extend this analysis to pairs of particles of arbitrary (...)
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  • Time Series and Non-Reductive Physicalism.Matias Kimi Slavov - 2019 - KronoScope: Journal for the Study of Time 19 (1):25-38.
    McTaggart famously introduced the A- and B-series as rival metaphysical accounts of time. This paper shall reorient the debate over the original distinction. Instead of treating the series as competing theories about the nature of time, it will be argued that they are different viewpoints on a world that is fundamentally physical. To that end, non-reductive physicalism is proposed to reconcile the series.
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  • Re-Conceiving Quantum Theories in Terms of Information-Theoretic Constraints.Armond Duwell - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (1):181-201.
  • On Mellor and the Future Direction of Time.Lisa Leininger - 2014 - Analysis 74 (1):148-157.
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  • Explanation, Geometry, and Conspiracy in Relativity Theory.James Read - unknown
    I discuss the debate between dynamical versus geometrical approaches to spacetime theories, in the context of both special and general relativity, arguing that the debate takes a substantially different form in the two cases; different versions of the geometrical approach—only some of which are viable—should be distinguished; in general relativity, there is no difference between the most viable version of the geometrical approach and the dynamical approach. In addition, I demonstrate that what have previously been dubbed two ‘miracles’ of general (...)
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  • Drawing the Line Between Kinematics and Dynamics in Special Relativity.Michel Janssen - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (1):26-52.
    In his book, Physical Relativity, Harvey Brown challenges the orthodox view that special relativity is preferable to those parts of Lorentz's classical ether theory it replaced because it revealed various phenomena that were given a dynamical explanation in Lorentz's theory to be purely kinematical. I want to defend this orthodoxy. The phenomena most commonly discussed in this context in the philosophical literature are length contraction and time dilation. I consider three other phenomena of this kind that played a role in (...)
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  • Conservation, Inertia, and Spacetime Geometry.James Owen Weatherall - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 67:144-159.
    As Harvey Brown emphasizes in his book Physical Relativity, inertial motion in general relativity is best understood as a theorem, and not a postulate. Here I discuss the status of the "conservation condition", which states that the energy-momentum tensor associated with non-interacting matter is covariantly divergence-free, in connection with such theorems. I argue that the conservation condition is best understood as a consequence of the differential equations governing the evolution of matter in general relativity and many other theories. I conclude (...)
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  • Two Miracles of General Relativity.James Read, Harvey R. Brown & Dennis Lehmkuhl - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 64:14-25.
    We approach the physics of \emph{minimal coupling} in general relativity, demonstrating that in certain circumstances this leads to violations of the \emph{strong equivalence principle}, which states that, in general relativity, the dynamical laws of special relativity can be recovered at a point. We then assess the consequences of this result for the \emph{dynamical perspective on relativity}, finding that potential difficulties presented by such apparent violations of the strong equivalence principle can be overcome. Next, we draw upon our discussion of the (...)
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  • Minkowski Spacetime and Lorentz Invariance: The Cart and the Horse or Two Sides of a Single Coin?Pablo Acuña - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 55:1-12.
    Michel Janssen and Harvey Brown have driven a prominent recent debate concerning the direction of an alleged arrow of explanation between Minkowski spacetime and Lorentz invariance of dynamical laws in special relativity. In this article, I critically assess this controversy with the aim of clarifying the explanatory foundations of the theory. First, I show that two assumptions shared by the parties—that the dispute is independent of issues concerning spacetime ontology, and that there is an urgent need for a constructive interpretation (...)
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  • Time, Objects, and Identity.Ian Gibson - unknown
    This is a copy of my DPhil thesis, the abstract for which is as follows: The first third of this thesis argues for a B-theoretic conception of time according to which all times exist equally and the present is in no way privileged. I distinguish "ontological" A-theories from "non-ontological" ones, arguing that the latter are experientially unmotivated and barely coherent. With regard to the former, I focus mainly on presentism. After some remarks on how to formulate this (and eternalism) non-trivially, (...)
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  • Minkowski Space-Time: A Glorious Non-Entity.Harvey R. Brown & Oliver Pooley - 2004 - In Dennis Dieks (ed.), The Ontology of Spacetime. Elsevier. pp. 67--89.
    It is argued that Minkowski space-time cannot serve as the deep structure within a ``constructive'' version of the special theory of relativity, contrary to widespread opinion in the philosophical community.
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  • Minkowski Space-Time: A Glorious Non-Entity.Oliver Pooley with Ian Gibson - manuscript
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  • Of Modern Physics.Mathias Frisch - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (1):176-183.
  • In Light of the Theory of Special Relativity is a Passage of Time and the Argument of the Presentist Untenable?Mekhi Dhesi - 2016 - Dissertation, University College London
    In light of the Special Theory of Relativity and the Minkowski creation of ‘spacetime’, the universe is taken to be a four-dimensional entity which postulates bodies as existing within a temporally extended reality. The Special Theory of Relativity’s implications liken the nature of the universe to a ‘block’ within which all events coexist equally in spacetime. Such a view strikes against the very essence of presentism, which holds that all that exists is the instantaneous state of objects in the present (...)
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  • Time, Metaphysics Of.Natalja Deng - forthcoming - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Metaphysics is the part of philosophy that asks questions about the nature of reality – about what there is, and what it is like. The metaphysics of time is the part of the philosophy of time that asks questions about the nature of temporal reality. One central such question is that of whether time passes or flows, or whether it has a dynamic aspect.
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  • Theories as Recipes: Third-Order Virtue and Vice.Michaela Markham McSweeney - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):391-411.
    A basic way of evaluating metaphysical theories is to ask whether they give satisfying answers to the questions they set out to resolve. I propose an account of “third-order” virtue that tells us what it takes for certain kinds of metaphysical theories to do so. We should think of these theories as recipes. I identify three good-making features of recipes and show that they translate to third-order theoretical virtues. I apply the view to two theories—mereological universalism and plenitudinous platonism—and draw (...)
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  • Some Thoughts on Relativity and the Flow of Time: Einstein's Equations Given Absolute Simultaneity.J. Brian Pitts - unknown
    The A-theory of time has intuitive and metaphysical appeal, but suffers from tension, if not inconsistency, with the special and general theories of relativity (STR and GTR). The A-theory requires a notion of global simultaneity invariant under the symmetries of the world's laws, those ostensible transformations of the state of the world that in fact leave the world as it was before. Relativistic physics, if read in a realistic sense, denies that there exists any notion of global simultaneity that is (...)
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  • Editorial.[author unknown] - forthcoming - Disputatio 9 (44):1-4.
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  • Brown and Janssen on the Arrow of Explanation in Special Relativity.Matthew Gorski - unknown
    I examine the debate between Michel Janssen and Harvey Brown over the arrow of explanation in special relativity. Brown argues that the symmetries of the dynamical laws explain the symmetries of space-time, whereas Janssen argues for the converse. Janssen has recently argued against Brown's position on the grounds that it recommends trying to infer information from the relativistic effects, e.g., length contraction, in a way wasteful of time and resources. I show how Brown can respond to Janssen and trace the (...)
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  • Another Look at Empirical Equivalence and Underdetermination of Theory Choice.Pablo Acuña & Dennis Dieks - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (2):153-180.
    In 1991 Larry Laudan and Jarret Leplin proposed a solution for the problem of empirical equivalence and the empirical underdetermination that is often thought to result from it. In this paper we argue that, even though Laudan and Leplin’s reasoning is essentially correct, their solution should be accurately assessed in order to appreciate its nature and scope. Indeed, Laudan and Leplin’s analysis does not succeed in completely removing the problem or, as they put it, in refuting the thesis of underdetermination (...)
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  • Principle or Constructive Relativity.Mathias Frisch - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (3):176-183.
    I examine Harvey Brown’s account of relativity as dynamic and constructive theory and Michel Janssen recent criticism of it. By contrasting Einstein’s principle-constructive distinction with a related distinction by Lorentz, I argue that Einstein's distinction presents a false dichotomy. Appealing to Lorentz’s distinction, I argue that there is less of a disagreement between Brown and Janssen than appears initially and, hence, that Brown’s view presents less of a departure from orthodoxy than it may seem. Neither the kinematics-dynamics distinction nor Einstein’s (...)
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  • Dynamical Versus Structural Explanations in Scientific Revolutions.Mauro Dorato - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2307-2327.
    By briefly reviewing three well-known scientific revolutions in fundamental physics (the discovery of inertia, of special relativity and of general relativity), I claim that problems that were supposed to be crying for a dynamical explanation in the old paradigm ended up receiving a structural explanation in the new one. This claim is meant to give more substance to Kuhn’s view that revolutions are accompanied by a shift in what needs to be explained, while suggesting at the same time the existence (...)
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  • Structural Explanations in Minkowski Spacetime: Which Account of Models?Mauro Dorato & Laura Felline - 2010 - In V. Petkov (ed.), Space, Time, and Spacetime. Springer. pp. 193-207.
    In this paper we argue that structural explanations are an effective way of explaining well known relativistic phenomena like length contraction and time dilation, and then try to understand how this can be possible by looking at the literature on scientific models. In particular, we ask whether and how a model like that provided by Minkowski spacetime can be said to represent the physical world, in such a way that it can successfully explain physical phenomena structurally. We conclude by claiming (...)
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  • Bell's 'Lorentzian Pedagogy': A Bad Education.Graham Nerlich - unknown
    Bell’s 'Lorentzian Pedagogy' has been extolled as a constructive account of the relativistic contraction of moving rods. Bell claimed advantages for teaching relativity through the older approach of Lorentz, Fitzgerald and Larmor. However, he describes the differences between their absolutist approach and the relativistic one as philosophical, and claims that the facts of physics do not force us to choose between them. Bell’s interpretation of the physics of motion contraction, and therefore of constructivist as opposed to principle approaches, is indeterminate. (...)
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  • The Dynamical Approach to Spacetime Theories.Harvey R. Brown & James Read - unknown
    We review the dynamical approach to spacetime theories---in particular, its origins in the development of special relativity, its opposition to the contemporary `geometrical' approach, and the manner in which it plays out in general relativity. In addition, we demonstrate that the approach is compatible with the `angle bracket school'.
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  • Quantum Theory is Not Only About Information.Laura Felline - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
    In his recent book Bananaworld. Quantum mechanics for primates, Jeff Bub revives and provides a mature version of his influential information-theoretic interpretation of Quantum Theory (QT). In this paper, I test Bub’s conjecture that QT should be interpreted as a theory about information, by examining whether his information-theoretic interpretation has the resources to explain (or explain away) quantum conundrums. The discussion of Bub’s theses will also serve to investigate, more in general, whether other approaches succeed in defending the claim that (...)
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  • Why Constructive Relativity Fails.John D. Norton - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4):821-834.
    Constructivists, such as Harvey Brown, urge that the geometries of Newtonian and special relativistic spacetimes result from the properties of matter. Whatever this may mean, it commits constructivists to the claim that these spacetime geometries can be inferred from the properties of matter without recourse to spatiotemporal presumptions or with few of them. I argue that the construction project only succeeds if constructivists antecedently presume the essential commitments of a realist conception of spacetime. These commitments can be avoided only by (...)
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  • What is Analytic Metaphysics For?James Maclaurin & Heather Dyke - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):291-306.
    We divide analytic metaphysics into naturalistic and non-naturalistic metaphysics. The latter we define as any philosophical theory that makes some ontological (as opposed to conceptual) claim, where that ontological claim has no observable consequences. We discuss further features of non-naturalistic metaphysics, including its methodology of appealing to intuition, and we explain the way in which we take it to be discontinuous with science. We outline and criticize Ladyman and Ross's 2007 epistemic argument against non-naturalistic metaphysics. We then present our own (...)
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  • Explanation, Understanding, and Control.Ryan Smith - 2014 - Synthese 191 (17):4169-4200.
    There is a recent interest within both philosophy of science as well as within epistemology to provide a defensible account of understanding. In the present article I build on insights from previous work in attempt to provide an account of two related forms of understanding in terms of the ability to form rational intentions when using specific types of mental representations. I propose first that “understanding that X” requires that one form a representation of X and, further, that one must (...)
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  • How Did Lorentz Find His Theorem of Corresponding States?Michel Janssen - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 67:167-175.
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  • Actualism Without Presentism? Not by Way of the Relativity Objection.Nina Emery - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):963-986.
    Actualism is the view that only actually existing things exist. Presentism is the view that only presently existing things exist. In this paper, I argue that being an actualist without also being a presentist is not as easy as many philosophers seem to think. A common objection to presentism is that there is an unavoidable conflict between presentism and relativity theory. But actualists who do not wish to be presentists cannot point to this relativity objection alone to support their position. (...)
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  • Time, Physics, and Philosophy: It's All Relative.Sam Baron - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (1).
    This article provides a non-technical overview of the conflict between the special theory of relativity and the dynamic theories of time. The chief argument against dynamic theories of time from relativistic mechanics is presented. The space of current responses to that argument is subsequently mapped.
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  • On the Empirical Equivalence Between Special Relativity and Lorentz׳s Ether Theory.Pablo Acuña - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (2):283-302.
    In this paper I argue that the case of Einstein׳s special relativity vs. Hendrik Lorentz׳s ether theory can be decided in terms of empirical evidence, in spite of the predictive equivalence between the theories. In the historical and philosophical literature this case has been typically addressed focusing on non-empirical features. I claim that non-empirical features are not enough to provide a fully objective and uniquely determined choice in instances of empirical equivalence. However, I argue that if we consider arguments proposed (...)
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  • Editorial.[author unknown] - forthcoming - Editorial 9 (44):1-4.
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