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Against Pointillisme about Geometry

In Michael Stöltzner & Friedrich Stadler (eds.), Time and History: Proceedings of the 28. International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium, Kirchberg Am Wechsel, Austria 2005. De Gruyter. pp. 181-222 (2005)

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  1. Against Pointillisme About Mechanics.Jeremy Butterfield - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):709-753.
    This paper forms part of a wider campaign: to deny pointillisme, the doctrine that a physical theory's fundamental quantities are defined at points of space or of spacetime, and represent intrinsic properties of such points or point-sized objects located there; so that properties of spatial or spatiotemporal regions and their material contents are determined by the point-by-point facts. More specifically, this paper argues against pointillisme about the concept of velocity in classical mechanics; especially against proposals by Tooley, Robinson and Lewis. (...)
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  • How Do Things Persist? Location Relations in Physics and the Metaphysics of Persistence.Thomas Pashby - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (3):269-309.
    This paper investigates the use of theories of mechanics to provide answers to questions in the metaphysics of spatial location and persistence. Investigating spatial location, I find that in classical physics bodies pertend the region of space at which they are exactly located, while a quantum system spans a region at which it is exactly located. Following this analysis, I present a ‘no-go’ result which shows that quantum mechanics restricts the available options for locational persistence theories in an interesting way: (...)
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  • Why Metrical Properties Are Not Powers.Andreas Bartels - 2013 - Synthese 190 (12):2001-2013.
    What has the dispositional analysis of properties and laws (e.g. Molnar, Powers, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003; Mumford, Laws in nature, Routledge London, 2004; Bird, Nature’s metaphysics, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2007) to offer to the scientific understanding of physical properties?—The article provides an answer to this question for the case of spacetime points and their metrical properties in General Relativity. The analysis shows that metrical properties are not ‘powers’, i.e. they cannot be understood as producing the effects of spacetime on (...)
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  • The Structural Metaphysics of Quantum Theory and General Relativity.Vincent Lam & Michael Esfeld - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (2):243-258.
    The paper compares ontic structural realism in quantum physics with ontic structural realism about space–time. We contend that both quantum theory and general relativity theory support a common, contentful metaphysics of ontic structural realism. After recalling the main claim of ontic structural realism and its physical support, we point out that both in the domain of quantum theory and in the domain of general relativity theory, there are objects whose essential ways of being are certain relations so that these objects (...)
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  • Humean Supervenience, Vectorial Fields, and the Spinning Sphere.Ralf Busse - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (4):449-489.