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  1. Quantum Gravity and Mereology: Not So Simple.Sam Baron & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly (1):19-40.
    A number of philosophers have argued in favour of extended simples on the grounds that they are needed by fundamental physics. The arguments typically appeal to theories of quantum gravity. To date, the argument in favour of extended simples has ignored the fact that the very existence of spacetime is put under pressure by quantum gravity. We thus consider the case for extended simples in the context of different views on the existence of spacetime. We show that the case for (...)
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  • On the Empirical Coherence and the Spatiotemporal Gap Problem in Quantum Gravity: And Why Functionalism Does Not (Have to) Help.Niels Linnemann - 2020 - Synthese 199 (S2):395-412.
    The empirical coherence problem of quantum gravity is the worry that a theory which does not fundamentally contain local beables located in space and time—such as is arguably the case for certain approaches to quantum gravity—cannot be connected to measurements and thus has its prospects of being empirically adequate undermined. Spacetime functionalism à la Lam and Wüthrich is said to solve this empirical coherence problem as well as bridging a severe conceptual gap between spatiotemporal structures of classical spacetime theories on (...)
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  • Empirical Incoherence and Double Functionalism.Sam Baron - 2019 - Synthese (Suppl 2):1-27.
    Recent work on quantum gravity suggests that neither spacetime nor spatiotemporally located entites exist at a fundamental level. The loss of both brings with it the threat of empirical incoherence. A theory is empirically incoherent when the truth of that theory undermines the empirical justification for believing it. If neither spacetime nor spatiotemporally located entities exist as a part of a fundamental theory of QG, then such a theory seems to imply that there are no observables and so no way (...)
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  • The Multiple Realizability of General Relativity in Quantum Gravity.Rasmus Jaksland - 2019 - Synthese 199 (S2):441-467.
    Must a theory of quantum gravity have some truth to it if it can recover general relativity in some limit of the theory? This paper answers this question in the negative by indicating that general relativity is multiply realizable in quantum gravity. The argument is inspired by spacetime functionalism—multiple realizability being a central tenet of functionalism—and proceeds via three case studies: induced gravity, thermodynamic gravity, and entanglement gravity. In these, general relativity in the form of the Einstein field equations can (...)
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  • Spacetime Emergence in Quantum Gravity: Functionalism and the Hard Problem.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2019 - Synthese (S2):371-393.
    Spacetime functionalism is the view that spacetime is a functional structure implemented by a more fundamental ontology. Lam and Wüthrich have recently argued that spacetime functionalism helps to solve the epistemological problem of empirical coherence in quantum gravity and suggested that it also (dis)solves the hard problem of spacetime, namely the problem of offering a picture consistent with the emergence of spacetime from a non-spatio-temporal structure. First, I will deny that spacetime functionalism solves the hard problem by showing that it (...)
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  • Empirical Incoherence and Double Functionalism.Sam Baron - 2019 - Synthese 199 (S2):413-439.
    Recent work on quantum gravity suggests that neither spacetime nor spatiotemporally located entites exist at a fundamental level. The loss of both brings with it the threat of empirical incoherence. A theory is empirically incoherent when the truth of that theory undermines the empirical justification for believing it. If neither spacetime nor spatiotemporally located entities exist as a part of a fundamental theory of QG, then such a theory seems to imply that there are no observables and so no way (...)
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  • On the empirical coherence and the spatiotemporal gap problem in quantum gravity: and why functionalism does not (have to) help.Niels Linnemann - 2020 - Synthese 199 (Suppl 2):1-18.
    The empirical coherence problem of quantum gravity is the worry that a theory which does not fundamentally contain local beables located in space and time—such as is arguably the case for certain approaches to quantum gravity—cannot be connected to measurements and thus has its prospects of being empirically adequate undermined. Spacetime functionalism à la Lam and Wüthrich is said to solve this empirical coherence problem as well as bridging a severe conceptual gap between spatiotemporal structures of classical spacetime theories on (...)
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  • Spacetime: Function and Approximation.Sam Baron - unknown
    Several approaches to quantum gravity signal the loss of spacetime at some level. According to spacetime functionalism, spacetime is functionally realised by a more fundamental structure. According to one version of spacetime functionalism, the spacetime role is specified by Ramsifying general relativity. In some approaches to QG, however, there does not appear to be anything that exactly realises the functional role defined by a Ramsey sentence for GR. The spacetime role is approximately realised. It is open to the spacetime functionalist (...)
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  • Finding Space in a Nonspatial World.David J. Chalmers - 2021 - In Christian Wüthrich, Baptiste Le Bihan & Nick Huggett (eds.), Philosophy Beyond Spacetime. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • String Theory, Loop Quantum Gravity and Eternalism.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10:17.
    Eternalism, the view that what we regard locally as being located in the past, the present and the future equally exists, is the best ontological account of temporal existence in line with special and general relativity. However, special and general relativity are not fundamental theories and several research programs aim at finding a more fundamental theory of quantum gravity weaving together all we know from relativistic physics and quantum physics. Interestingly, some of these approaches assert that time is not fundamental. (...)
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  • An apology for conflicts between metaphysics and science in naturalized metaphysics.Rasmus Jaksland - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-24.
    According to naturalized metaphysics, metaphysics should be informed by our current best science and not rely on a priori reasoning. Consequently, naturalized metaphysics tends to dismiss metaphysicians’ attempts to quarrel with science. This paper argues that naturalized metaphysics should instead welcome such conflicts between metaphysics and science. Naturalized metaphysics is not eliminative of metaphysics. So, if such conflicts are driven by the immediate absence in science of an answer to a metaphysical question, then the conflict should not be dismissed, but (...)
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  • Composing Spacetime.Sam Baron & Baptiste Le Bihan - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    According to a number of approaches in theoretical physics spacetime does not exist fundamentally. Rather, spacetime exists by depending on another, more fundamental, non-spatiotemporal structure. A prevalent opinion in the literature is that this dependence should not be analysed in terms of composition. We should not say, that is, that spacetime depends on an ontology of non-spatiotemporal entities in virtue of having them as parts. But is that really right? On the contrary, we argue that a mereological approach to dependent (...)
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  • Loop Quantum Ontology: Spacetime and Spin-Networks.Joshua Norton - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 71:14-25.
  • Suppressing Spacetime Emergence.Joshua Norton - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88:50-59.
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  • Temporal Fictionalism for a Timeless World.Sam Baron, Kristie Miller & Jonathan Tallant - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):281-301.
    Current debate in the metaphysics of time ordinarily assumes that we should be realists about time. Recently, however, a number of physicists and philosophers of physics have proposed that time will play no role in a completed theory of quantum gravity. This paper defends fictionalism about temporal thought, on the supposition that our world is timeless. We argue that, in the face of timeless physical theories, realism about temporal thought is unsustainable: some kind of anti-realism must be adopted. We go (...)
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  • Parts of Spacetime.Sam Baron - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
    Consider the following pair of theses: (i) all fundamental physical objects are spatiotemporal and (ii) all non-fundamental physical objects are ultimately composed of fundamental objects. Work on the physics of quantum gravity suggests that spacetime is a non-fundamental, emergent phenomenon and thus that thesis (i) is false. The fundamentals are non-spatiotemporal in nature. In this paper, I will argue against (ii) on the grounds that non-fundamental spatiotemporal objects cannot be composed of fundamental non-spatiotemporal objects. So, assuming that spacetime is emergent, (...)
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  • As Below, so Before: ‘Synchronic’ and ‘Diachronic’ Conceptions of Spacetime Emergence.Karen Crowther - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7279-7307.
    Typically, a less fundamental theory, or structure, emerging from a more fundamental one is an example of synchronic emergence. A model emerging from a prior model upon which it nevertheless depends is an example of diachronic emergence. The case of spacetime emergent from quantum gravity and quantum cosmology challenges these two conceptions of emergence. Here, I propose two more-general conceptions of emergence, analogous to the synchronic and diachronic ones, but which are potentially applicable to the case of emergent spacetime: an (...)
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  • The Landscape and the Multiverse: What’s the Problem?James Read & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2021 - Synthese 1:1-23.
    As a candidate theory of quantum gravity, the popularity of string theory has waxed and waned over the past four decades. One current source of scepticism is that the theory can be used to derive, depending upon the input geometrical assumptions that one makes, a vast range of different quantum field theories, giving rise to the so-called landscape problem. One apparent way to address the landscape problem is to posit the existence of a multiverse; this, however, has in turn drawn (...)
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  • Eliminating Spacetime.Sam Baron - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    A number of approaches to quantum gravity (QG) seem to imply that spacetime does not exist. Philosophers are quick to point out, however, that the loss of spacetime should not be regarded as total. Rather, we should interpret these approaches as ones that threaten the fundamentality but not the existence of spacetime. In this paper, I argue for two claims. First, I argue that spacetime realism is not forced by QG; spacetime eliminativism remains an option. Second, I argue that eliminativism (...)
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  • L'éternité sans le temps.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2018 - Revue Philosophique De Louvain 116 (3):441-462.
    L'éternalisme implique une forme exotique d'éternité : toute entité, aussi éphémère soit-elle et quelle que soit sa localisation dans le temps, existe relativement à toute autre localisation temporelle. Cet essai vise, premièrement, à défendre l'éternalisme en exhibant les difficultés rédhibitoires du présentisme et du non-futurisme, et deuxièmement à examiner de quelle manière l'éternalisme pourrait être amendé à l'aune d'une affirmation que l'on trouve sous la plume de certains physiciens, à savoir que, fondamentalement, le temps n'existe pas. La disparition du temps (...)
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  • Modal Realism and the Possibility of Island Universes: Why There Are No Possible Worlds.Jiri Benovsky - 2021 - Metaphysica 22 (1):1-13.
    In this article, I defend Lewisian modal realism against objections arising from the possibility of ‘Island Universes’ and other similar cases. The problem comes from Lewis’ claim that possible worlds are spatio-temporally isolated. I suggest a modification of Lewisian modal realism in order to avoid this family of objections. This modification may sound quite radical since it amounts to abandoning the very notion of a possible world, but as radical as it may sound it in fact remains well in the (...)
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  • What Does the World Look Like According to Superdeterminism?Augustin Baas & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The violation of Bell inequalities seems to establish an important fact about the world: that it is non-local. However, this result relies on the assumption of the statistical independence of the measurement settings with respect to potential past events that might have determined them. Superdeterminism refers to the view that a local, and determinist, account of Bell inequalities violations is possible, by rejecting this assumption of statistical independence. We examine and clarify various problems with superdeterminism, looking in particular at its (...)
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