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  1. On Spacetime Functionalism.David John Baker - manuscript
    Eleanor Knox has argued that our concept of spacetime applies to whichever structure plays a certain functional role in the laws (the role of determining local inertial structure). I raise two complications for this approach. First, our spacetime concept seems to have the structure of a cluster concept, which means that Knox's inertial criteria for spacetime cannot succeed with complete generality. Second, the notion of metaphysical fundamentality may feature in the spacetime concept, in which case spacetime functionalism may be uninformative (...)
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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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  • 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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