Authors
David Baker
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Abstract
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 in the absence of answers to fundamental metaphysical questions like the substantivalist/relationist debate.
Keywords spacetime  classical physics  symmetries/invariances  metaphysics of science
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References found in this work BETA

Realism and Reason.Hilary Putnam - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
Emergent Spacetime and Empirical (in) Coherence.Nick Huggett & Christian Wüthrich - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):276-285.
Realism and Reason.Hilary Putnam - 1977 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 50 (6):483-498.
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.

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Citations of this work BETA

General-Relativistic Covariance.Neil Dewar - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (4):294-318.
Two Dogmas of Dynamicism.James Owen Weatherall - 2020 - Synthese 199 (S2):253-275.

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