Authors
Gordon Belot
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Abstract
Intuitively, a classical field theory is background-in- dependent if the structure required to make sense of its equations is itself subject to dynamical evolution, rather than being imposed ab initio. The aim of this paper is to provide an explication of this intuitive notion. Background-independence is not a not formal property of theories: the question whether a theory is background-independent depends upon how the theory is interpreted. Under the approach proposed here, a theory is fully background-independent relative to an interpretation if each physical possibility corresponds to a distinct spacetime geometry; and it falls short of full background-independence to the extent that this condition fails.
Keywords General Relativity  Background Independence  General Covariance  Absolute Objects  Asymptotic Boundary Conditions
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References found in this work BETA

The Case for Background Independence.Lee Smolin - 2006 - In Dean Rickles, Steven French & Juha T. Saatsi (eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity. Oxford University Press. pp. 196--239.
An Elementary Notion of Gauge Equivalence.Gordon Belot - 2008 - General Relativity and Gravitation 40.
Covariance, Invariance, and the Equivalence of Frames.J. Earman - 1974 - Foundations of Physics 4 (2):267-289.

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Citations of this work BETA

Dualities and Emergent Gravity: Gauge/Gravity Duality.Sebastian de Haro - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 59:109-125.
Background Independence: Lessons for Further Decades of Dispute.Trevor Teitel - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics:41-54.
Quantum Gravity and the Nature of Space and Time.Keizo Matsubara - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (3):e12405.

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