Rehabilitating relationalism

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (1):35 – 52 (1999)
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Abstract

I argue that the conviction, widespread among philosophers, that substantivalism enjoys a clear superiority over relationalism in both Newtonian and relativistic physics is ill-founded. There are viable relationalist approaches to understanding these theories, and the substantival-relational debate should be of interest to philosophers and physicists alike, because of its connection with questions about the correct space of states for various physical theories.

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Gordon Belot
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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