Simultaneity in Minkowski Spacetime: From Uniqueness to Arbitrariness [Book Review]

Foundations of Physics 42 (9):1115-1134 (2012)

Abstract
Malament (Noûs 11:293–300, 1977) proved a certain uniqueness theorem about standard synchrony, also known as Poincaré-Einstein simultaneity, which has generated many commentaries over the years, some of them contradictory. We think that the situation called for some clarification. After reviewing and discussing some of the literature involved, we prove two results which, hopefully, will help clarifying this debate by filling the gap between the uniquess of Malament’s theorem, which allows the observer to use very few tools, and the complete arbitrariness of a time coordinate in full-fledged Relativity theory. In the spirit of Malament’s theorem, and in opposition to most of its commentators, we emphasize explicit definability of simultaneity relations, and give only constructive proofs. We also explore what happens when we reduce to “purely local” data with respect to an observer
Keywords Special relativity  Simultaneity  Conventionalism
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DOI 10.1007/s10701-012-9649-5
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References found in this work BETA

Axiomatization of the Theory of Relativity.Hans Reichenbach - 1969 - University of California Press.
Conventionality of Simultaneity.Allen Janis - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Uniqueness of Simultaneity.Domenico Giulini - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):651-670.

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