The origins of the spacetime Metric: Bell’s Lorentzian Pedagogy and its significance in general relativity

In Craig Callender & Nick Huggett (eds.), Physics Meets Philosophy at the Plank Scale. Cambridge University Press. pp. 256--72 (1999)
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The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the `Lorentzian Pedagogy' defended by J.S. Bell in his essay ``How to teach special relativity'', and to explore its consistency with Einstein's thinking from 1905 to 1952. Some remarks are also made in this context on Weyl's philosophy of relativity and his 1918 gauge theory. Finally, it is argued that the Lorentzian pedagogy---which stresses the important connection between kinematics and dynamics---clarifies the role of rods and clocks in general relativity.



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Oliver Pooley
Oxford University
Harvey Brown
Oxford University

Citations of this work

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.
Drawing the line between kinematics and dynamics in special relativity.Michel Janssen - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (1):26-52.

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Autobiographical Notes.Max Black, Albert Einstein & Paul Arthur Schilpp - 1949 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 15 (2):157.
Geometrie Und Erfahrung.Albert Einstein - 1921 - Akademie der Wissenschaften, in Kommission Bei W. De Gruyter.
How to teach special relativity.John S. Bell - 1976 - Progress in Scientific Culture 1.
Relativity and Geometry.R. Torretti - 1985 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 36 (1):100-104.
Mach's principle and the structure of dynamical theories.Julian B. Barbour & Bruno Bertotti - 1982 - Proceedings of the Royal Society, London:295--306.

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