The general-relativistic case for super-substantivalism

Synthese 199 (5-6):13789-13822 (2021)
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Super-substantivalism roughly comprises two core tenets: the physical properties which we attribute to matter can be attributed to spacetime directly, with no need for matter as an extraneous carrier “on top of” spacetime; spacetime is more fundamental than matter. In the present paper, we revisit a recent argument in favour of super-substantivalism, based on General Relativity. A critique is offered that highlights the difference between fundamentality and ontological dependence. This affords a metaphysically more perspicuous view of what super-substantivalism’s tenets actually assert, and how it may be defended. We tentatively propose a re-formulation of the original argument that not only seems to apply to all classical physics, but also chimes with a standard interpretation of spacetime theories in the philosophy of physics.



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Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
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