Why Einstein did not believe that general relativity geometrizes gravity

Abstract

I argue that, contrary to folklore, Einstein never really cared for geometrizing the gravitational or the electromagnetic field; indeed, he thought that the very statement that General Relativity geometrizes gravity "is not saying anything at all". Instead, I shall show that Einstein saw the "unification" of inertia and gravity as one of the major achievements of General Relativity. Interestingly, Einstein did not locate this unification in the field equations but in his interpretation of the geodesic equation, the law of motion of test particles.

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Dennis Lehmkuhl
Universität Bonn

Citations of this work

Functional Gravitational Energy.James Read - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (1):205-232.
Dark matter = modified gravity? Scrutinising the spacetime–matter distinction through the modified gravity/ dark matter lens.Niels C. M. Martens & Dennis Lehmkuhl - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 72:237-250.
General relativity as a hybrid theory: The genesis of Einstein's work on the problem of motion.Dennis Lehmkuhl - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 67:176-190.

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References found in this work

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.
On the status of the geodesic principle in Newtonian and relativistic physics.James Owen Weatherall - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):276-281.

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