A remark about the "geodesic principle" in general relativity

Abstract

It is often claimed that the geodesic principle can be recovered as a theorem in general relativity. Indeed, it is claimed that it is a consequence of Einstein's equation (or of the conservation principle that is, itself, a consequence of that equation). These claims are certainly correct, but it may be worth drawing attention to one small qualification. Though the geodesic principle can be recovered as theorem in general relativity, it is not a consequence of Einstein's equation (or the conservation principle) alone. Other assumptions are needed to drive the theorems in question. One needs to put more in if one is to get the geodesic principle out. My goal in this short note is to make this claim precise (i.e., that other assumptions are needed).

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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.
Effective spacetime geometry.Eleanor Knox - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):346-356.
A Primer on Energy Conditions.Erik Curiel - 2017 - In Dennis Lehmkuhl, Gregor Schiemann & Erhard Scholz (eds.), Towards a Theory of Spacetime Theories. Birkhäuser. pp. 43-104.

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