Authors
Niels C. M. Martens
RWTH AAchen University
Abstract
Absolutism about mass within Newtonian gravity claims that mass ratios obtain in virtue of absolute masses. Comparativism denies this. Defenders of comparativism promise to recover all the empirical and theoretical virtues of absolutism, but at a lower ‘metaphysical cost’. This article develops a Machian form of comparativism about mass in Newtonian gravity, obtained by replacing Newton’s constant in the law of universal gravitation by another constant divided by the sum over all masses. Although this form of comparativism is indeed empirically equivalent to the absolutist version of Newtonian gravity—thereby meeting the challenge posed by the comparativist’s bucket argument—it is argued that the explanatory power and metaphysical parsimony of comparativism are highly questionable.
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axz013
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Counterfactuals. [REVIEW]William Parry - 1973 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 44 (2):278-281.
What Not to Multiply Without Necessity.Jonathan Schaffer - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):644-664.

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