Cambridge University Press (1994)

Graham Nerlich
University of Adelaide
This is a revised and updated edition of Graham Nerlich's classic book The Shape of Space. It develops a metaphysical account of space which treats it as a real and concrete entity. In particular, it shows that the shape of space plays a key explanatory role in space and spacetime theories. Arguing that geometrical explanation is very like causal explanation, Professor Nerlich prepares the ground for philosophical argument, and, using a number of novel examples, investigates how different spaces would affect perception differently. This leads naturally to conventionalism as a non-realist metaphysics of space, an account which Professor Nerlich criticises, rejecting its Kantian and positivistic roots along with Reichenbach's famous claim that even the topology of space is conventional. He concludes that there is, in fact, no problem of underdetermination for this aspect of spacetime theories, and offers an extensive discussion of the relativity of motion.
Keywords Space and time   Relation   Science
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Reprint years 2009, 2011
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ISBN(s) 9780511621130   9780521450140   9780511883835   0521456452   0521211018
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Spacetime the One Substance.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (1):131 - 148.
Extended Simples.Kris McDaniel - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):131 - 141.
A New Approach to the Relational‐Substantival Debate.Jill North - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 11:3-43.

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