A new approach to the relational‐substantival debate

Abstract

We should see the debate over the existence of spacetime as a debate about the fundamentality of spatiotemporal structure to the physical world. This is a non-traditional conception of the debate, which captures the spirit of the traditional one. At the same time, it clarifies the point of contention between opposing views and offsets worries that the dispute is stagnant or non-substantive. It also unearths a novel argument for substantivalism, given current physics. Even so, that conclusion can be overridden by future physics. I conclude that this debate is a substantive one, which the substantivalist is currently winning.

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Jill North
Rutgers University - New Brunswick

References found in this work

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Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-135.
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Citations of this work

What Theoretical Equivalence Could Not Be.Trevor Teitel - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):4119-4149.
How to Be a Spacetime Substantivalist.Trevor Teitel - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (5):233-278.
The Dynamical Approach to Spin-2 Gravity.Kian Salimkhani - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 72:29-45.
The Cosmic Void.Eddy Keming Chen - 2021 - In Sara Bernstein & Tyron Goldschmidt (eds.), Non-Being: New Essays on the Metaphysics of Nonexistence. Oxford University Press.

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