Can the Bundle Theory Save Substantivalism from the Hole Argument?

Philosophy of Science 68 (S3):S358-S370 (2001)
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Abstract

One of the most serious theoretical obstacles to contemporary spacetime substantivalism is Earman and Norton's hole argument. We argue that applying the bundle theory of substance to spacetime points allows spacetime substantivalists to escape the conclusion of this argument. Some philosophers have claimed that the bundle theory cannot be applied to substantival spacetime in this way due to problems in individuating spacetime points in symmetrical spacetimes. We demonstrate that it is possible to overcome these difficulties if spatiotemporal properties are viewed as tropes rather than universals.

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Author Profiles

Glenn Parsons
Ryerson University
Patrick McGivern
University of Wollongong

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References found in this work

What price spacetime substantivalism? The hole story.John Earman & John Norton - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (4):515-525.
Human Knowledge, Its Scope and Limits.Bertrand Russell - 1949 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 54 (2):198-199.
The Metaphysics of Space-Time Substantivalism.Carl Hoefer - 1996 - Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):5-27.

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