Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1063-1072 (2003)
Although Trautman (1966) appears to give a unified-field treatment of electrodynamics in Newtonian spacetime, there are difficulties in cogently interpreting it as such in relation to the facts of electromagnetic and magneto-electric induction. Presented here is a covariant, non-unified field treatment of the Maxwell-Lorentz theory with absolute space. This dispels a worry in Earman (1989) as to whether there are any historically realistic examples in which absolute space plays an indispenable role. It also shows how Trautman`s formulation can be rendered coherent, albeit at the cost of de-unification, by reinterpreting the Maxwell tensor as a composite object involving, in part, elements from Newtonian spacetime.
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