Relationalism about mechanics based on a minimalist ontology of matter

Abstract
This paper elaborates on relationalism about space and time as motivated by a minimalist ontology of the physical world: there are only matter points that are individuated by the distance relations among them, with these relations changing. We assess two strategies to combine this ontology with physics, using classical mechanics as example: the Humean strategy adopts the standard, non-relationalist physical theories as they stand and interprets their formal apparatus as the means of bookkeeping of the change of the distance relations instead of committing us to additional elements of the ontology. The alternative theory strategy seeks to combine the relationalist ontology with a relationalist physical theory that reproduces the predictions of the standard theory in the domain where these are empirically tested. We show that, as things stand, this strategy cannot be accomplished without compromising a minimalist relationalist ontology.
Keywords Relationalism  Parsimony  Atomism  Matter points  Ontic structural realism  Humeanism  Classical mechanics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s13194-016-0160-2
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):42-47.
Quantum Entanglement, Bohmian Mechanics, and Humean Supervenience.Elizabeth Miller - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):567-583.
One World, One Beable.Craig Callender - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3153-3177.
The Metaphysics within Physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 69 (3):610-611.
Are Quantum Particles Objects?Simon Saunders - 2006 - Analysis 66 (1):52-63.

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Leibnizian Relationalism for General Relativistic Physics.Antonio Vassallo & Michael Esfeld - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics:101-107.
An Essay on Ontology.Joseph Kaipayil - 2008 - Kochi: Karunikan Books.
Ontic Structural Realism and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.Michael Esfeld - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (1):19-32.
Relationalism Rehabilitated? I: Classical Mechanics.Oliver Pooley & Harvey R. Brown - 2002 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (2):183--204.
Quantity of Matter or Intrinsic Property: Why Mass Cannot Be Both.Mario Hubert - 2016 - In Laura Felline, Antonio Ledda, F. Paoli & Emanuele Rossanese (eds.), New Developments in Logic and Philosophy of Science. London: College Publications. pp. 267–77.
Primitive Ontology in a Nutshell.Valia Allori - 2015 - International Journal of Quantum Foundations 1 (2):107-122.
Quantum Humeanism, Or: Physicalism Without Properties.M. Esfeld - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):453-470.
Added to PP index
2016-09-02

Total downloads
61 ( #97,546 of 2,231,532 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #47,100 of 2,231,532 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature