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Antonio Vassallo
University of Barcelona
  1.  54
    Leibnizian Relationalism for General Relativistic Physics.Antonio Vassallo & Michael Esfeld - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics:101-107.
    An ontology of Leibnizian relationalism, consisting in distance relations among sparse matter points and their change only, is well recognized as a serious option in the context of classical mechanics. In this paper, we investigate how this ontology fares when it comes to general relativistic physics. Using a Humean strategy, we regard the gravitational field as a means to represent the overall change in the distance relations among point particles in a way that achieves the best combination of being simple (...)
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  2.  35
    Can Bohmian Mechanics Be Made Background Independent?Antonio Vassallo - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):242-250.
    The paper presents an inquiry into the question regarding the compatibility of Bohmian mechanics, intended as a non-local theory of moving point-like particles, with background independence. This issue is worth being investigated because, if the Bohmian framework has to be of some help in developing new physics, it has to be compatible with the most well-established traits of modern physics, background independence being one of such traits. The paper highlights the fact that the notion of background independence in the context (...)
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  3.  38
    On the Conceptual Issues Surrounding the Notion of Relational Bohmian Dynamics.Antonio Vassallo & Pui Him Ip - 2016 - Foundations of Physics 46 (8):943-972.
    The paper presents a program to construct a non-relativistic relational Bohmian theory, that is, a theory of N moving point-like particles that dispenses with space and time as fundamental background structures. The relational program proposed is based on the best-matching framework originally developed by Julian Barbour. In particular, the paper focuses on the conceptual problems that arise when trying to implement such a program. It is argued that pursuing a relational strategy in the Bohmian context leads to a more parsimonious (...)
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  4.  59
    On the Importance of Interpretation in Quantum Physics. A Reply to Elise Crull.Antonio Vassallo & Michael Esfeld - 2015 - Foundations of Physics 45 (12):1533-1536.
    Elise Crull claims that by invoking decoherence it is possible to obviate many “fine grained” issues often conflated under the common designation of measurement problem, and to make substantial progresses in the fields of quantum gravity and quantum cosmology, without any early incorporation of a particular interpretation in the quantum formalism. We point out that Crull is mistaken about decoherence and tacitly assumes some kind of interpretation of the quantum formalism.
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  5. A Proposal for a Bohmian Ontology of Quantum Gravity.Antonio Vassallo & Michael Esfeld - 2013 - Foundations of Physics (1):1-18.
    The paper shows how the Bohmian approach to quantum physics can be applied to develop a clear and coherent ontology of non-perturbative quantum gravity. We suggest retaining discrete objects as the primitive ontology also when it comes to a quantum theory of space-time and therefore focus on loop quantum gravity. We conceive atoms of space, represented in terms of nodes linked by edges in a graph, as the primitive ontology of the theory and show how a non-local law in which (...)
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  6.  68
    Relationalism About Mechanics Based on a Minimalist Ontology of Matter.Antonio Vassallo, Dirk-André Deckert & Michael Esfeld - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-20.
    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 (...)
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  7.  63
    General Covariance, Diffeomorphism Invariance, and Background Independence in 5 Dimensions.Antonio Vassallo - 2014 - In Tomasz Bigaj & Christian Wüthrich (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics. Rodopi.
    The paper considers the "GR-desideratum", that is, the way general relativity implements general covariance, diffeomorphism invariance, and background independence. Two cases are discussed where 5-dimensional generalizations of general relativity run into interpretational troubles when the GR-desideratum is forced upon them. It is shown how the conceptual problems dissolve when such a desideratum is relaxed. In the end, it is suggested that a similar strategy might mitigate some major issues such as the problem of time or the embedding of quantum non-locality (...)
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  8.  30
    A Metaphysical Reflection on the Notion of Background in Modern Spacetime Physics.Antonio Vassallo - 2016 - In L. Felline, F. Paoli, E. Rossanese & A. Ledda (eds.), New Developments in Logic and Philosophy of Science. College Publications. pp. 349-365.
    The paper presents a metaphysical characterization of spatiotemporal backgrounds from a realist perspective. The conceptual analysis is based on a heuristic sketch that encompasses the common formal traits of the major spacetime theories, such as Newtonian mechanics and general relativity. It is shown how this framework can be interpreted in a fully realist fashion, and what is the role of background structures in such a picture. In the end it is argued that, although backgrounds are a source of metaphysical discomfort, (...)
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  9.  46
    From Quantum Gravity to Classical Phenomena.Michael Esfeld & Antonio Vassallo - 2013 - In Tilman Sauer & Adrian Wüthrich (eds.), New Vistas on Old Problems. Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge.
    Quantum gravity is supposed to be the most fundamental theory, including a quantum theory of the metrical field (spacetime). However, it is not clear how a quantum theory of gravity could account for classical phenomena, including notably measurement outcomes. But all the evidence that we have for a physical theory is based on measurement outcomes. We consider this problem in the framework of canonical quantum gravity, pointing out a dilemma: all the available accounts that admit classical phenomena presuppose entities with (...)
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