John Earman and John Norton have argued that substantivalism leads to a radical form of indeterminism within local spacetime theories. I compare their argument to more traditional arguments typical in the Relationist/Substantivalist dispute and show that they all fail for the same reason. All these arguments ascribe to the substantivalist a particular way of talking about possibility. I argue that the substantivalist is not committed to the modal claims required for the arguments to have any force, and show that this (...) naturally leads to an alteration in the way determinism is characterized for local spacetime theories. (shrink)
The hole argument contends that a substantivalist has to view General Relativity as an indeterministic theory. A recent form of substantivalist reply to the hole argument has urged the substantivalist to identify qualitatively isomorphic possible worlds. Gordon Belot has argued that this form of substantivalism is unable to capture other genuine violations of determinism. This paper argues that Belot's alleged examples of indeterminism should not be seen as a violation of a form of determinism that physicists are interested in. What (...) is undetermined in these examples, and in the hole argument, is a haecceitistic feature of the world. It is argued that these features are not among those we should expect the physical state of the world to determine. This vindicates the substantivalist reply to the hole argument, but also illustrates that philosophers of physics cannot ignore metaphysics when characterizing determinism for a physical theory. (shrink)
I illustrate a challenge to a view that is a response to the Hole Argument. The view, sophisticated substantivalism, has been claimed to be the received view. While sophisticated substantivalism has many defenders, there is a fundamental tension in the view that has not received the attention it deserves. Anyone who defends or endorses sophisticated substantivalism, should acknowledge this challenge, and should either show why it is not serious or explain how to respond to it.
Kant's argument from incongruent counterparts for substantival space is examined; it is concluded that the argument has no force against a relationist. The argument does suggest that a relationist cannot give an account of enantiomorphism, incongruent counterparts and orientability. The prospects for a relationist account of these notions are assessed, and it is found that they are good provided the relationist is some kind of modal relationist. An illustration and interpretation of these modal commitments is given.
One cannot expect an exact answer to the question “What are the possible structures of space?”, but rough answers to it impact central debates within philosophy of space and time. Recently Gordon Belot has suggested that a rough answer takes the class of metric spaces to represent the possible structures of space. This answer has intuitive appeal, but I argue, focusing on topological characterizations of dimension, examples of prima facie space-like mathematical spaces that have pathological dimension properties, and endorsing a (...) principle of plenitude for possibility, that we get a different rough answer: either the class of metrizable spaces or the class of separable metrizable spaces are possible structures of space. (shrink)
How should we understand relativistic persistence? Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9543-3 Authors Carolyn Brighouse, Department of Philosophy, Occidental College, 1600 Campus Road, Los Angeles, CA 90041, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.