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  1. On Spacetime Functionalism.David John Baker - manuscript
    Eleanor Knox has argued that our concept of spacetime applies to whichever structure plays a certain functional role in the laws (the role of determining local inertial structure). I raise two complications for this approach. First, our spacetime concept seems to have the structure of a cluster concept, which means that Knox's inertial criteria for spacetime cannot succeed with complete generality. Second, the notion of metaphysical fundamentality may feature in the spacetime concept, in which case spacetime functionalism may be uninformative (...)
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  2. [Early First Draft] Must Minkowski Spacetime Be Categorized as Pseudoscience? (Revisiting the Legitimacy of Mansouri-Sexl Test Theory).Shiva Meucci - manuscript
    Here we discuss and hope to solve a problem rooted in the necessity of the study of historical science, the slow deviation of physics education over the past century, and how the loss of crucial contextual tool has debilitated discussion of a very important yet specialized physics sub-topic: the isotropy of the one-way speed of light. Most notably, the information that appears to be most commonly missing is not simply the knowledge of the historical fact that Poincare and Lorentz presented (...)
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  3. Relative Locations.Andrew Bacon - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics (1):44-94.
    The fact that physical laws often admit certain kinds of space-time symmetries is often thought to be problematic for substantivalism --- the view that space-time is as real as the objects it contains. The most prominent alternative, relationism, avoids these problems but at the cost of giving abstract objects (rather than space-time points) a pivotal role in the fundamental metaphysics. This incurs related problems concerning the relation of the physical to the mathematical. In this paper I will present a version (...)
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  4. Closing the Hole Argument.Hans Halvorson & John Byron Manchak - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The hole argument purportedly shows that spacetime substantivalism implies a pernicious form of indeterminism. We show that the argument is seductive only because it mistakes a trivial claim (viz. there are isomorphic models) for a significant claim (viz. there are hole isomorphisms). We prove that the latter claim is false -- thereby closing the debate about whether substantivalism implies indeterminism.
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  5. On Mereology and Metricality.Zee Perry - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    This article motivates and develops a reductive account of the structure of certain physical quantities in terms of their mereology. That is, I argue that quantitative relations like "longer than" or "3.6-times the volume of" can be analyzed in terms of necessary constraints those quantities put on the mereological structure of their instances. The resulting account, I argue, is able to capture the intuition that these quantitative relations are intrinsic to the physical systems they’re called upon to describe and explain.
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  6. The Hole Argument.Oliver Pooley - forthcoming - In Eleanor Knox & Alastair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Physics. Routledge.
    This paper reviews the hole argument as an argument against spacetime substantivalism. After a careful presentation of the argument itself, I critically review possible responses.
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  7. Spacetime Quietism in Quantum Gravity.Sam Baron & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2022 - In Antonio Vassallo (ed.), The Foundations of Spacetime Physics: Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
    The existence and fundamentality of spacetime has been questioned in quantum gravity where spacetime is frequently described as emerging from a more fundamental non-spatiotemporal ontology. This is supposed to lead to various philosophical issues such as the problem of empirical coherence. Yet those issues assume beforehand that we actually understand and agree on the nature of spacetime. Reviewing popular conceptions of spacetime, we find that there is substantial disagreement on this matter, and little hope of resolving it. However, we argue (...)
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  8. Black Hole Philosophy.Gustavo E. Romero - 2021 - Crítica. Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía 53 (159):73–132.
    Black holes are arguably the most extraordinary physical objects we know in the universe. Despite our thorough knowledge of black hole dynamics and our ability to solve Einstein’s equations in situations of ever increasing complexity, the deeper implications of the very existence of black holes for our understanding of space, time, causality, information, and many other things remain poorly understood. In this paper I survey some of these problems. If something is going to be clear from my presentation, I hope (...)
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  9. How to Be a Spacetime Substantivalist.Trevor Teitel - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy.
    The consensus among spacetime substantivalists is to respond to Leibniz's classic shift arguments, and their contemporary incarnation in the form of the hole argument, by pruning the allegedly problematic metaphysical possibilities that generate these arguments. Some substantivalists do so by directly appealing to a modal doctrine akin to anti-haecceitism. Other substantivalists do so by appealing to an underlying hyperintensional doctrine that implies some such modal doctrine. My first aim in this paper is to pose a challenge for all extant forms (...)
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  10. Background Independence: Lessons for Further Decades of Dispute.Trevor Teitel - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 65:41-54.
    Background independence begins life as an informal property that a physical theory might have, often glossed as 'doesn't posit a fixed spacetime background'. Interest in trying to offer a precise account of background independence has been sparked by the pronouncements of several theorists working on quantum gravity that background independence embodies in some sense an essential discovery of the General Theory of Relativity, and a feature we should strive to carry forward to future physical theories. This paper has two goals. (...)
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  11. Space, Time, and (How They) Matter: A Discussion About Some Metaphysical Insights Provided by Our Best Fundamental Physical Theories.Valia Allori - 2016 - In G. C. Ghirardi & S. Wuppuluri (eds.), Space, Time, and The Limits of Human Understanding. Springer. pp. 95-107.
    This paper is a brief (and hopelessly incomplete) non-standard introduction to the philosophy of space and time. It is an introduction because I plan to give an overview of what I consider some of the main questions about space and time: Is space a substance over and above matter? How many dimensions does it have? Is space-time fundamental or emergent? Does time have a direction? Does time even exist? Nonetheless, this introduction is not standard because I conclude the discussion by (...)
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  12. Making Room for Particulars: Plato’s Receptacle as Space, Not Substratum.Christopher Buckels - 2016 - Apeiron 49 (3):303-328.
    The ‘traditional’ interpretation of the Receptacle in Plato’s Timaeus maintains that its parts act as substrata to ordinary particulars such as dogs and tables: particulars are form-matter compounds to which Forms supply properties and the Receptacle supplies a substratum, as well as a space in which these compounds come to be. I argue, against this view, that parts of the Receptacle cannot act as substrata for those particulars. I also argue, making use of contemporary discussions of supersubstantivalism, against a substratum (...)
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  13. Relativity and Three Four‐Dimensionalisms.Cody Gilmore, Damiano Costa & Claudio Calosi - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (2):102-120.
    Relativity theory is often said to support something called ‘the four-dimensional view of reality’. But there are at least three different views that sometimes go by this name. One is ‘spacetime unitism’, according to which there is a spacetime manifold, and if there are such things as points of space or instants of time, these are just spacetime regions of different sorts: thus space and time are not separate manifolds. A second is the B-theory of time, according to which the (...)
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  14. Super-Relationism: Combining Eliminativism About Objects and Relationism About Spacetime.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2151-2172.
    I will introduce and motivate eliminativist super-relationism. This is the conjunction of relationism about spacetime and eliminativism about material objects. According to the view, the universe is a big collection of spatio-temporal relations and natural properties, and no substance (material or spatio-temporal) exists in it. The view is original since eliminativism about material objects, when understood as including not only ordinary objects like tables or chairs but also physical particles, is generally taken to imply substantivalism about spacetime: if properties are (...)
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  15. Leibniz on the Modal Status of Absolute Space and Time.Martin Lin - 2016 - Noûs 50 (3):447-464.
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  16. The ‘Space’ at the Intersection of Platonism and Nominalism.Edward Slowik - 2015 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (2):393-408.
    This essay explores the use of platonist and nominalist concepts, derived from the philosophy of mathematics and metaphysics, as a means of elucidating the debate on spacetime ontology and the spatial structures endorsed by scientific realists. Although the disputes associated with platonism and nominalism often mirror the complexities involved with substantivalism and relationism, it will be argued that a more refined three-part distinction among platonist/nominalist categories can nonetheless provide unique insights into the core assumptions that underlie spatial ontologies, but it (...)
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  17. Building Enduring Objects Out of Spacetime.Cody Gilmore - 2014 - In Claudio Calosi & Pierluigi Graziani (eds.), Mereology and the Sciences: Parts and Wholes in the Contemporary Scientific Context. Springer. pp. 5-34.
    Endurantism, the view that material objects are wholly present at each moment of their careers, is under threat from supersubstantivalism, the view that material objects are identical to spacetime regions. I discuss three compromise positions. They are alike in that they all take material objects to be composed of spacetime points or regions without being identical to any such point or region. They differ in whether they permit multilocation and in whether they generate cases of mereologically coincident entities.
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  18. On Where Things Could Be.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (1):60-80.
    Some philosophers respond to Leibniz’s “shift” argument against absolute space by appealing to antihaecceitism about possible worlds, using David Lewis’s counterpart theory. But separated from Lewis’s distinctive system, it is difficult to understand what this doctrine amounts to or how it bears on the Leibnizian argument. In fact, the best way of making sense of the relevant kind of antihaecceitism concedes the main point of the Leibnizian argument, pressing us to consider alternative spatiotemporal metaphysics.
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  19. Newton’s Neo-Platonic Ontology of Space.Edward Slowik - 2013 - Foundations of Science 18 (3):419-448.
    This paper investigates Newton’s ontology of space in order to determine its commitment, if any, to both Cambridge neo-Platonism, which posits an incorporeal basis for space, and substantivalism, which regards space as a form of substance or entity. A non-substantivalist interpretation of Newton’s theory has been famously championed by Howard Stein and Robert DiSalle, among others, while both Stein and the early work of J. E. McGuire have downplayed the influence of Cambridge neo-Platonism on various aspects of Newton’s own spatial (...)
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  20. The Deep Metaphysics of Quantum Gravity: The Seventeenth Century Legacy and an Alternative Ontology Beyond Substantivalism and Relationism.Edward Slowik - 2013 - Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):490-499.
    This essay presents an alternative to contemporary substantivalist and relationist interpretations of quantum gravity hypotheses by means of an historical comparison with the ontology of space in the seventeenth century. Utilizing differences in the spatial geometry between the foundational theory and the theory derived from the foundational, in conjunction with nominalism and platonism, it will be argued that there are crucial similarities between seventeenth century and contemporary theories of space, and that these similarities reveal a host of underlying conceptual issues (...)
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  21. Perspectivas modernas: Leibniz, Newton y Kant.Martin F. Fricke - 2012 - In Rosario Gómez, Adam Sellen & Arturo Taracena Arriola (eds.), Diálogos sobre los espacios: imaginados, percibidos y construidos. Mérida, Mexico: UNAM. pp. 47-78.
    El capítulo introduce al debate sobre la naturaleza del espacio entre Leibniz y Clarke/Newton y a la posición que adopta Kant más tarde. En particular, se exponen los dos principales argumentos de Leibniz, basados en los Principios de Razón Suficiente e Identidad de Indiscernibles, en favor del relacionismo así como algunas respuestas de Clarke/Newton. También se presenta el argumento basado en la orientación del espacio que propuso Kant en 1768 para refutar el relacionismo de Leibniz. Se concluye con una breve (...)
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  22. The Relationist and Substantivalist Theories of Time: Foes or Friends?Jiri Benovsky - 2011 - European Journal of Philosophy 19 (4):491-506.
    Abstract: There are two traditionally rival views about the nature of time: substantivalism that takes time to be a substance that exists independently of events located in it, and relationism that takes time to be constructed out of events. In this paper, first, I want to make some progress with respect to the debate between these two views, and I do this mainly by examining the strategies they use to face the possibilities of ‘empty time’ and ‘time without change’. As (...)
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  23. Physical Geometry and Fundamental Metaphysics.Cian Dorr - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (1pt1):135-159.
    I explore some ways in which one might base an account of the fundamental metaphysics of geometry on the mathematical theory of Linear Structures recently developed by Tim Maudlin (2010). Having considered some of the challenges facing this approach, Idevelop an alternative approach, according to which the fundamental ontology includes concrete entities structurally isomorphic to functions from space-time points to real numbers.
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  24. Substrata and Properties: From Bare Particulars to Supersubstantivalism?Matteo Morganti - 2011 - Metaphysica 12 (2):183-195.
    An argument to the effect that, under a few reasonable assumptions, the bare particular ontology is best understood in terms of supersubstativalism: objects are identical to regions of space(-time) and properties directly inhere in space(-time) points or region as their bearers.
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  25. Relational and Substantival Ontologies, and the Nature and the Role of Primitives in Ontological Theories.Jiri Benovsky - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (1):101-121.
    Several metaphysical debates have typically been modeled as oppositions between a relationist approach and a substantivalist approach. Such debates include the Bundle Theory and the Substratum Theory about ordinary material objects, the Bundle (Humean) Theory and the Substance (Cartesian) Theory of the Self, and Relationism and Substantivalism about time. In all three debates, the substantivalist side typically insists that in order to provide a good treatment of the subject-matter of the theory (time, Self, material objects), it is necessary to postulate (...)
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  26. Newton's Metaphysics of Space: A “Tertium Quid” Betwixt Substantivalism and Relationism, or Merely a “God of the (Rational Mechanical) Gaps”?Edward Slowik - 2009 - Perspectives on Science 17 (4):pp. 429-456.
    This paper investigates the question of, and the degree to which, Newton’s theory of space constitutes a third-way between the traditional substantivalist and relationist ontologies, i.e., that Newton judged that space is neither a type of substance/entity nor purely a relation among such substances. A non-substantivalist reading of Newton has been famously defended by Howard Stein, among others; but, as will be demonstrated, these claims are problematic on various grounds, especially as regards Newton’s alleged rejection of the traditional substance/accident dichotomy (...)
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  27. Spacetime, Ontology, and Structural Realism.Edward Slowik - 2005 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (2):147 – 166.
    This essay explores the possibility of constructing a structural realist interpretation of spacetime theories that can resolve the ontological debate between substantivalists and relationists. Drawing on various structuralist approaches in the philosophy of mathematics, as well as on the theoretical complexities of general relativity, our investigation will reveal that a structuralist approach can be beneficial to the spacetime theorist as a means of deflating some of the ontological disputes regarding similarly structured spacetimes.
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  28. A Curiosity About Newtonian Gravity.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    We give a very curious curiosity about Newtonian gravity.
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  29. A Curiosity About Newtonian Gravity V. 2.0.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    We give a very curious curiosity about Newtonian Gravity.
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