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  1. Urbild Und Abbild. Leibniz, Kant Und Hausdorff Über Das Raumproblem.Marco Giovanelli - 2010 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 41 (2):283-313.
    The article attempts to reconsider the relationship between Leibniz’s and Kant’s philosophy of geometry on the one hand and the nineteenth century debate on the foundation of geometry on the other. The author argues that the examples used by Leibniz and Kant to explain the peculiarity of the geometrical way of thinking are actually special cases of what the Jewish-German mathematician Felix Hausdorff called “transformation principle”, the very same principle that thinkers such as Helmholtz or Poincaré applied in a more (...)
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  • Relationism Rehabilitated? II: Relativity.Oliver Pooley - manuscript
    In a companion paper (Pooley & Brown 2001) it is argued that Julian Barbour's Machian approach to dynamics provides a genuinely relational interpretation of Newtonian dynamics and that it is more explanatory than the conventional, substantival interpretation. In this paper the extension of the approach to relativistic physics is considered. General relativity, it turns out, can be reinterpreted as a perfectly Machian theory. However, there are difficulties with viewing the Machian interpretation as more fundamental than the conventional, spacetime interpretation. Moreover, (...)
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  • Absolute Quantum Mechanics.Steven Weinstein - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (1):67-73.
    Whereas one can conceive of a relational classical mechanics in which absolute space and time do not play a fundamental role, quantum mechanics does not readily admit any such relational formulation.
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  • Absolute Objects and Counterexamples: Jones--Geroch Dust, Torretti Constant Curvature, Tetrad-Spinor, and Scalar Density.J. Brian Pitts - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37:347-71.
    James L. Anderson analyzed the novelty of Einstein's theory of gravity as its lack of "absolute objects." Michael Friedman's related work has been criticized by Roger Jones and Robert Geroch for implausibly admitting as absolute the timelike 4-velocity field of dust in cosmological models in Einstein's theory. Using the Rosen-Sorkin Lagrange multiplier trick, I complete Anna Maidens's argument that the problem is not solved by prohibiting variation of absolute objects in an action principle. Recalling Anderson's proscription of "irrelevant" variables, I (...)
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  • Some Thoughts on Relativity and the Flow of Time: Einstein's Equations Given Absolute Simultaneity.J. Brian Pitts - unknown
    The A-theory of time has intuitive and metaphysical appeal, but suffers from tension, if not inconsistency, with the special and general theories of relativity (STR and GTR). The A-theory requires a notion of global simultaneity invariant under the symmetries of the world's laws, those ostensible transformations of the state of the world that in fact leave the world as it was before. Relativistic physics, if read in a realistic sense, denies that there exists any notion of global simultaneity that is (...)
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  • Newton and Leibniz on Non-Substantival Space.Alejandro Cassini - 2005 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 20 (1):25-43.
    The aim of this paper is to analyze Leibniz and Newton’s conception of space, and to point out where their agreements and disagreements lie with respect to its mode of existence. I shall offer a definite characterization of Leibniz and Newton’s conceptions of space. I will show that, according to their own concepts of substance, both Newtonian and Leibnizian spaces are not substantiva!. The reason of that consists in the fact that space is not capable of action. Moreover, there is (...)
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  • General Covariance and the Objectivity of Space-Time Point-Events.Luca Lusanna & Massimo Pauri - unknown
    "The last remnant of physical objectivity of space-time" is disclosed, beyond the Leibniz equivalence, in the case of a continuous family of spatially non-compact models of general relativity. The physical individuation of point-events is furnished by the intrinsic degrees of freedom of the gravitational field, (viz, the "Dirac observables") that represent - as it were - the "ontic" part of the metric field. The physical role of the "epistemic" part (viz. the "gauge" variables) is likewise clarified. At the end, a (...)
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  • Problem samodzielności stanowiska strukturalizmu czasoprzestrzennego.Damian Luty - 2016 - Semina Scientiarum 15:172-187.
    The aim of this paper is to place the considerations provided by a philosophical family of positions called “spacetime structuralism” in the context of the debate between classical views: substantivalism and relationism in the philosophy of spacetime. Altough this task was somehow tackled in the past by other researchers, they never stated most generally, what exactly the problem with spacetime structuralism as a standpoint was. I view that problem as the problem of its autonomy and potential reducibility to both of (...)
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  • Absoliutizmo Ir Reliacionizmo Knotroversija: Newtonas Vs. Leibnizas.Jonas Čiurlionis - 2016 - Problemos 90:126-136.
    Straipsnyje nagrinėjama absoliutistinės ir reliacionistinės erdvės ir laiko koncepcijų kontroversija. Lyginamos Newtono ir Leibnizo teorijos, pateikiami kitų diskusijoje dalyvavusių filosofų požiūriai. Atskleidžiami abiejų teorijų argumentacijų trūkumai ir privalumai. Straipsniu nesiekiama atstovauti kuriai nors pozicijai, lyginamoji abiejų požiūrių analizė leidžia skaitytojui susidaryti nešališką vertinimą. Teigiama, kad abiejų erdvės ir laiko sampratų prielaidos yra greičiau metafizinės nei fizikinės. Nurodoma, kad klasikinė diskusija yra vis dar aktuali šiuolaikiniame moksliniame kontekste.
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  • Editorial.[author unknown] - forthcoming - Disputatio 9 (44):1-4.
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  • Symmetry as an Epistemic Notion.Shamik Dasgupta - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):837-878.
    Symmetries in physics are a guide to reality. That much is well known. But what is less well known is why symmetry is a guide to reality. What justifies inferences that draw conclusions about reality from premises about symmetries? I argue that answering this question reveals that symmetry is an epistemic notion twice over. First, these inferences must proceed via epistemic lemmas: premises about symmetries in the first instance justify epistemic lemmas about our powers of detection, and only from those (...)
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  • Symmetry & Possibility: To Reduce or Not Reduce?Dean Rickles - unknown
    In this paper I examine the connection between symmetry and modality from the perspective of `reduction' methods in geometric mechanics. I begin by setting the problem up as a choice between two opposing views: reduction and non-reduction. I then discern four views on the matter in the literature; they are distinguished by their advocation of distinct geometric spaces as representing `reality'. I come down in favour of non-reductive methods.
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  • Was Leibniz the First Spacetime Structuralist?Kyle Sereda - unknown
    I argue that the standard interpretation of Leibniz as a relationist about space is mistaken, and defend a reading according to which his correspondence with Samuel Clarke actually suggests that Leibniz holds a view closely resembling modern spacetime structuralism. I distinguish my proposal from Belot's recent reading of Leibniz as a modal relationist, arguing for the superiority of my reading based on the Clarke correspondence and on Leibniz's conception of God's relation to the created world. I note a tension between (...)
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  • On Spacetime, Points, and Bare Particulars.Martin Schmidt - 2008 - Metaphysica 9 (1):69-77.
    In his paper Bare Particulars, T. Sider claims that one of the most plausible candidates for bare particulars are spacetime points. The aim of this paper is to shed light on Sider’s reasoning and its consequences. There are three concepts of spacetime points that allow their identification with bare particulars. One of them, Moderate structural realism, is considered to be the most adequate due its appropriate approach to spacetime metric and moderate view of mereological simples. However, it pushes the Substratum (...)
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  • Psa 2012.-Preprint Volume- - unknown
    These preprints were automatically compiled into a PDF from the collection of papers deposited in PhilSci-Archive in conjunction with the PSA 2012.
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  • Disposition‐Manifestations and Reference‐Frames.Alastair Wilson - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (4):591-601.
    Dispositions can combine as vector sums. Recent authors on dispositions, such as George Molnar and Stephen Mumford, have responded to this feature of dispositions by introducing a distinction between effects and contributions to effects, and by identifying disposition-manifestations with the latter. But some have been sceptical of the reality or knowability of component vectors; Jennifer McKitrick (forthcoming) presses these concerns against the conception of manifestations as contributions to effects. In this paper, I aim to respond to McKitrick's arguments and to (...)
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  • Spacetime Symmetries and the CPT Theorem.Hilary Greaves - unknown
    This dissertation explores several issues related to the CPT theorem. Chapter 2 explores the meaning of spacetime symmetries in general and time reversal in particular. It is proposed that a third conception of time reversal, 'geometric time reversal', is more appropriate for certain theoretical purposes than the existing 'active' and 'passive' conceptions. It is argued that, in the case of classical electromagnetism, a particular nonstandard time reversal operation is at least as defensible as the standard view. This unorthodox time reversal (...)
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  • Is Empty Spacetime a Physical Thing?Diego Meschini & Markku Lehto - 2006 - Foundations of Physics 36 (8):1193-1216.
    This article deals with empty spacetime and the question of its physical reality. By “empty spacetime” we mean a collection of bare spacetime points, the remains of ridding spacetime of all matter and fields. We ask whether these geometric objects—themselves intrinsic to the concept of field—might be observable through some physical test. By taking quantum-mechanical notions into account, we challenge the negative conclusion drawn from the diffeomorphism invariance postulate of general relativity, and we propose new foundational ideas regarding the possible (...)
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  • Absolute Objects and Counterexamples: Jones–Geroch Dust, Torretti Constant Curvature, Tetrad-Spinor, and Scalar Density.J. Brian Pitts - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (2):347-371.
    James L. Anderson analyzed the novelty of Einstein's theory of gravity as its lack of "absolute objects." Michael Friedman's related work has been criticized by Roger Jones and Robert Geroch for implausibly admitting as absolute the timelike 4-velocity field of dust in cosmological models in Einstein's theory. Using the Rosen-Sorkin Lagrange multiplier trick, I complete Anna Maidens's argument that the problem is not solved by prohibiting variation of absolute objects in an action principle. Recalling Anderson's proscription of "irrelevant" variables, I (...)
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  • Horwich On The Leibnizian Ratio Against Absolute Space And Motion.Fernando Birman - 2011 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 7 (1):11-24.
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  • The Path To Supersubstantivalism.Joshua D. Moulton - unknown
    This dissertation is divided into two parts. In the first part I defend substantivalism. I do this by offering, in chapter 1, a counterpart-theoretic defense of substantivalism from Leibniz’ shift arguments. Then, in chapter 2, I defend substantivalism from the hole argument and argue, against the consensus, that the question of haecceitism is irrelevant to substantivalism in the context of general relativity. In the second part of the dissertation I defend supersubstantivalism. I do this by offering, in chapter 3, an (...)
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  • Background Independence, Diffeomorphism Invariance, and the Meaning of Coordinates.Oliver Pooley - 2015 - In Dennis Lehmkuhl (ed.), Towards a Theory of Spacetime Theories. Birkhäuser.
    Diffeomorphism invariance is sometimes taken to be a criterion of background independence. This claim is commonly accompanied by a second, that the genuine physical magnitudes (the ``observables'') of background-independent theories and those of background-dependent (non-diffeomorphism-invariant) theories are essentially different in nature. I argue against both claims. Background-dependent theories can be formulated in a diffeomorphism-invariant manner. This suggests that the nature of the physical magnitudes of relevantly analogous theories (one background free, the other background dependent) is essentially the same. The temptation (...)
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  • Categories and the Foundations of Classical Field Theories.James Owen Weatherall - forthcoming - In Elaine Landry (ed.), Categories for the Working Philosopher. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    I review some recent work on applications of category theory to questions concerning theoretical structure and theoretical equivalence of classical field theories, including Newtonian gravitation, general relativity, and Yang-Mills theories.
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  • An Empirical Approach to Symmetry and Probability.Jill North - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (1):27-40.
    We often use symmetries to infer outcomes’ probabilities, as when we infer that each side of a fair coin is equally likely to come up on a given toss. Why are these inferences successful? I argue against answering this with an a priori indifference principle. Reasons to reject that principle are familiar, yet instructive. They point to a new, empirical explanation for the success of our probabilistic predictions. This has implications for indifference reasoning in general. I argue that a priori (...)
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  • 'No Success Like Failure ...': Einstein's Quest for General Relativity, 1907-1920.Michel Janssen - unknown
    This is the chapter on general relativity for the Cambridge Companion to Einstein which I am co-editing with Christoph Lehner.
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  • Did Time Have a Beginning?Henrik Zinkernagel - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):237 – 258.
    By analyzing the meaning of time I argue, without endorsing operationalism, that time is necessarily related to physical systems which can serve as clocks. This leads to a version of relationism about time which entails that there is no time 'before' the universe. Three notions of metaphysical 'time' (associated, respectively, with time as a mathematical concept, substantivalism, and modal relationism) which might support the idea of time 'before' the universe are discussed. I argue that there are no good reasons to (...)
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  • Towards a Geometrical Understanding of the Cpt Theorem.Hilary Greaves - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):27-50.
    The CPT theorem of quantum field theory states that any relativistic (Lorentz-invariant) quantum field theory must also be invariant under CPT, the composition of charge conjugation, parity reversal and time reversal. This paper sketches a puzzle that seems to arise when one puts the existence of this sort of theorem alongside a standard way of thinking about symmetries, according to which spacetime symmetries (at any rate) are associated with features of the spacetime structure. The puzzle is, roughly, that the existence (...)
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  • The Relativity and Equivalence Principles for Self-Gravitating Systems.David Wallace - 2009 - In Dennis Lehmkuhl (ed.), Towards a Theory of Spacetime Theories.
    I criticise the view that the relativity and equivalence principles are consequences of the small-scale structure of the metric in general relativity, by arguing that these principles also apply to systems with non-trivial self-gravitation and hence non-trivial spacetime curvature (such as black holes). I provide an alternative account, incorporating aspects of the criticised view, which allows both principles to apply to systems with self-gravity.
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  • The Fundamental Arrow of Time in Classical Cosmology.Daniel Wohlfarth - unknown
    The aim of this paper is to show that a new understanding of fundamentality, can be applied successfully in classical cosmology and is able to improve a fundamental understanding of cosmological time asymmetries. In the introduction, I refer to various views from different literature. I begin by arguing against various arguments, provided in favour of the view that the directedness of time is not a fundamental property of nature, ]) in section 1.1. Next, in section 1.2, I refer to some (...)
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  • On Space-Time Singularities, Holes, and Extensions.John Byron Manchak - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1066-1076.
    Here, we clarify the relationship among three space-time conditions of interest: geodesic completeness, hole-freeness, and inextendibility. In addition, we introduce a related fourth condition: effective completeness.
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  • Deflating the Deflationary View of Information.Olimpia Lombardi, Sebastian Fortin & Cristian López - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (2):209-230.
    Christopher Timpson proposes a deflationary view about information, according to which the term ‘information’ is an abstract noun and, as a consequence, information is not part of the material contents of the world. The main purpose of the present article consists in supplying a critical analysis of this proposal, which will lead us to conclude that information is an item even more abstract than what Timpson claims. From this view, we embrace a pluralist stance that recognizes the legitimacy of different (...)
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  • Handedness, Parity Violation, and the Reality of Space.Oliver Pooley - 2001 - In Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections. Cambridge University Press. pp. 250--280.
    In the first part of this paper a relational account of incongruent counterparts is defended against an argument due to Kant. I then consider a more recent attack on such an account, due to John Earman, which alleges that the relationalist cannot account for the lawlike left--right asymmetry manifested in parity-violating phenomena. I review Hoefer's, Huggett's and Saunders' responses to Earman's argument and argue that, while a relationalist account of parity-violating laws is possible, it comes at the cost of non-locality.
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  • Quantum Gravity: Motivations and Alternatives.Reiner Hedrich - unknown
    The mutual conceptual incompatibility between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics / Quantum Field Theory is generally seen as the most essential motivation for the development of a theory of Quantum Gravity. It leads to the insight that, if gravity is a fundamental interaction and Quantum Mechanics is universally valid, the gravitational field will have to be quantized, not at least because of the inconsistency of semi-classical theories of gravity. The objective of a theory of Quantum Gravity would then be to (...)
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  • Essay Review of David Malament, Topics in the Foundations of General Relativity and Newtonian Gravitation Theory.John Byron Manchak - unknown
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  • Phenomenal Time and its Biological Correlates.Ram L. P. Vimal & Christopher J. Davia - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 1 (5):560-572.
    Our goal is to investigate the biological correlates of the first-person experience of time or phenomenal time. ‘Time’ differs in various domains, such as (i) physical time (e.g., clock time), (ii) biological time, such as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, and (iii) the perceptual rate of time. One psychophysical-measure of the perceptual rate is the critical flicker frequency (CFF), in which a flashing light is perceived as unchanging. Focusing on the inability to detect change, as in CFF, may give us insight into (...)
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  • Geometry, Fields, and Spacetime.James Binkoski - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (4):1097-1117.
    I present an argument against a relational theory of spacetime that regards spacetime as a ‘structural quality of the field’. The argument takes the form of a trilemma. To make the argument, I focus on relativistic worlds in which there exist just two fields, an electromagnetic field and a gravitational field. Then there are three options: either spacetime is a structural quality of each field separately, both fields together, or one field but not the other. I argue that the first (...)
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  • Regarding the ‘Hole Argument’.James Owen Weatherall - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (2):329-350.
    I argue that the hole argument is based on a misleading use of the mathematical formalism of general relativity. If one is attentive to mathematical practice, I will argue, the hole argument is blocked. _1._ Introduction _2._ A Warmup Exercise _3._ The Hole Argument _4._ An Argument from Classical Spacetime Theory _5._ The Hole Argument Revisited.
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  • Structural Realism and Quantum Gravity.Tian Yu Cao - 2006 - In Dean Rickles, Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity. Oxford University Press.
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  • Time Machines.John Byron Manchak - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 48 (2):124-127.
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  • Reduction.A. Hütterman & A. C. Love - 2016 - In P. Humphries (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 460-484.
    Reduction and reductionism have been central philosophical topics in analytic philosophy of science for more than six decades. Together they encompass a diversity of issues from metaphysics and epistemology. This article provides an introduction to the topic that illuminates how contemporary epistemological discussions took their shape historically and limns the contours of concrete cases of reduction in specific natural sciences. The unity of science and the impulse to accomplish compositional reduction in accord with a layer-cake vision of the sciences, the (...)
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  • What Price Determinism? The Hole Story!Dean Rickles - unknown
    In their modern classic ``What Price Substantivalism? The Hole Story'' Earman and Norton argued that substantivalism about spacetime points implies that general relativity is indeterministic and, for that reason, must be rejected as a candidate ontology for the theory. More recently, Earman has cottoned on to a related argument (in fact, related to a \emph{response} to the hole argument) that arises in the context of canonical general relativity, according to which the enforcing of determinism along standard lines---using the machinery of (...)
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  • Empiricism and Relationism Intertwined: Hume and Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.Matias Slavov - 2016 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (2):247-263.
    Einstein acknowledged that his reading of Hume influenced the development of his special theory of relativity. In this article, I juxtapose Hume’s philosophy with Einstein’s philosophical analysis related to his special relativity. I argue that there are two common points to be found in their writings, namely an empiricist theory of ideas and concepts, and a relationist ontology regarding space and time. The main thesis of this article is that these two points are intertwined in Hume and Einstein.
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  • Understanding Gauge.James Owen Weatherall - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):1039-1049.
    I consider two usages of the expression "gauge theory". On one, a gauge theory is a theory with excess structure; on the other, a gauge theory is any theory appropriately related to classical electromagnetism. I make precise one sense in which one formulation of electromagnetism, the paradigmatic gauge theory on both usages, may be understood to have excess structure, and then argue that gauge theories on the second usage, including Yang-Mills theory and general relativity, do not generally have excess structure (...)
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  • Space and Time.J. B. Manchak - unknown
    Here, formal tools are used to pose and answer several philosophical questions concerning space and time. The questions involve the properties of possible worlds allowed by the general theory of relativity. In particular, attention is given to various causal properties such as "determinism" and "time travel".
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  • The Dynamical Approach as Practical Geometry.Syman Stevens - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1152-1162.
    This article introduces Harvey Brown and Oliver Pooley’s ‘dynamical approach’ to special relativity, and argues that it may be construed as a relationalist form of Einstein’s ‘practical geometry’. This construal of the dynamical approach is shown to be compatible with related chapters of Brown’s text and also with recent descriptions of the dynamical approach by Pooley and others.
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  • Are Shapes Intrinsic?Bradford Skow - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):111 - 130.
    It is widely believed that shapes are intrinsic properties. But this claim is hard to defend. I survey all known theories of shape properties, and argue that each theory is either incompatible with the claim that shapes are intrinsic, or can be shown to be false.
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  • Extrinsic Temporal Metrics.Bradford Skow - 2010 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 5. Oxford University Press.
    When distinguishing absolute, true, and mathematical time from relative, apparent, and common time, Newton wrote: “absolute, true, and mathematical time, in and of itself and of its own nature, without reference to anything external, flows uniformly” [Newton 2004b: 64]. Newton thought that the temporal metric is intrinsic. Many philosophers have argued—for empiricist reasons or otherwise—that Newton was wrong about the nature of time. They think that the flow of time does involve “reference to something external.” They think that the temporal (...)
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  • A Pre-History of Quantum Gravity: The Seventeenth Century Legacy and the Deep Metaphysics of Space Beyond Substantivalism and Relationism.Edward Slowik - unknown
    This essay demonstrates the inadequacy of contemporary substantivalist and relationist interpretations of quantum gravity hypotheses via an historical investigation of the debate on the underlying ontology of space in the seventeenth century. Viewed in the proper context, there are crucial similarities between seventeenth century theories of space and contemporary work on the ontological foundations of spacetime theories, and these similarities challenge the utility of the substantival/relational dichotomy by revealing a host of underlying conceptual issues that do not naturally align with (...)
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  • Rethinking Newton’s Principia.Simon Saunders - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (1):22-48.
    It is widely accepted that the notion of an inertial frame is central to Newtonian mechanics and that the correct space-time structure underlying Newton’s methods in Principia is neo-Newtonian or Galilean space-time. I argue to the contrary that inertial frames are not needed in Newton’s theory of motion, and that the right space-time structure for Newton’s Principia requires the notion of parallelism of spatial directions at different times and nothing more. Only relative motions are definable in this framework, never absolute (...)
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  • Sklar's Maneuver.Bradford Skow - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (4):777-786.
    Sklar ([1974]) claimed that relationalism about ontology-the doctrine that space and time do not exist-is compatible with Newtonian mechanics. To defend this claim he sketched a relationalist interpretation of Newtonian mechanics. In his interpretation, absolute acceleration is a fundamental, intrinsic property of material bodies; that a body undergoes absolute acceleration does not entail that space and time exist. But Sklar left his proposal as just a sketch; his defense of relationalism succeeds only if the sketch can be filled in. I (...)
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