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  1. Force and Objectivity: On Impact, Form, and Receptivity to Nature in Science and Art.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
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  • Why the Parts of Absolute Space Are Immobile.Nick Huggett - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):391-407.
    Newton's arguments for the immobility of the parts of absolute space have been claimed to licence several proposals concerning his metaphysics. This paper clarifies Newton, first distinguishing two distinct arguments. Then, it demonstrates, contrary to Nerlich ([2005]), that Newton does not appeal to the identity of indiscernibles, but rather to a view about de re representation. Additionally, DiSalle ([1994]) claims that one argument shows Newton to be an anti-substantivalist. I agree that its premises imply a denial of a kind of (...)
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  • Relationalism Rehabilitated? I: Classical Mechanics.Oliver Pooley & Harvey R. Brown - 2002 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (2):183--204.
    The implications for the substantivalist–relationalist controversy of Barbour and Bertotti's successful implementation of a Machian approach to dynamics are investigated. It is argued that in the context of Newtonian mechanics, the Machian framework provides a genuinely relational interpretation of dynamics and that it is more explanatory than the conventional, substantival interpretation. In a companion paper (Pooley [2002a]), the viability of the Machian framework as an interpretation of relativistic physics is explored. 1 Introduction 2 Newton versus Leibniz 3 Absolute space versus (...)
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  • Science, Metaphysics and Structural Realism.James Ladyman - 2001 - Philosophica 67.
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  • What Einstein Would Have Said to Aristotle Regarding Dynamics and Cosmology.Favio Ernesto Cala Vitery - 2010 - Ideas Y Valores 59 (142):141-160.
    This paper proposes a parallel in the forms of Aristotle’s and Einstein’s physics. It’s an exercise on conceptual analysis rather than history. The possible similarity between Aristotle’s world and the form of Einstein’s universe is discussed. The correlation between kinematics, dynamics and gravity in their respective theories is also studied. Finally, Aristotle’s ontology of space is compared to the relativistic ontology spacetime.
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  • What is Structural Realism?James Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
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  • Epistemic Primacy Vs. Ontological Elusiveness of Spatial Extension: Is There an Evolutionary Role for the Quantum?Massimo Pauri - 2011 - Foundations of Physics 41 (11):1677-1702.
    A critical re-examination of the history of the concepts of space (including spacetime of general relativity and relativistic quantum field theory) reveals a basic ontological elusiveness of spatial extension, while, at the same time, highlighting the fact that its epistemic primacy seems to be unavoidably imposed on us (as stated by A.Einstein “giving up the extensional continuum … is like to breathe in airless space”). On the other hand, Planck’s discovery of the atomization of action leads to the fundamental recognition (...)
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  • Feminist Philosophy of Science1.Lynn Hankinson Nelson - 2002 - In Peter Machamer Michael Silberstein (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Science. Blackwell. pp. 312.
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  • 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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  • Newton, the Parts of Space, and the Holism of Spatial Ontology.Edward Slowik - 2011 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 1 (2):249-272.
    This article investigates the problem of the identity of the parts of space in Newton’s natural philosophy, as well as the holistic or structuralist nature of Newton’s ontology of space. Additionally, this article relates the lessons reached in this historical and philosophical investigation to analogous debates in contemporary space-time ontology. While previous contributions, by Nerlich, Huggett, and others, have proven to be informative in evaluating Newton’s claims, it will be argued that the underlying goals of Newton’s views have largely eluded (...)
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  • Minkowski Spacetime and Lorentz Invariance: The Cart and the Horse or Two Sides of a Single Coin?Pablo Acuña - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 55:1-12.
    Michel Janssen and Harvey Brown have driven a prominent recent debate concerning the direction of an alleged arrow of explanation between Minkowski spacetime and Lorentz invariance of dynamical laws in special relativity. In this article, I critically assess this controversy with the aim of clarifying the explanatory foundations of the theory. First, I show that two assumptions shared by the parties—that the dispute is independent of issues concerning spacetime ontology, and that there is an urgent need for a constructive interpretation (...)
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  • Geometry and Motion.Gordon Belot - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (4):561--95.
    I will discuss only one of the several entwined strands of the philosophy of space and time, the question of the relation between the nature of motion and the geometrical structure of the world.1 This topic has many of the virtues of the best philosophy of science. It is of long-standing philosophical interest and has a rich history of connections to problems of physics. It has loomed large in discussions of space and time among contemporary philosophers of science. Furthermore, there (...)
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  • Substantivalism, Relationism, and Structural Spacetime Realism.Mauro Dorato - 2000 - Foundations of Physics 30 (10):1605-1628.
    Debates about the ontological implications of the general theory of relativity have long oscillated between spacetime substantivalism and relationism. I evaluate such debates by claiming that we need a third option, which I refer to as “structural spacetime realism.” Such a tertium quid sides with the relationists in defending the relational nature of the spacetime structure, but joins the substantivalists in arguing that spacetime exists, at least in part, independently of particular physical objects and events, the degree of “independence” being (...)
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  • On the Argument from Physics and General Relativity.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (2):333-373.
    I argue that the best interpretation of the general theory of relativity has need of a causal entity, and causal structure that is not reducible to light cone structure. I suggest that this causal interpretation of GTR helps defeat a key premise in one of the most popular arguments for causal reductionism, viz., the argument from physics.
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  • On the Existence of Spacetime Structure.Erik Curiel - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw014.
    I examine the debate between substantivalists and relationalists about the ontological character of spacetime and conclude it is not well posed. I argue that the hole argument does not bear on the debate, because it provides no clear criterion to distinguish the positions. I propose two such precise criteria and construct separate arguments based on each to yield contrary conclusions, one supportive of something like relationalism and the other of something like substantivalism. The lesson is that one must fix an (...)
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  • Relationism Rehabilitated? II: Relativity.Oliver Pooley - 2001
    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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  • Ephemeral Point-Events: Is There a Last Remnant of Physical Objectivity?Michele Vallisneri & Massimo Pauri - 2002 - Diálogos. Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Puerto Rico 37 (79):263-304.
    For the past two decades, Einstein's Hole Argument (which deals with the apparent indeterminateness of general relativity due to the general covariance of the field equations) and its resolution in terms of "Leibniz equivalence" (the statement that pseudo-Riemannian geometries related by active diffeomorphisms represent the same physical solution) have been the starting point for a lively philosophical debate on the objectivity of the point-events of space-time. It seems that Leibniz equivalence makes it impossible to consider the points of the space-time (...)
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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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  • Why Spacetime is Not a Hidden Cause: A Realist Story.Graham Nerlich - unknown
    : Spacetime realism requires that it is not hidden and not a cause. Its style of explanation is geometrical.
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  • Relational Spacetime Ontology.Favio Cala Vitery - unknown
    In the aftermath of the rediscovery of Einstein’s hole argument by Earman and Norton (1987), we hear that the ontological relational/substantival debate over the status of spacetime seems to have reached stable grounds. Despite Einstein’s early intention to cast GR’s spacetime as a relational entity à la Leibniz-Mach, most philosophers of science feel comfortable with the now standard sophisticated substantivalist (SS) account of spacetime. Furthermore, most philosophers share the impression that although relational accounts of certain highly restricted models of GR (...)
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  • Rehabilitating Relationalism.Gordon Belot - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (1):35 – 52.
    I argue that the conviction, widespread among philosophers, that substantivalism enjoys a clear superiority over relationalism in both Newtonian and relativistic physics is ill-founded. There are viable relationalist approaches to understanding these theories, and the substantival-relational debate should be of interest to philosophers and physicists alike, because of its connection with questions about the correct space of states for various physical theories.
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  • Newton’s Conceptual Argument for Absolute Space.Ori Belkind - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (3):271 – 293.
    While many take Newton's argument for absolute space to be an inference to the best explanation, some argue that Newton is primarily concerned with the proper definition of true motion, rather than with independent existence of spatial points. To an extent the latter interpretation is correct. However, all prior interpretations are mistaken in thinking that 'absolute motion' is defined as motion with respect to absolute space. Newton is also using this notion to refer to the quantity of motion (momentum). This (...)
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  • Why Manifold Substantivalism is Probably Not a Consequence of Classical Mechanics.Nick Huggett - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (1):17 – 34.
    This paper develops and defends three related forms of relationism about spacetime against attacks by contemporary substantivalists. It clarifies Newton's globes argument to show that it does not bear on relations that fail to determine geodesic motions, since the inertial effects on which Newton relies are not simply correlated with affine structure, but must be understood in dynamical terms. It develops remarks by Sklar and van Fraassen into relational versions of Newtonian mechanics, and argues that Earman does not show them (...)
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  • Spacetime Theory as Physical Geometry.Robert DiSalle - 1995 - Erkenntnis 42 (3):317-337.
    Discussions of the metaphysical status of spacetime assume that a spacetime theory offers a causal explanation of phenomena of relative motion, and that the fundamental philosophical question is whether the inference to that explanation is warranted. I argue that those assumptions are mistaken, because they ignore the essential character of spacetime theory as a kind of physical geometry. As such, a spacetime theory does notcausally explain phenomena of motion, but uses them to construct physicaldefinitions of basic geometrical structures by coordinating (...)
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  • Can Parts of Space Move? On Paragraph Six of Newton’s Scholium.Graham Nerlich - 2005 - Erkenntnis 62 (1):119-135.
    Paragraph 6 of Newton's Scholium argues that the parts of space cannot move. A premise of the argument -- that parts have individuality only through an "order of position" -- has drawn distinguished modern support yet little agreement among interpretations of the paragraph. I argue that the paragraph offers an a priori, metaphysical argument for absolute motion, an argument which is invalid. That "order of position" is powerless to distinguish one part of Euclidean space from any other has gone virtually (...)
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  • Explaining Leibniz Equivalence as Difference of Non-Inertial Appearances: Dis-Solution of the Hole Argument and Physical Individuation of Point-Events.Luca Lusanna & Massimo Pauri - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (4):692-725.
    ”The last remnant of physical objectivity of space-time” is disclosed 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 autonomous degrees of freedom of the gravitational field, which represent -as it were -the ontic part of the metric field. The physical role of the epistemic part is likewise clarified as embodying the unavoidable non-inertial aspects of GR. At the end the philosophical import of the Hole Argument (...)
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