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  1. Holes in Spacetime: Some Neglected Essentials.Trevor Teitel - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy (7):353-389.
    The hole argument purports to show that all spacetime theories of a certain form are indeterministic, including the General Theory of Relativity. The argument has given rise to an industry of searching for a metaphysics of spacetime that delivers the right modal implications to rescue determinism. In this paper, I first argue that certain prominent extant replies to the hole argument—namely, those that appeal to an essentialist doctrine about spacetime—fail to deliver the requisite modal implications. As part of my argument, (...)
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  • Observability, Redundancy and Modality for Dynamical Symmetry Transformations.David Wallace - unknown
    I provide a fairly systematic analysis of when quantities that are variant under a dynamical symmetry transformation should be regarded as unobservable, or redundant, or unreal; of when models related by a dynamical symmetry transformation represent the same state of affairs; and of when mathematical structure that is variant under a dynamical symmetry transformation should be regarded as surplus. In most of these cases the answer is `it depends': depends, that is, on the details of the symmetry in question. A (...)
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  • Large Gauge Transformations and the Strong CP Problem.John Dougherty - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
    According to the Standard Model of particle physics, some gauge transformations are physical symmetries. That is, they are mathematical transformations that relate representatives of distinct physical states of affairs. This is at odds with the standard philosophical position according to which gauge transformations are an eliminable redundancy in a gauge theory's representational framework. In this paper I defend the Standard Model's treatment of gauge from an objection due to Richard Healey. If we follow the Standard Model in taking some gauge (...)
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  • On Representational Capacities, with an Application to General Relativity.Samuel C. Fletcher - forthcoming - Foundations of Physics.
    Recent work on the hole argument in general relativity by Weatherall has drawn attention to the neglected concept of models’ representational capacities. I argue for several theses about the structure of these capacities, including that they should be understood not as many-to-one relations from models to the world, but in general as many-to-many relations constrained by the models’ isomorphisms. I then compare these ideas with a recent argument by Belot for the claim that some isometries “generate new possibilities” in general (...)
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  • General-Relativistic Covariance.Neil Dewar - forthcoming - Foundations of Physics:1-25.
    This is an essay about general covariance, and what it says about spacetime structure. After outlining a version of the dynamical approach to spacetime theories, and how it struggles to deal with generally covariant theories, I argue that we should think about the symmetry structure of spacetime rather differently in generally-covariant theories compared to non-generally-covariant theories: namely, as a form of internal rather than external symmetry structure.
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  • Background Independence: Lessons for Further Decades of Dispute.Trevor Teitel - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics: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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