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Time and Structure in Canonical Gravity

In Dean Rickles, Steven French & Juha T. Saatsi (eds.), The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity. Clarendon Press (2004)

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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
    Many praise science for its systematic drive to objectivity. But scientific objectivity is in fact valuable mainly as a species of objectivity in a broader sense, which extends to aesthetic experience and artistic forms of creativity. Objectivity should be understood as outwardness, or receptivity to basic features of the world. Scientific objectivity is receptivity to basic features of the world specifically by adopting their ‘point of view’. It is not a ‘view from nowhere’, or universally-valid perspective. Nor is it a (...)
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  • A Dilemma for the Emergence of Spacetime in Canonical Quantum Gravity.Vincent Lam & Michael Esfeld - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):286-293.
    The procedures of canonical quantization of the gravitational field apparently lead to entities for which any interpretation in terms of spatio-temporal localization or spatio-temporal extension seems difficult. This fact is the main ground for the suggestion that can often be found in the physics literature on canonical quantum gravity according to which spacetime may not be fundamental in some sense. This paper aims to investigate this radical suggestion from an ontologically serious point of view in the cases of two standard (...)
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  • A Conceptual Analysis of Julian Barbour's Time.Maria Kon - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
    One of Julian Barbour’s main aims is to solve the problem of time that appears in quantum geometrodynamics (QG). QG involves the application of canonical quantization procedure to the Hamiltonian formulation of General Relativity. The problem of time arises because the quantization of the Hamiltonian constraint results in an equation that has no explicit time parameter. Thus, it appears that the resulting equation, as apparently timeless, cannot describe evolution of quantum states. Barbour attempts to resolve the problem by allegedly eliminating (...)
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  • Metaphysics of Causation and Physics of General Relativity.Vincent Lam - 2010 - Humana Mente 4 (13):61-80.
    This paper aims to discuss two realist conceptions about causation in the light of the general theory of relativity. I first consider the conserved quantity of causation, which explicitly relies on the energy conservation principle. Such principle is however problematic within GTR, mainly because of the dynamical nature of the spacetime structure itself. I then turn to the causal theory of properties, according to which properties are such that insofar as they are certain qualities, they are powers to produce certain (...)
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  • Appearing Out of Nowhere: The Emergence of Spacetime in Quantum Gravity.Karen Crowther - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Sydney
    Quantum gravity is understood as a theory that, in some sense, unifies general relativity (GR) and quantum theory, and is supposed to replace GR at extremely small distances (high-energies). It may be that quantum gravity represents the breakdown of spacetime geometry described by GR. The relationship between quantum gravity and spacetime has been deemed ``emergence'', and the aim of this thesis is to investigate and explicate this relation. After finding traditional philosophical accounts of emergence to be inappropriate, I develop a (...)
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  • Interpreting Quantum Gravity.Dean Rickles - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (4):691-715.
    This is an essay review of two textbooks on quantum gravity by Carlo Rovelli and Claus Kiefer.
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  • String Theory – Nomological Unification and the Epicycles of the Quantum Field Theory Paradigm.Reiner Hedrich - unknown
    String Theory is the result of the conjunction of three conceptually independent elements: the metaphysical idea of a nomological unity of the forces, the model-theoretical paradigm of Quantum Field Theory, and the conflict resulting from classical gravity in a quantum world - the motivational starting point of the search for a theory of Quantum Gravity. String Theory is sometimes assumed to solve this conflict: by means of an application of the model-theoretical apparatus of Quantum Field Theory, interpreting gravity as the (...)
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  • A Study of Time in Modern Physics.Peter W. Evans - 2011 - Dissertation,
    This thesis is a study of the notion of time in modern physics, consisting of two parts. Part I takes seriously the doctrine that modern physics should be treated as the primary guide to the nature of time. To this end, it offers an analysis of the various conceptions of time that emerge in the context of various physical theories and, furthermore, an analysis of the relation between these conceptions of time and the more orthodox philosophical views on the nature (...)
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  • Relational Time.Matteo Morganti - 2015 - In Tomasz Bigaj & Christian Wuthrich (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics. Brill Rodopi. pp. 215-236.
    This paper defends a relational view of time based on recent work on quantum gravity. Julian barbour's relational approach to physical theory, in particular, is developed as a basis for a relational, rather than anti-realist, metaphysics of time.
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  • Ontic Structural Realism as a Metaphysics of Objects.Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam - 2011 - In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media. pp. 143-159.
    The paper spells out five different accounts of the relationship between objects and relations three of which are versions of ontic structural realism. We argue that the distinction between objects and properties, including relations, is merely a conceptual one by contrast to an ontological one: properties, including relations, are modes, that is the concrete, particular ways in which objects exist. We then set out moderate OSR as the view according to which irreducible relations are central ways in which the fundamental (...)
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  • Defining a Crisis: The Roles of Principles in the Search for a Theory of Quantum Gravity.Karen Crowther - forthcoming - Synthese:1-28.
    In times of crisis, when current theories are revealed as inadequate to task, and new physics is thought to be required---physics turns to re-evaluate its principles, and to seek new ones. This paper explores the various types, and roles of principles that feature in the problem of quantum gravity as a current crisis in physics. I illustrate the diversity of the principles being appealed to, and show that principles serve in a variety of roles in all stages of the crisis, (...)
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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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  • Change in Hamiltonian General Relativity From the Lack of a Time-Like Killing Vector Field.J. Brian Pitts - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 47:68-89.
    In General Relativity in Hamiltonian form, change has seemed to be missing, defined only asymptotically, or otherwise obscured at best, because the Hamiltonian is a sum of first-class constraints and a boundary term and thus supposedly generates gauge transformations. Attention to the gauge generator G of Rosenfeld, Anderson, Bergmann, Castellani et al., a specially _tuned sum_ of first-class constraints, facilitates seeing that a solitary first-class constraint in fact generates not a gauge transformation, but a bad physical change in electromagnetism or (...)
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  • Time, Observables, and Structure.Dean Rickles - unknown
    In this chapter I consider what recent work on background independent physics can do for structuralism, and what structuralism can do for background independent physics. I focus on the problems of time and observables in gravitational physics. The ‘frozen’ character of the observables of general relativity is usually considered to constitute a serious problem for the theory. I argue that by invoking correlations between physical quantities we can provide a natural explanation of the appear- ance of time and change in (...)
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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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  • A New Spin on the Hole Argument.Dean Rickles - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (3):415-434.
    This brief paper shows how an exact analogue of Einstein's original hole argument can be constructed in the loop representation of quantum gravity. The new argument is based on the embedding of spin-networks in a manifold and the action of the diffeomorphism constraint on them. The implications of this result are then discussed. I argue that the conclusions of many physicists working on loop quantum gravity---Rovelli and Smolin in particular---that the loop representation uniquely supports relationalism are unfounded.
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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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  • Who's Afraid of Background Independence?Dean Rickles - 2008 - In Dennis Dieks (ed.), The Ontology of Spacetime II. Elsevier. pp. 133--52.
    Background independence is generally considered to be ‘the mark of distinction’ of general relativity. However, there is still confusion over exactly what background independence is and how, if at all, it serves to distinguish general relativity from other theories. There is also some confusion over the philosophical implications of background independence, stemming in part from the definitional problems. In this paper I attempt to make some headway on both issues. In each case I argue that a proper account of the (...)
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  • Quantum Gravity and the Nature of Space and Time.Keizo Matsubara - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (3):e12405.
    This is a nontechnical overview of how various approaches to quantum gravity suggest modifications to the way we conceptualize space and time. A theory of quantum gravity is needed to reconcile quantum physics with general relativity, our best theory for gravity. The most popular approaches to quantum gravity are string theory and loop quantum gravity. So far, no approach has been empirically successful, and there is no commonly accepted theory. Thus, the conclusions presented here are tentative. Many approaches suggest that (...)
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  • Entities Without Intrinsic Physical Identity.Vincent Lam - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (5):1157-1171.
    This paper critically discusses recent objections that have been raised against the contextual understanding of fundamental physical objects advocated by non-eliminative ontic structural realism. One of these recent objections claims that such a purely relational understanding of objects cannot account for there being a determinate number of them. A more general objection concerns a well-known circularity threat: relations presuppose the objects they relate and so cannot account for them. A similar circularity objection has also been raised within the framework of (...)
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  • A Dilemma For The Emergence Of Spacetime In Canonical Quantum Gravity.Vincent Lam & Michael Esfeld - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):286-293.
    The procedures of canonical quantization of the gravitational field apparently lead to entities for which any interpretation in terms of spatio-temporal localization or spatio-temporal extension seems difficult. This fact is the main ground for the suggestion that can often be found in the physics literature on canonical quantum gravity according to which spacetime may not be fundamental in some sense. This paper aims to investigate this radical suggestion from an ontologically serious point of view in the cases of two standard (...)
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    Bookmark   16 citations