Perverted Space-Time Geodesy in Einstein’s Views on Geometry

Philosophia Scientiae 22:137-162 (2018)
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A perverted space-time geodesy results from the idea of variable rods and clocks, whose length and rates are taken to be affected by the gravitational field. By contrast, what we might call a concrete geodesy relies on the idea of invariable unit-measuring rods and clocks. Indeed, this is a basic assumption of general relativity. Variable rods and clocks lead to a perverted geodesy, in the sense that a curved space-time may be seen as a result of a departure from the Minkowskian space-time as an effect of the gravitational field on the rate of clocks and the length of rods. In the case of a concrete geodesy, we have a curved space-time “directly”, the curvature of which can be determined using (invariable) unit-measuring rods and clocks. In this paper, we will make the case for the plausibility of the claim that Einstein’s views on geometry in relation to general relativity are permeated by a perverted geodesy.

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Mario Bacelar Valente
Pablo de Olavide University


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