On Spacetime Functionalism

Abstract

Eleanor Knox has argued that our concept of spacetime applies to whichever structure plays a certain functional role in the laws (the role of determining local inertial structure). I raise two complications for this approach. First, our spacetime concept seems to have the structure of a cluster concept, which means that Knox's inertial criteria for spacetime cannot succeed with complete generality. Second, the notion of metaphysical fundamentality may feature in the spacetime concept, in which case spacetime functionalism may be uninformative in the absence of answers to fundamental metaphysical questions like the substantivalist/relationist debate.

Author's Profile

David Baker
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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