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Intuitively, a classical field theory is background-in- dependent if the structure required to make sense of its equations is itself subject to dynamical evolution, rather than being imposed ab initio. The aim of this paper is to provide an explication of this intuitive notion. Background-independence is not a not formal property of theories: the question whether a theory is background-independent depends upon how the theory is interpreted. Under the approach proposed here, a theory is fully background-independent relative to an interpretation if each physical possibility corresponds to a distinct spacetime geometry; and it falls short of full background-independence to the extent that this condition fails.
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Conceptual Aspects of Gauge/Gravity Haro, Sebastian; Mayerson, Daniel & Butterfield, Jeremy

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