Group Field Theories: Decoupling Spacetime Emergence from the Ontology of non-Spatiotemporal Entities

European Journal for Philosophy of Science (forthcoming)
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Abstract

With the present paper I maintain that the group field theory (GFT) approach to quantum gravity can help us clarify and distinguish the problems of spacetime emergence from the questions about the nature of the quanta of space. I will show that the mechanism of phase transition suggests a form of indifference between scales (or phases) and that such an indifference allows us to black-box questions about the nature of the ontology of the fundamental levels of the theory. I consider the GFT approach to quantum gravity which derives spacetime as an emergent property from abstract non-geometrical tetrahedra through a processes of phase transition. Because the physical interpretation of the tetrahedra is problematic in view of their (non)-spatiotemporal nature, I will apply the considerations about phase transitions to GFT and conclude that the fundamental ontology of the theory and the mechanism of spacetime emergence can and should be treated separately.

Author's Profile

Marco Forgione
University of Milan

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