Popular Arguments for Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity

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Abstract
In this paper I shall argue in Section II that two of the standard arguments that have been put forth in support of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity do not support that theory and are quite compatible with what might be called an updated and perhaps even an enlightened Newtonian view of the Universe. This view will be presented in Section I. I shall call it the neo-Newtonian Theory, though I hasten to add there are a number of things in it that Newton would not accept, though perhaps Galileo might have. Now there may be other arguments and/or pieces of empirical evidence which support the Special Theory of Relativity and cast doubt upon the neo-Newtonian view. Nevertheless, the two that I am going to examine are usually considered important. It might also be claimed that the two arguments that I am going to examine have only heuristic value. Perhaps this is so but they are usually put forward as supporting the Special Theory and refuting the neo-Newtonian Theory. Again I must stress that it is not my aim to cast any doubt on the Special Theory of Relativity nor on Einstein. His Special Theory and his General Theory stand at the zenith of human achievement. My only aim is to cast doubt on the assumption that the two arguments I examine support the Special Theory.
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First archival date: 2017-06-21
Latest version: 1 (2018-05-26)
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2017-06-21

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