Spacetime, Ontology, and Structural Realism

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (2):147 – 166 (2005)
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This essay explores the possibility of constructing a structural realist interpretation of spacetime theories that can resolve the ontological debate between substantivalists and relationists. Drawing on various structuralist approaches in the philosophy of mathematics, as well as on the theoretical complexities of general relativity, our investigation will reveal that a structuralist approach can be beneficial to the spacetime theorist as a means of deflating some of the ontological disputes regarding similarly structured spacetimes.

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Edward Slowik
Winona State University


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