Does General Relativity Highlight Necessary Connections in Nature?

Synthese 199 (1-2):1-23 (2021)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
The dynamics of general relativity is encoded in a set of ten differential equations, the so-called Einstein field equations. It is usually believed that Einstein's equations represent a physical law describing the coupling of spacetime with material fields. However, just six of these equations actually describe the coupling mechanism: the remaining four represent a set of differential relations known as Bianchi identities. The paper discusses the physical role that the Bianchi identities play in general relativity, and investigates whether these identities --qua part of a physical law-- highlight some kind of a posteriori necessity in a Kripkean sense. The inquiry shows that general relativistic physics has an interesting bearing on the debate about the metaphysics of the laws of nature.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2021-01-05
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
153 ( #42,663 of 71,140 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
27 ( #30,691 of 71,140 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.