Relationalism about mechanics based on a minimalist ontology of matter

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
This paper elaborates on relationalism about space and time as motivated by a minimalist ontology of the physical world: there are only matter points that are individuated by the distance relations among them, with these relations changing. We assess two strategies to combine this ontology with physics, using classical mechanics as example: the Humean strategy adopts the standard, non-relationalist physical theories as they stand and interprets their formal apparatus as the means of bookkeeping of the change of the distance relations instead of committing us to additional elements of the ontology. The alternative theory strategy seeks to combine the relationalist ontology with a relationalist physical theory that reproduces the predictions of the standard theory in the domain where these are empirically tested. We show that, as things stand, this strategy cannot be accomplished without compromising a minimalist relationalist ontology.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
VASRAM
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-09-02
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

View all 42 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
When Fields Are Not Degrees of Freedom.Hartenstein, Vera & Hubert, Mario

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2016-09-02

Total views
116 ( #22,718 of 40,685 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
45 ( #12,970 of 40,685 )

How can I increase my downloads?

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