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The rotating discs argument against perdurantism has been mostly discussed by metaphysicians, though the argument of course appeals to ideas from classical mechanics, especially about rotation. In contrast, I assess the RDA from the perspective of the philosophy of physics. I argue for three main conclusions. The first conclusion is that the RDA can be formulated more strongly than is usually recognized: it is not necessary to ‘imagine away’ the dynamical effects of rotation. The second is that in general relativity, (...) 

This paper forms part of a wider campaign: to deny pointillisme, the doctrine that a physical theory's fundamental quantities are defined at points of space or of spacetime, and represent intrinsic properties of such points or pointsized objects located there; so that properties of spatial or spatiotemporal regions and their material contents are determined by the pointbypoint facts. More specifically, this paper argues against pointillisme about the concept of velocity in classical mechanics; especially against proposals by Tooley, Robinson and Lewis. (...) 



Zeno argued that since at any instant an arrow does not change its location, the arrow does not move at any time, and hence motion is impossible. I discuss the following three views that one could take in view of Zeno's argument:(i) the "atat" theory, according to which there is no such thing as instantaneous velocity, while motion in the sense of the occupation of different locations at different times is possible,(ii) the "impetus" theory, according to which instantaneous velocities do (...) 

I argue that, in order for us to be justified in believing that two theories are metaphysically equivalent, we must be able to conceive of them as unified into a single theory, which says nothing over and above either of them. I propose one natural way of precisifying this condition, and show that the quantifier variantist cannot meet it. I suggest that the quantifier variantist cannot meet the more general condition either, and argue that this gives the metaphysical realist a (...) 

" Vivid . . . immense clarity . . . the product of a brilliant and extremely forceful intellect." — Journal of the Royal Naval Scientific Service "Still a sheer joy to read." — Mathematical Gazette "Should be read by any student, teacher or researcher in mathematics." — Mathematics Teacher The originator of algebraic topology and of the theory of analytic functions of several complex variables, Henri Poincare (1854–1912) excelled at explaining the complexities of scientific and mathematical ideas to lay (...) 

" Vivid . . . immense clarity . . . the product of a brilliant and extremely forceful intellect." — Journal of the Royal Naval Scientific Service "Still a sheer joy to read." — Mathematical Gazette "Should be read by any student, teacher or researcher in mathematics." — Mathematics Teacher The originator of algebraic topology and of the theory of analytic functions of several complex variables, Henri Poincare (1854–1912) excelled at explaining the complexities of scientific and mathematical ideas to lay (...) 

We are used to talking about the “structure” posited by a given theory of physics, such as the spacetime structure of relativity. What is “structure”? What does the mathematical structure used to formulate a theory tell us about the physical world according to the theory? What if there are different mathematical formulations of a given theory? Do different formulations posit different structures, or are they merely notational variants? I consider the case of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian classical mechanics. I argue that, (...) 









Newton’s equations of motion tell us that a mass at rest at the apex of a dome with the shape specified here can spontaneously move. It has been suggested that this indeterminism should be discounted since it draws on an incomplete rendering of Newtonian physics, or it is “unphysical,” or it employs illicit idealizations. I analyze and reject each of these reasons. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (...) 

Determinism is a perennial topic of philosophical discussion. Very little acquaintance with the philosophical literature is needed to reveal the Tower of ... 

This book is an attempt to get to the bottom of an acute and perennial tension between our best scientific pictures of the fundamental physical structure of the ... 

I defend a causal reductionist account of the nature of rates of change like velocity and acceleration. This account identifies velocity with the past derivative of position and acceleration with the future derivative of velocity. Unlike most reductionist accounts, it can preserve the role of velocity as a cause of future positions and acceleration as the effect of current forces. I show that this is possible only if all the fundamental laws are expressed by differential equations of the same order. (...) 

One can (for the most part) formulate a model of a classical system in either the Lagrangian or the Hamiltonian framework. Though it is often thought that those two formulations are equivalent in all important ways, this is not true: the underlying geometrical structures one uses to formulate each theory are not isomorphic. This raises the question of whether one of the two is a more natural framework for the representation of classical systems. In the event, the answer is yes: (...) 



My aim is to argue for the incompatibility of one of the central principles of physics, namely the principle of least action (PLA), with the increasingly popular view that the world is, ultimately, merely something like a con glomerate of objects and irreducible dispositions. First, I argue that the essentialist implications many suppose this view has are not compatible with the PLA. Second, I argue that, irrespective of whether this view has any essentialist implications, it is not compatible with the (...) 





Abstract Theories are metaphysically equivalent just if there is no fact of the matter that could render one theory true and the other false. In this paper I argue that if we are judiciously to resolve disputes about whether theories are equivalent or not, we need to develop testable criteria that will give us epistemic access to the obtaining of the relation of metaphysical equivalence holding between those theories. I develop such ?diagnostic? criteria. I argue that correctly intertranslatable theories are (...) 









This paper gives a technically elementary treatment of some aspects of Hamilton Jacobi theory, especially in relation to the calculus of variations. The second half of the paper describes the application to geometric optics, the opticomechanical analogy and the transition to quantum mechanics. Finally, I report recent work of Holland providing a Hamiltonian formulation of the pilotwave theory. 