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I offer one possible explanation of why inertial and gravitational mass are equal in Newtonian gravitation. I then argue that the explanation given is an example of a kind of explanation that is not captured by standard philosophical accounts of scientific explanation. Moreover, this form of explanation is particularly important, at least in physics, because demands for this kind of explanation are used to motivate and shape research into the next generation of physical theories. 



A four dimensional approach to Newtonian physics is used to distinguish between a number of different structures for Newtonian spacetime and a number of different formulations of Newtonian gravitational theory. This in turn makes possible an indepth study of the meaning and status of Newton's Law of Inertia and a detailed comparison of the Newtonian and Einsteinian versions of the Law of Inertia and the Newtonian and Einsteinian treatments of gravitational forces. Various claims about the status of Newton's Law of (...) 

Substantivalists believe that spacetime and its parts are fundamental constituents of reality. Relationalists deny this, claiming that spacetime enjoys only a derivative existence. I begin by describing how the Galilean symmetries of Newtonian physics tell against both Newton's brand of substantivalism and the most obvious relationalist alternative. I then review the obvious substantivalist response to the problem, which is to ditch substantival space for substantival spacetime. The resulting position has many affinities with what are arguably the most natural interpretations of (...) 



In this paper, we examine the relationship between general relativity and the theory of Einstein algebras. We show that according to a formal criterion for theoretical equivalence recently proposed by Halvorson and Weatherall, the two are equivalent theories. 

Using as a starting point recent and apparently incompatible conclusions by Saunders and Knox, I revisit the question of the correct spacetime setting for Newtonian physics. I argue that understood correctly, these two versions of Newtonian physics make the same claims both about the background geometry required to define the theory, and about the inertial structure of the theory. In doing so I illustrate and explore in detail the view—espoused by Knox, and also by Brown —that inertial structure is defined (...) 

I will discuss only one of the several entwined strands of the philosophy of space and time, the question of the relation between the nature of motion and the geometrical structure of the world.1 This topic has many of the virtues of the best philosophy of science. It is of longstanding philosophical interest and has a rich history of connections to problems of physics. It has loomed large in discussions of space and time among contemporary philosophers of science. Furthermore, there (...) 

I explain and assess here Huygens’ concept of relative motion. I show that it allows him to ground most of the Law of Inertia, and also to explain rotation. Thereby his concept obviates the need for Newton’s absolute space. Thus his account is a powerful foundation for mechanics, though not without some tension. 

I argue that the best spacetime setting for Newtonian gravitation (NG) is the curved spacetime setting associated with geometrized Newtonian gravitation (GNG). Appreciation of the ‘Newtonian equivalence principle’ leads us to conclude that the gravitational field in NG itself is a gauge quantity, and that the freely falling frames are naturally identified with inertial frames. In this context, the spacetime structure of NG is represented not by the flat neoNewtonian connection usually made explicit in formulations, but by the sum of (...) 

I argue that the Hole Argument is based on a misleading use of the mathematical formalism of general relativity. If one is attentive to mathematical practice, I will argue, the Hole Argument is blocked. 

I address a question recently raised by Simon Saunders [Phil. Sci. 80: 2248 ] concerning the relationship between the spacetime structure of NewtonCartan theory and that of what I will call "MaxwellHuygens spacetime". This discussion will also clarify a connection between Saunders' work and a recent paper by Eleanor Knox [Brit. J. Phil. Sci. 65: 863880 ]. 

I review some recent work on applications of category theory to questions concerning theoretical structure and theoretical equivalence of classical field theories, including Newtonian gravitation, general relativity, and YangMills theories. 

I discuss singular spacetimes in the context of the geometrized formulation of Newtonian gravitation. I argue first that geodesic incompleteness is a natural criterion for when a model of geometrized Newtonian gravitation is singular, and then I show that singularities in this sense arise naturally in classical physics by stating and proving a classical version of the RaychaudhuriKomar singularity theorem. 

I begin by reviewing some recent work on the status of the geodesic principle in general relativity and the geometrized formulation of Newtonian gravitation. I then turn to the question of whether either of these theories might be said to ``explain'' inertial motion. I argue that there is a sense in which both theories may be understood to explain inertial motion, but that the sense of ``explain'' is rather different from what one might have expected. This sense of explanation is (...) 

I argue that the hole argument is based on a misleading use of the mathematical formalism of general relativity. If one is attentive to mathematical practice, I will argue, the hole argument is blocked. _1._ Introduction _2._ A Warmup Exercise _3._ The Hole Argument _4._ An Argument from Classical Spacetime Theory _5._ The Hole Argument Revisited. 

It is widely accepted that the notion of an inertial frame is central to Newtonian mechanics and that the correct spacetime structure underlying Newton’s methods in Principia is neoNewtonian or Galilean spacetime. I argue to the contrary that inertial frames are not needed in Newton’s theory of motion, and that the right spacetime structure for Newton’s Principia requires the notion of parallelism of spatial directions at different times and nothing more. Only relative motions are definable in this framework, never absolute (...) 







This concise book introduces nonphysicists to the core philosophical issues surrounding the nature and structure of space and time, and is also an ideal resource for physicists interested in the conceptual foundations of spacetime theory. Tim Maudlin's broad historical overview examines Aristotelian and Newtonian accounts of space and time, and traces how Galileo's conceptions of relativity and spacetime led to Einstein's special and general theories of relativity. Maudlin explains special relativity using a geometrical approach, emphasizing intrinsic spacetime structure rather than (...) 

Intertheoretic reduction in physics aspires to be both to be explanatory and perfectly general: it endeavors to explain why an older, simpler theory continues to be as successful as it is in terms of a newer, more sophisticated theory, and it aims to relate or otherwise account for as many features of the two theories as possible. Despite often being introduced as straightforward cases of intertheoretic reduction, candidate accounts of the reduction of general relativity to Newtonian gravitation have either been (...) 



A theorem due to Bob Geroch and Pong Soo Jang ["Motion of a Body in General Relativity." Journal of Mathematical Physics 16, ] provides a sense in which the geodesic principle has the status of a theorem in General Relativity. I have recently shown that a similar theorem holds in the context of geometrized Newtonian gravitation [Weatherall, J. O. "The Motion of a Body in Newtonian Theories." Journal of Mathematical Physics 52, ]. Here I compare the interpretations of these two (...) 



This paper makes an observation about the ``amount of structure'' that different classical and relativistic spacetimes posit. The observation substantiates a suggestion made by Earman and yields a cautionary remark concerning the scope and applicability of structural parsimony principles. 

I point out a radical indeterminism in potentialbased formulations of Newtonian gravity once we drop the condition that the potential vanishes at infinity. This indeterminism, which is well known in theoretical cosmology but has received little attention in foundational discussions, can be removed only by specifying boundary conditions at all instants of time, which undermines the theory's claim to be fully cosmological, i.e., to apply to the Universe as a whole. A recent alternative formulation of Newtonian gravity due to Saunders (...) 



In a number of publications, John Earman has advocated a tertium quid to the usual dichotomy between substantivalism and relationism concerning the nature of spacetime. The idea is that the structure common to the members of an equivalence class of substantival models is captured by a Leibniz algebra which can then be taken to directly characterize the intrinsic reality only indirectly represented by the substantival models. An alleged virtue of this is that, while a substantival interpretation of spacetime theories falls (...) 

John Norton has recently argued that Newtonian gravitation theory (at least as applied to cosmological contexts where one envisions the possibility of a homogeneous mass distribution throughout all of space) is inconsistent. I am not convinced. Traditional formulations of the theory may seem to break down in cases of the sort Norton considers. But the difficulties they face are only apparent. They are artifacts of the formulations themselves, and disappear if one passes to the socalled "geometrized" formulation of the theory. 



I elaborate and defend an interpretation of Leibniz on which he is committed to a stronger spacetime structure than socalled Leibnizian spacetime, with absolute speeds grounded in his concept of force rather than in substantival space and time. I argue that this interpretation is wellmotivated by Leibniz's mature writings, that it renders his views on space, time, motion, and force consistent with his metaphysics, and that it makes better sense of his replies to Clarke than does the standard interpretation. Further, (...) 







entry for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) This entry will attempt to provide a broad overview of the central themes of Leibniz’s philosophy of physics, as well as an introduction to some of the principal arguments and argumentative strategies he used to defend his positions. It tentatively includes sections entitled, The Historical Development of Leibniz’s Physics, Leibniz on Matter, Leibniz’s Dynamics, Leibniz on the Laws of Motion, Leibniz on Space and Time. A bibliography arranged by topic is also included. (...) 

Philosophers of science have written at great length about the geometric structure of physical space. But they have devoted their attention primarily to the question of the epistemic status of our attributions of geometric structure. They have debated whether our attributions are a priori truths, empirical discoveries, or, in a special sense, matters of stipulation or convention. lt is the goal of this paper to explore a quite different issue the role played by assumptions of spatial geometry within physical theory, (...) 









1.1 Manifolds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.2 Tangent Vectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (...) 

A “frame of reference” is a standard relative to which motion and rest may be measured; any set of points or objects that are at rest relative to one another enables us, in principle, to describe the relative motions of bodies. A frame of reference is therefore a purely kinematical device, for the geometrical description of motion without regard to the masses or forces involved. A dynamical account of motion leads to the idea of an “inertial frame,” or a reference (...) 

