The hole argument purports to show that all spacetime theories of a certain form are indeterministic, including the General Theory of Relativity. The argument has given rise to an industry of searching for a metaphysics of spacetime that delivers the right modal implications to rescue determinism. In this paper, I first argue that certain prominent extant replies to the hole argument—namely, those that appeal to an essentialist doctrine about spacetime—fail to deliver the requisite modal implications. As part (...) of my argument, I show that threats to determinism of the sort brought out by the hole argument are more general than has heretofore been recognized. I then use these results to propose a novel essentialist doctrine about spacetime that successfully rescues determinism, what I call sufficiency metric essentialism. However, I go on to argue that once we realize what an essentialist doctrine about spacetime must look like in order to address the hole argument, we should reject all such doctrines, because they can't fulfill their ambition of improving on standard modal replies to the argument. I close by suggesting some lessons for future work on spacetime and the metaphysics of physics more broadly, and also drawing some general morals for contemporary metaphysics, in particular about (i) whether essence can be used to articulate a precise structuralist doctrine, and (ii) the relationship between essence and modality. (shrink)
Several different quantum gravity research programmes suggest, for various reasons, that spacetime is not part of the fundamental ontology of physics. This gives rise to the problem of empirical coherence: if fundamental physical entities do not occupy spacetime or instantiate spatiotemporal properties, how can fundamental theories concerning those entities be justified by observation of spatiotemporally located things like meters, pointers and dials? I frame the problem of empirical coherence in terms of entailment: how could a non-spatiotemporal fundamental theory (...) entail spatiotemporal evidence propositions? Solutions to this puzzle can be classified as realist or antirealist, depending on whether or not they posit a non-fundamental spacetime structure grounded in or caused by the fundamental structure. These approaches place different constraints on our everyday concepts of space and time. Applying lessons from the philosophy of mind, I argue that only realism is both conceptually plausible and suitable for addressing the problem at hand. I suggest a role functionalist version of realism, which is consistent with both grounding and causation, and according to which our everyday concepts reveal something of the true nature of emergent spacetime. (shrink)
I will defend two claims. First, Schaffer's priority monism is in tension with many research programs in quantum gravity. Second, priority monism can be modified into a view more amenable to this physics. The first claim is grounded in the fact that promising approaches to quantum gravity such as loop quantum gravity or string theory deny the fundamental reality of spacetime. Since fundamental spacetime plays an important role in Schaffer's priority monism by being identified with the fundamental structure, (...) namely the cosmos, the disappearance of spacetime in these views might undermine classical priority monism. My second claim is that priority monism can avoid this issue with two moves: first, in dropping one of its core assumption, namely that the fundamental structure is spatio-temporal, second, by identifying the connection between the non-spatio-temporal structure and the derivative spatio-temporal structure with mereological composition. (shrink)
Important features of space and time are taken to be missing in quantum gravity, allegedly requiring an explanation of the emergence of spacetime from non-spatio-temporal theories. In this paper, we argue that the explanatory gap between general relativity and non-spatio- temporal quantum gravity theories might signifi cantly be reduced with two moves. First, we point out that spacetime is already partially missing in the context of general relativity when understood from a dynamical perspective. Second, we argue that most (...) approaches to quantum gravity already start with an in-built distinction between structures to which the asymmetry between space and time can be traced back. (shrink)
I will introduce and motivate eliminativist super-relationism. This is the conjunction of relationism about spacetime and eliminativism about material objects. According to the view, the universe is a big collection of spatio-temporal relations and natural properties, and no substance (material or spatio-temporal) exists in it. The view is original since eliminativism about material objects, when understood as including not only ordinary objects like tables or chairs but also physical particles, is generally taken to imply substantivalism about spacetime: if (...) properties are directly instantiated by spacetime without the mediation of material objects, then, surely, spacetime has to be a substance. After introducing briefly the two debates about spacetime (§1) and material objects (§2), I will present Schaffer's super-substantivalism (§3), the conjunction of substantivalism about spacetime and eliminativism about material objects at the fundamental level. I shall then expose and discuss the assumption from which the implication from eliminativism to substantivalism is drawn, and discuss the compatibility of eliminativism with relationism: if spacetime is not a substance, and if material objects are not real, how are we to understand the instantiation of properties (§4)? And what are the relata of spatio-temporal relations (§5)? I then show that each argument in favor of super-substantivalism offered by Schaffer also holds for super-relationism (§6) and examine several metaphysical consequences of the view (§7). I conclude that both super-substantivalism and super-relationism are compatible with Schaffer's priority monism (§8). (shrink)
Endurantism, the view that material objects are wholly present at each moment of their careers, is under threat from supersubstantivalism, the view that material objects are identical to spacetime regions. I discuss three compromise positions. They are alike in that they all take material objects to be composed of spacetime points or regions without being identical to any such point or region. They differ in whether they permit multilocation and in whether they generate cases of mereologically coincident entities.
Eleanor Knox has argued that our concept of spacetime applies to whichever structure plays a certain functional role in the laws (the role of determining local inertial structure). I raise two complications for this approach. First, our spacetime concept seems to have the structure of a cluster concept, which means that Knox's inertial criteria for spacetime cannot succeed with complete generality. Second, the notion of metaphysical fundamentality may feature in the spacetime concept, in which case (...) class='Hi'>spacetime functionalism may be uninformative in the absence of answers to fundamental metaphysical questions like the substantivalist/relationist debate. (shrink)
We analyze the possible implications of spacetime discreteness for the special and general relativity and quantum theory. It is argued that the existence of a minimum size of spacetime may explain the invariance of the speed of light in special relativity and Einstein’s equivalence principle in general relativity. Moreover, the discreteness of spacetime may also result in the collapse of the wave function in quantum mechanics, which may provide a possible solution to the quantum measurement problem. These (...) interesting results might have some important implications for a complete theory of quantum gravity. (shrink)
Do theories of quantum mechanics and quantum gravity require spacetime to be a basic, ground level feature, or can spacetime be seen as an emergent element of these theories? While several commentators have raised serious doubts about the prospects of forgoing the standard spacetime backdrop, it will be argued that a defense of these emergent spacetime interpretations of quantum mechanics and quantum gravity hypotheses can be made, whether as an inference to the best explanation or using (...) another strategy. Furthermore, the idea that space and time can arise from a quite different, non-spatiotemporal level of reality will be shown to have various historical precedents, especially in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a realization that may help dispel some of the mystery associated with these types of hypotheses. (shrink)
We outline a simple development of special and general relativity based on the physical meaning of the spacetime interval. The Lorentz transformation is not used.
We present a deductive theory of space-time which is realistic, objective, and relational. It is realistic because it assumes the existence of physical things endowed with concrete properties. It is objective because it can be formulated without any reference to cognoscent subjects or sensorial fields. Finally, it is relational because it assumes that space-time is not a thing but a complex of relations among things. In this way, the original program of Leibniz is consummated, in the sense that space is (...) ultimately an order of coexistents, and time is an order of succesives. In this context, we show that the metric and topological properties of Minkowskian space-time are reduced to relational properties of concrete things. We also sketch how our theory can be extended to encompass a Riemannian space-time. (shrink)
Gravity is the curvature of spacetime, the structural property of static gravitational field, a geometric field, in curved coordinates, according the functions guv, that express geometric relations between material events. Course, general relativity is a relational theory, however, gravity, a thinking category, has symetric physical effects with matter. We use, analitic and critic method of reread the general relativity, since the perspective of the history of the science and the philosophy of the science. Our goal is driver the debate (...) on gravity, to the arena of the quantum physics, but without the ballast of the general relativity. We find that through of relativist aether was attempted transform spacetime in a substantia without succes, the consequence was return to problematic geometric field. The philosophy of the science intervenes, and according the best philosophical theory of substantivalism, spacetime is a inmaterial, geometric substantia. Then, the metaphysics arrives to a full solution in the super-substantivalism theory, that affirms: matter arises from geometric spacetime. Thus, it explains consistently the symetric physical effects between spacetime and matter. Surely, this solution is a medieval speculation. Our conclusion is that since general relativity do not defined physically spacetime leads necessarily to philosophical definitions of relationism and substantivalism on spacetime that are unacceptable physically. Therefore, gravity is not the curvature of spacetime. (shrink)
Spacetime and motion are interconnected concepts. A better understanding of motion leads to a better understanding of spacetime. We use the historical critical analysis of the various theoretical proposals on motion in search of clues ignored. The prediction of the general relativity that the motion occurs in the static gravitational field is not valid because the motion always occurs in a given medium as vacuum, atmosphere, water, etc. The concept of motion and the equations of the special and (...) general relativity, as the theory of Galilee-Newton reduce motion elements to particle and spacetime. In this paper, we present the medium (in special, the quantum vacuum), as the third essential element of motion, inseparable of spacetime since it is its material support of which the spacetime is its structural form, and we analyse its consequences in the theories of spacetime. Our contribution is declare, that the spacetime itself does not exist, or is a relational property of matter, but a structural property of matter. (shrink)
Einstein structured the theoretical frame of his work on gravity under the Special Relativity and Minkowski´s spacetime using three guide principles: The strong principle of equivalence establishes that acceleration and gravity are equivalents. Mach´s principle explains the inertia of the bodies and particles as completely determined by the total mass existent in the universe. And, general covariance searches to extend the principle of relativity from inertial motion to accelerated motion. Mach´s principle was abandoned quickly, general covariance resulted mathematical property (...) of the tensors and principle of equivalence inconsistent and it can only apply to punctual gravity, no to extended gravity. Also, the basic principle of Special Relativity, i.e., the constancy of the speed of the electromagnetic wave in the vacuum was abandoned, static Minkowski´s spacetime was replaced to dynamic Lorentz´s manifold and the main conceptual fundament of the theory, i.e. spacetime is not known what is. Of other hand, gravity never was conceptually defined; neither answers what is the law of gravity in general. However, the predictions arise of Einstein equations are rigorously exacts. Thus, the conclusion is that on gravity, it has only the equations. In this work it shows that principle of equivalence applies really to punctual and extended gravity, gravity is defined as effect of change of coordinates although in the case of the extended gravity with change of geometry from Minkowski´s spacetime to Lorentz´s manifold; and the gravitational motion is the geodesic motion that well it can declare as the general law of gravity. (shrink)
The theoretical contradiction between General Relativity and Quantum Gravity about gravity was ended, since spacetime is not structural property of the gravitational fi eld like Einstein said. Exactly spacetime is the structural geometric property of the matter and energy that it gives their geometric dimensions. Thus, spacetime is not continent of the matter (Substantialism), since it is contained. Neither is the category of the relations between material bodies or between their events (Relationalism) since is not relational property; (...)spacetime is structural property. The particle-wave, of matter and eld, has intrinsically three spatial dimensions and one temporal dimension. The spacetime is intrinsically the structural quality of particle-wave. The spacetime is the geometric dimensions of the particle-wave itself and for others. Therefore, the matter and its movements are containing itself. Now only Quantum Gravity is possible. (shrink)
This paper dealing with extension of the Einstein eld equations using apparatus of contemporary generalization of the classical Lorentzian geometry named in literature Colombeau distributional geometry, see for example [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7] and [32]. The regularizations of singularities presented in some solutions of the Einstein equations is an important part of this approach. Any singularities present in some solutions of the Einstein equations recognized only in the sense of Colombeau generalized functions [1], [2] and not classically. (...) In this paper essentially new class Colombeau solutions to Einstein eld equations is obtained. The vacuum energy density of free scalar quantum field with a distributional background spacetime also is considered. It has been widely believed that, except in very extreme situations, the influence of gravity on quantum fields should amount to just small, sub-dominant contributions. Here we argue that this belief is false by showing that there exist well-behaved spacetime evolutions where the vacuum energy density of free quantum fields is forced, by the very same background distributional spacetime such distributional BHs, to become dominant over any classical energy density component. This semiclassical gravity effect finds its roots in the singular behavior of quantum fields on curved spacetimes. In particular we obtain that the vacuum fluctuations have a singular behavior on BHs horizon. (shrink)
In recent years, the branching spacetime (BST) interpretation of quantum mechanics has come under study by a number of philosophers, physicists and mathematicians. This paper points out some implications of the BST interpretation for two areas of quantum physics: (1) quantum gravity, and (2) stochastic interpretations of quantum mechanics.
In ‘Location and Perdurance’ (2010), I argued that there are no compelling mereological or sortal grounds requiring the perdurantist to distinguish the molecule Abel from the atom Abel in Gilmore’s original case (2007). The remaining issue Gilmore originally raised concerned the ‘mass history’ of Adam and Abel, the distribution of ‘their’ mass over spacetime. My response to this issue was to admit that mass histories needed to be relativised to a way of partitioning the location of Adam/Abel, but that (...) did not amount to relativising any fundamental natural intrinsic properties—the latter are all had unrelativised, and (so most perdurantists would say). (shrink)
This essay is a contribution to the historical phenomenology of science, taking as its point of departure Husserl’s later philosophy of science and Jacob Klein’s seminal work on the emergence of the symbolic conception of number in European mathematics during the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Sinceneither Husserl nor Klein applied their ideas to actual theories of modern mathematical physics, this essay attempts to do so through a case study of the conceptof “spacetime.” In §1, I sketch Klein’s account (...) of the emergence of the symbolic conception of number, beginning with Vieta in the late sixteenth century. In §2,through a series of historical illustrations, I show how the principal impediment to assimilating the new symbolic algebra to mathematical physics, namely, thedimensionless character of symbolic number, is overcome via the translation of the traditional language of ratio and proportion into the symbolic language of equations. In §§3–4, I critically examine the concept of “Minkowski spacetime,” specifically, the purported analogy between the Pythagorean distance formula and the Minkowski “spacetime interval.” Finally, in §5, I address the question of whether the concept of Minkowski spacetime is, as generally assumed, indispensable to Einstein’s general theory of relativity. (shrink)
There is, among some scientists and philosophers, the idea that any theory that would allow the time travel would introduce causal issues. These types of temporal paradoxes can be avoided by the Novikov self-consistency principle or by a variation in the interpretation of many worlds with interacting worlds. The world in which we live has, according to David Lewis, a Parmenidean ontology: "a manifold of events in four dimensions," and the occupants of the world are the 4-dimensional aggregates of the (...) stages - "temporal lines". The causal loops in backwards time travel involve events that appear to "come from nowhere," paradoxical "self-existent" objects or information, resulting in a bootstrap paradox. Many believe that causality loops are not impossible or unacceptable, but only inexplicable. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.28792.70407. (shrink)
Based on the Russian school of Logunov and others, with the contribution of Tom van Flandern, and his previous works on space-time, gravitational waves and speed of the gravity, the author discusses the theory of the time-space fluid that results from the supposed gravitational waves that would have detected LIGO, and reaffirms the space-time as a structural geometric property of the dynamic matter (radiation, matter and quantum vacuum), now with the strong argument that without escape, in an unnatural way, the (...) physicists and philosophers of science confer the conception of the author to that ridiculous material-space-time, while depriving Matter, of the intrinsic space-time. In addition, he warns about the conceptual contradiction existing between NASA and Caltech over gravitational waves, being absurd the concept of Caltech, operator of LIGO, since gravitational waves would propagate in five non-detectable dimensions. NASA valiant and validly recognizes that they would be waves of space; therefore, there are no space-time waves that correspond to gravitational waves that, according to the great current of relativistic physicists, would exist. Finally, the author reaffirms that the quadrupole waves detected by LIGO are waves of the quantum vacuum. (shrink)
Albert Einstein’s theory of General Relativity was once the leading theory in theoretical physics. Unfortunately the theory describes macroscopic reality without a clear link with the the microcosm in respect to the properties of spacetime. However the theory of General Relativity has proved to predict macroscopic phenomena in a very accurate way. Nowadays most theoretical physicists use the conceptual framework of quantum theory. So it is not surprisingly that the question about the “true nature” of spacetime becomes very (...) intrigue. (shrink)
There is a popular theory in the metaphysics of time according to which time is one of four similar dimensions that make up a single manifold that is appropriately called spacetime. One consequence of this thesis is that changing an object’s orientation in the manifold does not change its intrinsic features. In this paper I offer a new argument against this popular theory. I claim that an especially good performance of a particularly beautiful piece of music, when oriented within (...) the manifold in the normal way, adds to the intrinsic value of the world, but that if the same performance is turned sideways within the manifold, so that it involves a number of different notes spread out in space and all occurring at the same time, then it does not add the same intrinsic value to the world. (shrink)
Background independence begins life as an informal property that a physical theory might have, often glossed as 'doesn't posit a fixed spacetime background'. Interest in trying to offer a precise account of background independence has been sparked by the pronouncements of several theorists working on quantum gravity that background independence embodies in some sense an essential discovery of the General Theory of Relativity, and a feature we should strive to carry forward to future physical theories. This paper has two (...) goals. The first is to investigate what a world must be like in order to be truly described by a background independent theory given extant accounts of background independence. The second is to argue that there are no non-empirical reasons to be more confident in theories that satisfy extant accounts of background independence than in theories that don't. The paper concludes by drawing a general moral about a way in which focussing primarily on mathematical formulations of our physical theories can adversely affect debates in the metaphysics of physics. (shrink)
‘Space does not exist fundamentally: it emerges from a more fundamental non-spatial structure.’ This intriguing claim appears in various research programs in contemporary physics. Philosophers of physics tend to believe that this claim entails either that spacetime does not exist, or that it is derivatively real. In this article, I introduce and defend a third metaphysical interpretation of the claim: reductionism about space. I argue that, as a result, there is no need to subscribe to fundamentality, layers of reality (...) and emergence in order to analyse the constitution of space by non-spatial entities. It follows that space constitution, if borne out, does not provide empirical evidence in favour of a stratified, Aristotelian in spirit, metaphysics. The view will be described in relation to two particular research programs in contemporary physics: wave function realism and loop quantum gravity. (shrink)
Relativity theory is often said to support something called ‘the four-dimensional view of reality’. But there are at least three different views that sometimes go by this name. One is ‘spacetime unitism’, according to which there is a spacetime manifold, and if there are such things as points of space or instants of time, these are just spacetime regions of different sorts: thus space and time are not separate manifolds. A second is the B-theory of time, according (...) to which the past, present, and future are all equally real and there is nothing metaphysically special about the present. A third is perdurantism, according to which persisting material objects are made up of different temporal parts located at different times. We sketch routes from relativity to unitism and to the B-theory. We then discuss some routes to perdurantism, via the B-theory and via unitism. (shrink)
The answer to some of the longstanding issues in the 20th century theoretical physics, such as those of the incompatibility between general relativity and quantum mechanics, the broken symmetries of the electroweak force acting at the subatomic scale and the missing mass of Higgs particle, and also those of the cosmic singularity and the black matter and energy, appear to be closely related to the problem of the quantum texture of space-time and the fluctuations of its underlying geometry. Each region (...) of space landscape seem to be filled with spacetime weaved and knotted networks, for example, spacetime has immaterial curvature and structures, such as topological singularities, and obeys the laws of quantum physics. Thus, it is filled with potentialparticles, pairs of virtual matter and anti-matter units, and potential properties at the quantum scale. For example, quantum entities (like fields and particles) have both wave (i.e., continuous) and particle (i.e., discrete) properties and behaviors. At the quantum level (precisely, the Planck scale) of space-time such properties and behaviors could emerge from some underlying (dynamic) phase space related to some field theory. Accordingly, these properties and behaviors leave their signature on objects and phenomena in the real Universe. In this paper we consider some conceptual issues of this question. (shrink)
We address the question of whether it is possible to operate a time machine by manipulating matter and energy so as to manufacture closed timelike curves. This question has received a great deal of attention in the physics literature, with attempts to prove no- go theorems based on classical general relativity and various hybrid theories serving as steps along the way towards quantum gravity. Despite the effort put into these no-go theorems, there is no widely accepted definition of a time (...) machine. We explain the conundrum that must be faced in providing a satisfactory definition and propose a resolution. Roughly, we require that all extensions of the time machine region contain closed timelike curves; the actions of the time machine operator are then sufficiently "potent" to guarantee that closed timelike curves appear. We then review no-go theorems based on classical general relativity, semi-classical quantum gravity, quantum field theory on curved spacetime, and Euclidean quantum gravity. Our verdict on the question of our title is that no result of sufficient generality to underwrite a confident "yes" has been proven. Our review of the no-go results does, however, highlight several foundational problems at the intersection of general relativity and quantum physics that lend substance to the search for an answer. (shrink)
A supertask consists in the performance of an infinite number of actions in a finite time. I show that any attempt to carry out a supertask will produce a divergence of the curvature of spacetime, resulting in the formation of a black hole. I maintain that supertaks, contrarily to a popular view among philosophers, are physically impossible. Supertasks, literally, collapse under their own weight.
Some materialists believe that physics is rich enough to bridge Levine's Explanatory Gap1, while others believe that it is not. Here I promote an intermediate position holding that physics is rich enough to explain why this gap seems more intractable than similar inter-theoretic explanatory gaps, without providing a full-blown “physical” explanation of consciousness. At a minimum, such an approach needs to explore the prospects of empirical discoveries that can diminish the power of anti-physicalist arguments like Chalmers's “conceivability argument”2 and Jackson's (...) “knowledge argument.” While this is not an easy task, recent advances in the physics of spacetime and information convince us that these prospects are not poor. The empirical bent of this approach suggests framing it as a naturalist theory of mind seeking to situate or make room for consciousness within our great naturalist system, but the reliance of this approach on recent (re)conceptions of time and information pulls the carpet out from under essential concepts like concreteness and causation, thus demanding a radically reconfigured naturalism, or neo-naturalism. The question that will frame this discussion is, “What could possibly count as an empirical fact that can help naturalize consciousness?”. (shrink)
The existence of singularities alerts that one of the highest priorities of a centennial perspective on general relativity should be a careful re-thinking of the validity domain of Einstein’s field equations. We address the problem of constructing distinguishable extensions of the smooth spacetime manifold model, which can incorporate singularities, while retaining the form of the field equations. The sheaf-theoretic formulation of this problem is tantamount to extending the algebra sheaf of smooth functions to a distribution-like algebra sheaf in which (...) the former may be embedded, satisfying the pertinent cohomological conditions required for the coordinatization of all of the tensorial physical quantities, such that the form of the field equations is preserved. We present in detail the construction of these distribution-like algebra sheaves in terms of residue classes of sequences of smooth functions modulo the information of singular loci encoded in suitable ideals. Finally, we consider the application of these distribution-like solution sheaves in geometrodynamics by modeling topologically-circular boundaries of singular loci in three-dimensional space in terms of topological links. It turns out that the Borromean link represents higher order wormhole solutions. (shrink)
It is shown that the heuristic "derivation" of the Schrödinger equation in quantum mechanics textbooks can be turned into a real derivation by resorting to spacetime translation invariance and relativistic invariance.
The remarkable connections between gravity and thermodynamics seem to imply that gravity is not fundamental but emergent, and in particular, as Verlinde suggested, gravity is probably an entropic force. In this paper, we will argue that the idea of gravity as an entropic force is debatable. It is shown that there is no convincing analogy between gravity and entropic force in Verlinde’s example. Neither holographic screen nor test particle satisfies all requirements for the existence of entropic force in a thermodynamics (...) system. As a result, there is no entropic force in the gravity system. Furthermore, we show that the entropy increase of the screen is not caused by its statistical tendency to increase entropy as required by the existence of entropic force, but in fact caused by gravity. Therefore, Verlinde’s argument for the entropic origin of gravity is problematic. In addition, we argue that the existence of a minimum size of spacetime, together with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in quantum theory, may imply the fundamental existence of gravity as a geometric property of spacetime. This provides a further support for the conclusion that gravity is not an entropic force. (shrink)
Relativistic quantum theories are equipped with a background Minkowski spacetime and non-relativistic quantum theories with a Galilean space-time. Traditional investigations have distinguished their distinct space-time structures and have examined ways in which relativistic theories become sufficiently like Galilean theories in a low velocity approximation or limit. A different way to look at their relationship is to see that both kinds of theories are special cases of a certain five-dimensional generalization involving no limiting procedures or approximations. When one compares them, (...) striking features emerge that bear on philosophical questions, including the ontological status of the wave function and time reversal invariance. (shrink)
Conscious experience is the direct observation of conscious events. Human conscious experience is four-dimensional. Conscious events are linked (associated) by spacetime intervals to produce a coherent conscious experience. This explains why conscious experience appears to us the way it does. Conscious experience is an orientation in space and time, an understanding of the position of the observer in space and time. Causality, past-future relations, learning, memory, cognitive processing, and goal-directed actions all evolve from four-dimensional conscious experience. A neural correlate (...) for four-dimensional conscious experience can be found in the human brain and is modelled by Einstein's special theory of relativity. The relativistic concept of spacetime interval is central for understanding conscious experience and cognition. (shrink)
In humans, knowing the world occurs through spatial-temporal experiences and interpretations. Conscious experience is the direct observation of conscious events. It makes up the content of consciousness. Conscious experience is organized in four dimensions. It is an orientation in space and time, an understanding of the position of the observer in space and time. A neural correlate for four-dimensional conscious experience has been found in the human brain which is modeled by Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. Spacetime intervals are (...) fundamentally involved in the organization of coherent conscious experiences. They account for why conscious experience appears to us the way it does. They also account for assessment of causality and past-future relationships, the integration of higher cognitive functions, and the implementation of goal-directed behaviors. Spacetime intervals in effect compose and direct our conscious life. The relativistic concept closes the explanatory gap and solves the hard problem of consciousness (how something subjective like conscious experience can arise in something physical like the brain). There is a place in physics for consciousness. We describe all physical phenomena through conscious experience, whether they be described at the quantum level or classical level. Since spacetime intervals direct the formation of all conscious experiences and all physical phenomena are described through conscious experience, the equation formulating spacetime intervals contains the information from which all observable phenomena may be deduced. It might therefore be considered expression of a theory of everything. (shrink)
The purpose of this note is to show how an 'AB-series' interpretation of time leads, surprisingly, apparently, to AdS_5 geometry. This is not a theory of 2 time dimensions. Rather, it is a theory of 1 time dimension that has both A-series and B-series characteristics. To summarize the result, a spacetime in terms of (1) the earlier-to-later aspect of time, and (2) the (related) future-present-past aspect of time, and (3) 3-d space, it would seem, gives us the AdS_5 geometry.
When a theory, as the general relativity, linked to special relativity, is foundation of a scientific paradigm, through normal science and academy, scientifics, professionals, professors, students and journals of that scientific community, the paradigm, it self-sustains and reproduces. Thus, the research is obligated and limited to apply the model existent of the paradigm to formulate problems and solve them, without searching new discoveries. This self-protection of the paradigm causes it to end its cycle of life, only after a long time, (...) until that arise unresolved anomalies, some presents since origin, that they finally cause its change by other new paradigm. In this work, we study the most important anomalies that are part of the foundations of general relativity with the goal of promoting the call period of transition that is previous to scientific revolution. We use critical analysis method for rereading the general relativity, from the perspective of the history of science and philosophy of science. We find, the structural and complex anomaly of general relativity based on metaphysical spacetime that produces the metaphysics replaces physics. Also, two internal anomalies their direct consequences. These are: matter curves metaphysical spacetime, and metaphysical spacetime determines the geodesic motion of physical matter. We conclude that general relativity has no valid physical concept of spacetime, therefore of gravity. For these reasons, a new paradigm is needed. (shrink)
The General Relativity understands gravity like inertial movement of the free fall of the bodies in curved spacetime of Lorentz. The law of inertia of Newton would be particular case of the inertial movement of the bodies in the spacetime flat of Euclid. But, in the step, from general to particular, breaks the law of inertia of Galilei since recovers apparently the rectilinear uniform movement but not the repose state, unless the bodies have undergone their collapse, although, the (...) curved spacetime becomes flat and the curved geodesies becomes straight lines. For General Relativity is a natural law, within of a gravitational field, the accelerated movement of the bodies, that leads to that a geometric curvature puts out to the bodies in such geodesic movement. In this paper this error of General Relativity, like generalization of the law of inertia of Galilei, is examined and it is found that it is caused by suppression of mass and force that allows conceiving acceleration like property of spacetime. This is a mathematical and non-ontological result. Indeed, mass and force are the fundament that the gravitational acceleration is independent of the magnitude of mass of the bodies but gravity not of the mass and the gravitational force. The action of the gravity force, on inertial and gravitational masses of a body, produces mutual cancellation during its free fallen but too its weight when this cease. By means of the third law of Newton it shows that gravity is a force since weight is caused by gravity. (shrink)
The General Relativity understands gravity like inertial movement of the free fall of the bodies in curved spacetime of Lorentz. The law of inertia of Newton would be particular case of the inertial movement of the bodies in the spacetime flat of Euclid. But, in the step, of the particular to the general, breaks the law of inertia of Galilei since recovers the rectilinear uniform movement but not the repose state, unless the bodies have undergone their union, although, (...) the curved spacetime becomes flat and the curved geodesies becomes straight lines. For General Relativity is a natural law, within of a gravitational field, the uniform accelerated movement of the bodies, that leads to that a geometric curvature puts out to the bodies of the repose state for animate them of the movement of free fallen. In this paper this error of General Relativity, like generalization of the law of inertia of Galilei, is examined and it is found that it is caused by suppression of mass and force that allows conceiving acceleration like property of spacetime. This is a mathematical and non-ontological result. Indeed, mass and force are the fundament that the gravitational acceleration is a constant value for all the bodies, independently of the magnitude of mass but not of the mass and the gravitational force. The action of the gravity force, on inertial and gravitational masses of a body, produces mutual cancellation during its free fallen. In addition, by means of the third law of Newton it demonstrates that gravity is a force since weight is caused by gravity force. (shrink)
In light of the Special Theory of Relativity and the Minkowski creation of ‘spacetime’, the universe is taken to be a four-dimensional entity which postulates bodies as existing within a temporally extended reality. The Special Theory of Relativity’s implications liken the nature of the universe to a ‘block’ within which all events coexist equally in spacetime. Such a view strikes against the very essence of presentism, which holds that all that exists is the instantaneous state of objects in (...) the present moment. With respect to the present moment, events have a clear division into the past or future, however such regions do not exist in reality and the universe is a three-dimensional entity. The consequences of a four-dimensional universe are disturbing to say the least for our everyday human experience, with once objective facts about reality becoming dependent upon an observer’s relative motion and the debate over the extent of true free will in a Block Universe. This paper will look at arguments which seek to rescue the presentist view in light of Special Relativity so such four-dimensionalist implications do not have to be accepted. Two approaches will be considered. The first accepts that presentism is incompatible with Special Relativity, and seeks to show that the theory is ultimately false. The second holds that it is the Block Universe interpretation of Special Relativity that is wrong, and a version of presentism can be reconciled with Special Relativity. The paper will expound and critically examine both of these approaches to review whether the case for the three-dimensionalist and a fundamental passage of time can be made. (shrink)
The mathematical structure of realist quantum theories has given rise to a debate about how our ordinary 3-dimensional space is related to the 3N-dimensional configuration space on which the wave function is defined. Which of the two spaces is our (more) fundamental physical space? I review the debate between 3N-Fundamentalists and 3D-Fundamentalists and evaluate it based on three criteria. I argue that when we consider which view leads to a deeper understanding of the physical world, especially given the deeper topological (...) explanation from the unordered configurations to the Symmetrization Postulate, we have strong reasons in favor of 3D-Fundamentalism. I conclude that our evidence favors the view that our fundamental physical space in a quantum world is 3-dimensional rather than 3N-dimensional. I outline lines of future research where the evidential balance can be restored or reversed. Finally, I draw lessons from this case study to the debate about theoretical equivalence. (shrink)
Relationships between current theories, and relationships between current theories and the sought theory of quantum gravity (QG), play an essential role in motivating the need for QG, aiding the search for QG, and defining what would count as QG. Correspondence is the broad class of inter-theory relationships intended to demonstrate the necessary compatibility of two theories whose domains of validity overlap, in the overlap regions. The variety of roles that correspondence plays in the search for QG are illustrated, using examples (...) from specific QG approaches. Reduction is argued to be a special case of correspondence, and to form part of the definition of QG. Finally, the appropriate account of emergence in the context of QG is presented, and compared to conceptions of emergence in the broader philosophy literature. It is argued that, while emergence is likely to hold between QG and general relativity, emergence is not part of the definition of QG, and nor can it serve usefully in the development and justification of the new theory. (shrink)
Principles are central to physical reasoning, particularly in the search for a theory of quantum gravity (QG), where novel empirical data is lacking. One principle widely adopted in the search for QG is UV completion: the idea that a theory should (formally) hold up to all possible high energies. We argue---/contra/ standard scientific practice---that UV-completion is poorly-motivated as a guiding principle in theory-construction, and cannot be used as a criterion of theory-justification in the search for QG. For this, we explore (...) the reasons for expecting, or desiring, a UV-complete theory, as well as analyse how UV completion is used, and how it should be used, in various specific approaches to QG. (shrink)
We give a new argument supporting a gravitational role in quantum collapse. It is demonstrated that the discreteness of space-time, which results from the proper combination of quantum theory and general relativity, may inevitably result in the dynamical collapse of thewave function. Moreover, the minimum size of discrete space-time yields a plausible collapse criterion consistent with experiments. By assuming that the source to collapse the wave function is the inherent random motion of particles described by the wave function, we further (...) propose a concrete model of wavefunction collapse in the discrete space-time. It is shown that the model is consistent with the existing experiments and macroscopic experiences. (shrink)
In times of crisis, when current theories are revealed as inadequate to task, and new physics is thought to be required---physics turns to re-evaluate its principles, and to seek new ones. This paper explores the various types, and roles of principles that feature in the problem of quantum gravity as a current crisis in physics. I illustrate the diversity of the principles being appealed to, and show that principles serve in a variety of roles in all stages of the crisis, (...) including in motivating the need for a new theory, and defining what this theory should be like. In particular, I consider: the generalised correspondence principle, UV-completion, background independence, and the holographic principle. I also explore how the current crisis fits with Friedman's view on the roles of principles in revolutionary theory-change, finding that while many key aspects of this view are not represented in quantum gravity, the view could potentially offer a useful diagnostic, and prescriptive strategy. This paper is intended to be relatively non-technical, and to bring some of the philosophical issues from the search for quantum gravity to a more general philosophical audience interested in the roles of principles in scientific theory-change. (shrink)
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