PhilSci Archive

The Geometry of Conventionality

Weatherall, James Owen and Manchak, John Byron (2013) The Geometry of Conventionality. [Preprint]

This is the latest version of this item.

[img]
Preview
PDF
Geometry_of_Conventionality.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

Download (421kB)

Abstract

There is a venerable position in the philosophy of space and time that holds that the geometry of spacetime is conventional, provided one is willing to postulate a "universal force field". Here we ask a more focused question, inspired by this literature: in the context of our best classical theories of space and time, if one understands "force" in the standard way, can one accommodate different geometries by postulating a new force field? We argue that the answer depends on one's theory. In Newtonian gravitation the answer is "yes"; in relativity theory, it is "no".


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Weatherall, James Owenweatherj@uci.edu
Manchak, John Byronmanchak@uw.edu
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Philosophy of Science.
Keywords: Reichenbach, conventionality of geometry, general relativity, Newton-Cartan theory, geometrized Newtonian gravitation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Conventionalism
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: James Owen Weatherall
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2014 16:06
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2014 16:06
Item ID: 10222
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Conventionalism
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 2013
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10222

Available Versions of this Item

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item