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How Could Relativity be Anything Other Than Physical?

Myrvold, Wayne C. (2017) How Could Relativity be Anything Other Than Physical? [Preprint]

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Abstract

Harvey Brown’s Physical Relativity defends a view, the dynamical perspective, on the nature of spacetime that goes beyond the familiar dichotomy of substantivalist/relationist views. A full defense of this view requires attention to the way that our use of spacetime concepts connect with the physical world. Reflection on such matters, I argue, reveals that the dynamical perspective affords the only possible view about the ontological status of spacetime, in that putative rivals fail to express anything, either true or false. I conclude with remarks aimed at clarifying what is and isn’t in dispute with regards to the explanatory priority of spacetime and dynamics, at countering an objection raised by John Norton to views of this sort, and at clarifying the relation between background and effective spacetime structure.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Myrvold, Wayne C.wmyrvold@uwo.ca
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, special issue: Physical Relativity: Ten Years On.
Keywords: Physical Relativity, dynamical perspective, substantivalism, relationism
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Wayne Myrvold
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2017 13:25
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 13:25
Item ID: 13157
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: June 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13157

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