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What Can We Learn about the Ontology of Space and Time from the Theory of Relativity?

Norton, John D. (2000) What Can We Learn about the Ontology of Space and Time from the Theory of Relativity? [Preprint]

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Abstract

In the exuberance that followed Einstein's discoveries, philosophers at one time or another have proposed that his theories support virtually every conceivable moral in ontology. I present an opinionated assessment, designed to avoid this overabundance. We learn from Einstein's theories of novel entanglements of categories once held distinct: space with time; space and time with matter; and space and time with causality. We do not learn that all is relative, that time in the fourth dimension in any non-trivial sense, that coordinate systems and even geometry are conventional or that spacetime should be reduced ontologically to causal, spatio-temporal or other relations.


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Item Type: Preprint
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Norton, John D.
Keywords: Einstein space time spacetime relativity gravitation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: John Norton
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2001
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2015 14:49
Item ID: 138
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/138

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