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Spacetime is as spacetime does

Lam, Vincent and Wuthrich, Christian (2018) Spacetime is as spacetime does. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Theories of quantum gravity generically presuppose or predict that the reality underlying relativistic spacetimes they are describing is significantly non-spatiotemporal. On pain of empirical incoherence, approaches to quantum gravity must establish how relativistic spacetime emerges from their non-spatiotemporal structures. We argue that in order to secure this emergence, it is sufficient to establish that only those features of relativistic spacetimes functionally relevant in producing empirical evidence must be recovered. In order to complete this task, an account must be given of how the more fundamental structures instantiate these functional roles. We illustrate the general idea in the context of causal set theory and loop quantum gravity, two prominent approaches to quantum gravity.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Lam, Vincentvincent.lam@unige.ch
Wuthrich, Christianchristian.wuthrich@unige.ch0000-0001-8774-6160
Additional Information: 24 pages, 1 figure; forthcoming in Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Science
Keywords: Spacetime functionalism; emergence of spacetime; quantum gravity; empirical incoherence; loop quantum gravity, causal set theory
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Christian Wuthrich
Date Deposited: 02 May 2018 20:55
Last Modified: 02 May 2018 20:55
Item ID: 14640
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 2 May 2018
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14640

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