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Super-Relationism: Combining Eliminativism about Objects and Relationism about Spacetime

LE BIHAN, Baptiste (2016) Super-Relationism: Combining Eliminativism about Objects and Relationism about Spacetime. Philosophical Studies, 173 (8). pp. 2151-2172. ISSN 0031-8116

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Abstract

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).


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
LE BIHAN, Baptistebaptiste.lebihan@univ-rennes1.fr0000-0002-1245-1373
Keywords: spacetime, material objects, eliminativism, substantivalism relationism, super-substantivalism, super-relationism, priority monism
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Dr. Baptiste Le Bihan
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2019 07:42
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2019 07:42
Item ID: 16694
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophical Studies
Publisher: Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11098...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s11098-015-0602-2
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 2016
Page Range: pp. 2151-2172
Volume: 173
Number: 8
ISSN: 0031-8116
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16694

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