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How to be a realist about Minkowski spacetime without believing in magical explanations

Sus, Adán (2020) How to be a realist about Minkowski spacetime without believing in magical explanations. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 35 (2). pp. 175-195. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

The question about the relation between spacetime structure and the symmetries of laws has received renewed attention in a recent discussion about the status of Minkowski spacetime in Special Relativity. In that context we find two extreme positions (either spacetime explains symmetries of laws or vice-versa) and a general assumption about the debate being mainly about explanation. The aim of this paper is twofold: first, to argue that the ontological dimension of the debate cannot be ignored; second, to claim that taking ontology into account involves considering a third perspective on the relation between spacetime and symmetries of laws; one in which both terms would be somehow derived from common assumptions on the formulation of a given physical theory.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Sus, Adánadansus@fyl.uva.es
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: Special Relativity; Minkowski spacetime; Dynamical approach; Explanation
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email theoria@ehu.es
Date Deposited: 26 May 2020 03:27
Last Modified: 26 May 2020 03:27
Item ID: 17208
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL: https://www.ehu.eus/ojs/index.php/THEORIA/article/...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1387/theoria.21065
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: May 2020
Page Range: pp. 175-195
Volume: 35
Number: 2
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17208

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