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The Conventionality of Simultaneity and Einstein’s Conventionality of Geometry

Bacelar Valente, Mario (2018) The Conventionality of Simultaneity and Einstein’s Conventionality of Geometry. Kairos. Journal of Philosophy & Science, 20 (1). pp. 159-180.

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Abstract

The conventionality of simultaneity thesis as established by Reichenbach and Grünbaum is related to the partial freedom in the definition of simultaneity in an inertial reference frame. An apparently altogether different issue is that of the conventionality of spatial geometry, or more generally the conventionality of chronogeometry when taking also into account the conventionality of the uniformity of time. Here we will consider Einstein’s version of the conventionality of (chrono)geometry, according to which we might adopt a different spatial geometry and a particular definition of equality of successive time intervals. The choice of a particular chronogeometry would not imply any change in a theory, since its “physical part” can be changed in a way that, regarding experimental results, the theory is the same. Here, we will make the case that the conventionality of simultaneity is closely related to Einstein’s conventionality of chronogeometry, as another conventional element leading to it.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Bacelar Valente, Mario
Keywords: conventionality, simultaneity, geometry, Einstein
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > History
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: mario bacelar valente
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2020 00:58
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2020 15:35
Item ID: 17589
Journal or Publication Title: Kairos. Journal of Philosophy & Science
Publisher: Center for the Philosophy of Sciences of Lisbon University
Official URL: https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/kjps/20/...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.2478/kjps-2018-0008
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > History
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 2018
Page Range: pp. 159-180
Volume: 20
Number: 1
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17589

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