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Laws beyond spacetime

Lam, Vincent and Wuthrich, Christian (2021) Laws beyond spacetime. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Quantum gravity's suggestion that spacetime may be emergent and so only exist contingently would force a radical reconception of extant analyses of laws of nature. Humeanism presupposes a spatiotemporal mosaic of particular matters of fact on which laws supervene; primitivism and dispositionalism conceive of the action of primitive laws or of dispositions as a process of 'nomic production' unfolding over time. We show how the Humean supervenience basis of non-modal facts and primitivist or dispositionalist accounts of nomic production can be reconceived, avoiding a reliance on fundamental spacetime. However, it is unclear that naturalistic forms of Humeanism can maintain their commitment to there being no necessary connections among distinct entities. Furthermore, non-temporal conceptions of production render this central concept more elusive than before. In fact, the challenges run so deep that the survival of the investigated analyses into the era of quantum gravity is questionable.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Lam, Vincent
Wuthrich, Christianchristian.wuthrich@unige.ch0000-0001-8774-6160
Additional Information: 20 pages
Keywords: Laws of nature, quantum gravity, Humeanism, best systems analysis, primitivism, dispositionalism, emergence of spacetime
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Christian Wuthrich
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2021 04:59
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2021 04:59
Item ID: 19827
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 8 November 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19827

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