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Shifts and reference

Cheng, Bryan and Read, James (2022) Shifts and reference. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Maudlin's 'metric essentialist' response to the hole argument of general relativity is well-known, but differs strikingly from his response to what is often regarded as being the analogous problem in the context of Newtonian gravity (viz., the possibility of a Leibnizian static shift), which centres around a certain epistemological argument. In this paper, we explicate the reasons underlying this divergence of responses. We then apply recent work from the philosophy of language in order to assess Dasgupta's arguments, centred around the notion of 'inexpressible ignorance', that Maudlin's epistemological argument given in response to the static shift is unsuccessful. Finally, we analyse how the epistemological argument plays out in the context of the gauge redundancy in electromagnetism, finding that the situation is interestingly different from the spacetime case.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Cheng, Bryanbryan.cheng@pmb.ox.ac.uk
Read, Jamesjames.read@philosophy.ox.ac.uk
Additional Information: Forthcoming in A. Vassallo (ed.), The Foundations of Spacetime Physics: Physical Perspectives, London: Routledge, 2022.
Keywords: Shift arguments, hole argument, epistemological argument, inexpressible ignorance
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Dr. James Read
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2022 06:23
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2022 06:23
Item ID: 20124
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 18 January 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20124

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