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A Proposal for a Metaphysics of Self-Subsisting Structures. I. Classical Physics

Vassallo, Antonio and Naranjo, Pedro and Koslowski, Tim (2022) A Proposal for a Metaphysics of Self-Subsisting Structures. I. Classical Physics. Synthese, 200. ISSN 1573-0964

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Abstract

We present a new metaphysical framework for physics that is conceptually clear, ontologically parsimonious, and empirically adequate. This framework relies on the notion of self-subsisting structure, that is, a set of fundamental physical elements whose individuation and behavior are described in purely relational terms, without any need for a background spacetime. Although the specification of the fundamental elements of the ontology depends on the particular physical domain considered---and is thus susceptible to scientific progress---, the empirically successful structural features of the framework are preserved through theory change. The kinematics and dynamics of these self-subsisting structures are technically implemented using the theoretical framework of Pure Shape Dynamics, which provides a completely relational physical description of a system in terms of the intrinsic geometry of a suitably defined space called shape space.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Vassallo, Antonioantonio.vassallo1977@gmail.com0000-0002-1846-5362
Naranjo, Pedro
Koslowski, Tim
Keywords: Self-subsisting structure; relationalism; ontic structural realism; Humeanism; pure shape dynamics; parsimony
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Antonio Vassallo
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2022 17:40
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2022 17:40
Item ID: 21126
Journal or Publication Title: Synthese
Publisher: Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-0...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s11229-022-03865-x
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: 3 September 2022
Volume: 200
ISSN: 1573-0964
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21126

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