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What spacetime does: ideal observers and (Earman's) symmetry principles

Sus, Adán (2023) What spacetime does: ideal observers and (Earman's) symmetry principles. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 38 (1). pp. 67-85. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

The interpretation and justification of Earman’s symmetry principles (stating that any spacetime symmetry should be a dynamical symmetry and vice-versa) are controversial. This is directly connected to the question of how certain structures in physical theories acquire a spatiotemporal character. In this paper I address these issues from a perspective (arguably functionalist) that relates the classical discussion about the measurement and geometrical determination of space with a characterization of the notion of dynamical symmetry in which its application to subsystems that act as measuring devices plays an essential role. I argue that in order to reformulate and justify Earman’s principles, and to provide a general account of the chronogeometrical character of some structures, the existence of a coordination between two notions of congruence, one mathematical and one dynamical, must be assumed for the interpretation of physical theories. This coordination provides the basis on which we can understand space-time in physical theories as the codification (representation) of certain features of the access ideal observers have to experience.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Sus, Adánadansus@fyl.uva.es0000-0002-2097-1192
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: Spacetime symmetry, Dynamical symmetry, Problem of Space, Dynamical approach, Earman's principles
Subjects: General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email theoria@ehu.es
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2023 12:16
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2023 12:16
Item ID: 22237
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://ojs.ehu.eus/index.php/THEORIA/article/view...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1387/theoria.24403
Subjects: General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 2023
Page Range: pp. 67-85
Volume: 38
Number: 1
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22237

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